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THE CARSON CANYON RAIL BIKE TOUR FAQ
How do I get my tickets?
- Once you make your reservation using our online booking system, you will receive a confirmation email. This confirmation can be printed and brought with you or we will be able to look it up and print it for you upon your arrival.
Where do we go to get on the rail bikes?
- Boarding is at the Eastgate Deport at 4650 Eastgate Siding Road. Take Hwy 50 to Flint Drive and turn towards the landfill. Follow the signs to Eastgate Siding Road. The rides will start boarding 15 minutes prior to your departure time.
What is the cancellation policy?
- Cancellations may be made up to three days prior to your ride with a $25 cancellation fee and by calling 855-724-5102. Tickets are non-refundable 72 hours before your ride. No-shows (including those arriving late for a scheduled departure) are not eligible for a refund.
- Freedom Rail and V&T Railway Commission reserve the right to cancel or amend any trip or booking due to rare extreme weather conditions. In these instances, riders can be rescheduled or refunded.
Will tickets be printed for riders?
- No, tickets are booked online or by phone. Riders will receive a wristband when they arrive.
Where is the minimum/maximum number of people on a rail bike?
- Each rail bike seats up to four guests. Seating is assigned, but we make every effort to seat parties together. Please let us know in advance so we can accommodate you. However, depending on how many guests are scheduled, odd-numbered riders may be asked to share a rail bike with a different group or a guide.
How many bikes are available per ride?
- We currently have 9 bikes with 36 total available seats.
Can I bring my dog/pet?
- No. Rail bikes are not safe for pets, not even on your lap. Please leave your pets at home.
How strenuous is this activity?
- Although our rail bikes are motor-assisted, pedaling is part of the experience, and riders should be prepared to do light exercise.
Is there an age limit to ride?
- Seats are adjustable for different heights, but all riders must be tall enough to reach the pedals. The estimated age for height requirements is four years old and older. All children under 18 years of age must have a liability waiver signed by a parent or guardian. We have a weight maximum of 250 pounds for our riders.
Are there guides that go with us on the trip?
- Guides will accompany each rail bike group on every trip on their own staff bike. They will take you on an adventure to historic sites that can only be accessed by rail and provide you with a bottle of water and snack at our Eureka Siding rest area in the canyon.
Are there guides that go with us on the trip? How do guides turn the rail bikes around?
- After the riders are safely off their rail bikes, the guides use a rotating platform to turn each rail bike before reloading for the return trip. The turnaround spot will be at the historic Eureka Siding and the Halfway House Stage Stop locations along your route.
What should I bring? Is there a place for my backpack?
- Storage is available behind the seats for small bags such as fanny packs. The rail bikes cannot accommodate carry-on items such as backpacks, large purses, totes, or ice chests. Please secure personal items in your vehicle. Sunscreen, a hat, and water are recommended. Due to COVID-19 requirements, a mask must be worn as well. Please bring a mask or one will be provided to you.
Are there restroom facilities available?
- There are restrooms available at the Eastgate Depot.
What should I wear?
Riders should wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes suitable for hiking or cycling. Closed-toed shoes are highly recommended. A light jacket is encouraged during the cooler months.
How long does the ride take?
- Each tour takes approximately 60 – 70 minutes. There is a 15-minute safety briefing prior to the ride and two stops along your journey to take in the views, enjoy a snack, and learn a little history of the area.
Do I have to book ahead of time or can I just show up?
- Booking online ahead is strongly recommended. Due to the popularity of the Carson Canyon Rail Bike Rides and the limited number of seats available, many tours sell out quickly, particularly on weekends. Seats are not held in reserve for walk-ups. Call 855-724-5102 or visit our online booking system for availability.
How can I pass a slower rail bike?
- Passing is not possible – the aim is to enjoy the journey, not to go as fast as you can. Give other riders space – PLEASE DO NOT TAILGATE!
Is it safe to ride during COVID-19?
- Rail bikes are sterilized between each scheduled ride, but not at each stop, so please never trade rail bikes along the route.
