The museum’s historic Virginia & Truckee train with steam locomotive No. 25 will run every 40 minutes. Handcar rides also are available and are always a popular family attraction.
Inside, the Jacobsen Interpretive Center tells the story of Western expansion and the railroad’s contribution to Nevada’s developing economy. In the outdoor display, photographers can capture the 1910 McKeen motor car, 1926 Edwards motor car and the 1913 V&T locomotive No. 27. Also on display will be the full-size thank you gift from France following World War II. The French National Merci Boxcar known as “40 and 8” honors the holiday’s deep patriotic roots.
In 1947, Americans collected 700 boxcars loaded with food, clothing and fuel to help the people of France who were desperately struggling to recover from World War II. The Friendship Train stopped in Reno to collect food gathered from all across Nevada. In response, French people collected a trainload of gifts for Americans. Called the Merci Train, 49 boxcars filled with tokens and treasures from the French provinces, one boxcar for each state and one to be shared between Hawaii and Washington D.C., made their way across the U.S.
Admission for the event is $11 for adults, $5 for ages 12 to 17 and $3 for ages 4 to 11. Children 3 and under are free. Tickets are available at the depot and at the admission desk, 2180 S. Carson St. and are valid for the day of purchase only. For more information, call 687-6953 or visit museums.nevadaculture.com. Rides are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., outdoor exhibits are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the interpretive center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.