ELY – Nevada Northern Railway volunteers from around the country gathered for the NNRy’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner April 6 at the Prospector Hotel & Casino in Ely.
“It’s you, the volunteers, who help us stretch our funds and keep this piece of living history to continue to do what its original purpose was,” Mark Bassett, NNRy executive director, said.
The following volunteers were recognized:
Gary Hansen received the Silver Lantern Award, given to those who help extensively in train service. Hansen is a student engineer and brakeman, and also has worked in the shop and helped with construction.
Sara Kammeraad, NNRy’s Facebook administrator and a Michigan resident, received the Silver Megaphone Award. Kammeraad was recognized for keeping the NNRy Facebook page current, for quickly and efficiently responding to Facebook comments and questions and for increasing NNRy’s Facebook friend base.
Anthony DeBellis and John Henry McDonnell received the Appreciation and Dedication of Service award. After attending NNRy’s Railroad Reality Week, DeBellis and McDonnell chose to attend Great Basin College so they could help at the NNRy. They now are paid interns, running the trains and more. Both moved to Ely from the eastern United States.
Don and Lennox Purinton received the 2012 Volunteer of the Year award. Don Purinton works on the train crew as a conductor, student engineer and student fireman. His knowledge of electronics is utilized to handle the web cam and sound system for the railroad. Lennox Purinton, 10, has helped guide tours and looks for ways to help volunteers, staff and guests.
While NNRy recognized a select group at the dinner, Bassett said all volunteers are appreciated.
“The Nevada Northern Railway wouldn’t run without you guys,” he said.
Open daily except Tuesdays, the NNRy Museum is at 1100 Avenue A in Ely. The 56-acre complex has 66 historical structures and is a National Historic Landmark. The museum has four steam locomotives, six first-generation diesel locomotives, two electric locomotives, a steam-powered crane and a steam-powered rotary snowplow. In addition, the museum has six historic passenger cars, 50 historical freight cars and 30 miles of track.
Starting April 13, the museum offers steam- and diesel-powered passenger train excursions. The first dinner train is the Rockin’ & Rollin’ Geology Train on May 18, followed by the Wild West Train on May 25. This year’s dinner trains will be on steam trains.
The NNRy also has the BE the Engineer program, which allows one or two people to rent a steam and/or diesel locomotive and operate the locomotives out on the mainline trak – even with the train’s freight cars attached. Cab rides with the engineer also are available (limit two per train ride.)
For more, contact NNRy at 866-407-8326 or 775-289-2085. The train schedule is available at www.nnry.com. Become a friend of the NNRy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nnry1 and watch train videos at www.youtube.com/nnry1. Follow NNRy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nnry1.