ELKO — All aboard! Railroad enthusiasts from the region traveled to Elko this past weekend to attend the 2015 Western Pacific Convention.
Volunteers from the Feather River Rail Society’s Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, California, organized and led the symposium at the Red Lion Casino.
Programs on Friday and Saturday included tours to the Elko WP Yard. Topics on the history of the Western Pacific in Nevada, the California Zephyr, and the “Loneliest Line” were presented by a variety of speakers.
On Sunday the group planned an excursion to Ely to ride the steam train and discover the area’s rail history.
“Every year our organization puts on a conference somewhere between Salt Lake City and San Francisco,” said Rod McClure, engineer and president of the Feather River Rail Society. “We celebrate the history and importance of the WP along this route.”
Vendors from the Western Pacific Railroad Museum and a private railroad collector exhibited their wares in the grand ballroom of the casino. A flashing track sign blinked by the doorway, guiding registrants to the venue.
Some of the attendees talked about their experiences working for the railroad.
“My favorite time being a locomotive engineer was 1975-76. I drove the American Freedom Train all over 48 states,” said Craig Thomas. “Each car had different exhibits. It was a great time.”