Situated right at the heart of the capital city, Carson City, the Nevada State Railroad Museum has an extraordinary collection of artifacts and relics designed to take visitors back to the era where steam locomotives transformed Nevada into the Silver State that we know today. Fortunately the museum has been able to preserve multiple steam locomotives that operated in the state. One such locomotive that museum visitors can get up close with is the Lake Tahoe Railroad’s Glenbrook.
A Brief History of The Glenbrook
Also known as Carson & Tahoe Lumber and Fuming Company #1, The Glenbrook is a mogul-type narrow-gauge steam locomotive with a wheel arrangement of 2-6-0. It was manufactured in 1875 for the Carson & Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company (C&TL&F) by Baldwin Locomotive Works and ran on the Lake Tahoe Railroad which was operated by C&TL&F. This giant was built to transport cordwood and lumber from Lake Tahoe to Spooner Summit and was later used to transport construction materials to Virginia City.
Together with its sister locomotive, The Tahoe, Glenbrook pulled timber products for the railroad for 24 years until the demand for timber in the area declined. With the decline of the timber business, Duane L. Bliss, who was the owner of the Carson & Tahoe Lumbering & Fluming Company, changed his business and decided to make Lake Tahoe more accessible to tourists. He formed the Lake Tahoe Railway & Transportation Company (LTR&T) and old Glenbrook became the new company’s #1 locomotive.
In 1926, Bliss sold LTR&T to Southern Pacific. However, Bliss held on to Glenbrook until it was sold to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge in 1937. When the Nevada County Narrow Gauge ceased operation in 1942, Bliss reacquired the locomotive and donated it to the Nevada State Museum. It would remain on static display at the museum for nearly 40 years before being moved to the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Museum (now the Nevada State Railroad Museum) in 1981. The Glenbrook was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, making it one of the few steam engines on the list that are still around today.
The V&T Museum added The Glenbrook to their list of locomotives to be restored. While significant progress was made early on, restoration quickly fizzled out and would eventually be put on hold as other projects were given higher priority. In fact, it wouldn’t be until 2010 that the restoration process would really begin.
After staying without steaming up for the last 88 years, The Glenbrook was finally restored and operated for the first time in 2015. The locomotive remains a popular draw for the museum, which offers steam train rides seasonally from May to October and special events throughout the year. To learn more about The Glenbrook and its operation schedule, just visit the Nevada State Railroad Museum website.