IT’S THE RIGHT TRACK

Los Angeles Times - - ROAD TRIPS PLACES TO GO - By Jay Jones

The clamor of trains and blar­ing whis­tles no longer dis­turb folks in Ely. The rail­road tracks now skirt the north­ern edge of this old min­ing town, not quite a fourhour drive north of Las Ve­gas.

The dozens of trains that once rum­bled by each day, car­ry­ing ore and pas­sen­gers, have dwin­dled to a hand­ful each week. An­tique car­riages now are filled with cam­era-tot­ing tourists lured by the Ne­vada North­ern Rail­way, a real rail­road turned liv­ing his­tory mu­seum.

Ninety-minute nar­rated train rides take vis­i­tors along a part of the route that car­ried 4.5 mil­lion pas­sen­gers be­tween 1905 and 1941. Some of the trains are still pulled by the orig­i­nal lo­co­mo­tives. There’s a mu­seum in­side the old sta­tion, and the rail yard is open to ex­plore. Combo tick­ets (train ride and guided tour of rail yard and en­gine house) cost $31 for adults and $15 for chil­dren ages 4 to 12. Most of the trips take place from June to mid-Novem­ber.

The down­town Ho­tel Ne­vada is known for its Western flair. Hand­painted mu­rals of cow­boys ropin’ and ridin’ adorn the hall­ways of this vin­tage prop­erty, which of­fers 24-hour din­ing and, of course, gam­bling. Al­though the rooms are pleas­ant, some guests may be put off by the signs promi­nently placed in the bath­rooms:

Cau­tion. Due to the age of the ho­tel 1929 the shower fluc­tu­ates from hot to cold with­out warn­ing!

Peo­ple fear­ing a shower sur­prise may pre­fer one of the newer chain ho­tels on the edge of town.

The All Aboard Cafe & Inn is a great choice for de­li­cious, home­cooked food at af­ford­able prices. The 1907 build­ing, just half a block from the old de­pot, once was a board­ing house for rail­road work­ers. (Five guest rooms re­main up­stairs.) Lo­cals rave about the spaghetti with home­made meat­balls ($10.95). Open year-round for break­fast, lunch and din­ner.

Miles one way from down­town L.A.: about 510

Re­sources: Ne­vada North­ern Rail­way, www.nnry.com; Ho­tel Ne­vada, www.hotel­nevada.com; All Aboard Cafe & Inn, [775] 289-3959

North­ern Ne­vada Rail­way

CAN YOU HEAR the whis­tle blow­ing? A steam lo­co­mo­tive chugs along, giv­ing train buffs the ride of a life­time near Ely, Nev.

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