Dan Thielen has been named museum director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.
Thielen was curator of education at the museum for many years before he left to serve full time as an officer in the Nevada Army National Guard. He retired from the Guard in December 2015 as a field grade officer. His service included a mobilization to Afghanistan and the construction of nearly 250,000 square feet of new readiness centers for the Army National Guard throughout the state.
His focus as museum curator was to make the collections accessible for any teaching opportunity. Now, he has set new goals.
“I want to make the amazing collection of equipment and locomotives the anchor of the narrative of Nevada. From mining and freight to connecting the coasts, Nevada’s railroads are at the heart of Nevada’s story,” Thielen said.
The Saint Paul, Minn., native joined the Navy and, as a boiler technician, began his lifelong relationship with steam. After the Navy he spent two years in Australia as a Mormon missionary. He graduated from Utah State University with a master’s degree in outdoor museum management. His thesis included the restoration and operation of early steam agricultural equipment. The museum is home to several famous steam locomotives including two from 1875 — the standard gauge Inyo, and narrow gauge Glenbrook.
Thielen and his wife, Katherine, have been residents of Carson City for 20 years. Proud parents of Patrick, Joshua, Adam and Megan, they also have three grandchildren.
Museum admission is $6 for adults and free for museum members and ages 17 and younger. Indoor exhibits are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Train rides are $8 for adults ages 12 and older, $4 for ages 4-11, free for children ages 3 and younger and half price for museum members.
Train information is available online at nsrm-friends.org or at 775-687-6953.