For the third photo shoot in our February 2020 program we visited the Virginia & Truckee Railway. We’ve been to the Virginia & Truckee before, but this time around we had an operating boxcar and real caboose to go along with the small fleet of freight cars from the V&T collection.
The V&T has plenty of photo props, including two tunnels and deep rock cuts. One original V&T depot survives along the route, and there are many remnants of structures used when the region was busy with gold and silver mining. We were able to use trackside locations, as well as climb for panoramic scenes that showed the vastness of the high desert. While we didn’t have snow, the weather couldn’t have been better for our photo needs. Blue skies and low humidity allowed for a clear view of the Sierras that were as far as 40 miles away.
A nice surprise for everyone was an impromptu night session at the Gold Hill Depot. Tom Gray of the V&T was able to rustle up a 2nd crew and brought the V&T #29 with a passenger train down for an hour of photography after sunset.
Tom and his crew did an amazing job of getting the box car and caboose in shape for our photo shoot. A lot of work had to be done structurally and cosmetically to make them look as good as they did; we are extremely grateful for all their efforts to get the equipment prepared in time. This included a lot of wood work, brakes, and paint. The Western Pacific sign was digitally drawn by Steve Lerro and then printed on metal signs in Reno.
We hope to go back to the Virginia & Truckee in the next couple of years. We hope to turn the engine(s) south for a whole new look at the railroad.