THE V&T TRAIN RIDES FAQ
Does the V&T Railway’s train leave from the Nevada State Railroad Museum?
- No, the Depot is located 20 minutes from the museum. The Carson City to Virginia City train leaves from the Eastgate Depot, located at 4650 Eastgate Siding Road. Take Hwy 50 East past Eagle Valley Golf Course. Turn Right on Flint Dr. After 2/3 mile turn left and follow the signs to Eastgate Depot.
I have my reservation printout, where do I pick up my boarding pass?
- Your tickets can be picked up at the Will Call desk located inside the Eastgate Depot on the day of your ride. Your name will also be listed on our manifest for your ride date.
May I bring my pet?
- Pets are not allowed on any V&T Railway trains. Service animals are always welcome.
Are there restrooms on the train?
- Yes, there is a restroom available on each car and at both depots.
Are the cars heated/air-conditioned?
- The passenger cars are fully enclosed with large windows that can be opened. Once the train begins to move the cars are cooled by our Nevada breezes. The weather is usually quite comfortable during our regular operating season, but if the day is cool, we just close the windows.
What style of seating is on the passenger cars?
- Seats are bench-style and hold two people per bench. Individuals requiring a full bench may purchase a special ticket by calling 877-724-5007 for details.
Is there food/drink available on the train?
- Water is available for purchase on the train. We ask that you help us preserve our beautifully restored Pullman passenger cars by not eating on the train trip. You may bring food to eat once you arrive in Virginia City or enjoy one of Virginia City’s many restaurants.
How much time do we have in Virginia City?
- Approximately 3 hours. The return train to Carson City departs promptly at 3:00 pm.
What is there to do in Virginia City?
- Virginia City is a lively town with lots of special events, shops, restaurants and old-time saloons. Stop by the visitors’ center at 86 South C Street or check their website at visitvirginiacitynv.com. Free tourism guides are available at the Eastgate Depot.
Is there food available at the depots?
- Yes, snacks are available but must be consumed prior to boarding the train.
What will the weather be like?
- Virginia City is about 10 degrees cooler than Carson City. Bring a jacket just in case and remember to keep hydrated at the higher altitude.
What should I wear?
- Comfortable shoes, a hat for sunny days and a jacket if it is cool and breezy.
How long does it take to get to Virginia City?
- The ride will be about one hour and 30 minutes from the time you leave the Eastgate Depot. The return trip is a bit shorter, but the train may stop to view the wild mustangs if they are in the area.
What do we do on the train?
- The trip is fully narrated by our knowledgeable conductors. You will learn about the Comstock’s mining history, pass through two tunnels, see amazing scenery and hopefully spot some wildlife, including deer, coyotes and wild mustangs.
How do we get from the F Street Depot to C Street in Virginia City?
- There will be shuttles waiting for when you arrive. They will take you up to C street and pick you up again in time to catch the 3 pm train. Tips are appreciated! If you prefer the short walk up the hill you are free to walk.
Is there a shuttle available to the Carson City Eastgate Depot?
- No, but if you need to return to the Eastgate Depot early you will have to arrange a ride with Uber or call Capital Cab at 775 831-2333.
What is the difference between the diesel and the steam engine?
- Our steam engines are over 100 years old and are great examples of early locomotive power. They will provide you with an authentic early railroading experience. Our diesel engines are mid-century and very powerful. Regardless of which engine, the train will still follow the same historic route and include the Pullman passenger cars.
Can I donate to the Reconstruction?
- Absolutely! There is more track to lay… so please make a donation online at either depot or by mail to PO Box 1711, Carson City, NV 89702. Please make checks payable to the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway.
What should we do after the train ride?
- Carson City, Nevada’s Capital, has several wonderful restaurants, museums, walking and biking trails and a variety of lodging options for before and after your trip. Stop in at the visitors’ center at 716 N. Carson Street, right next to the Nevada State Museum, or check out their web site at visitcarsoncity.com
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ FAQ
This is a one-hour train ride, you will not be getting off at the North Pole. We ask for your cooperation in leaving strollers, car seats, large diaper bags and backpacks in your vehicles or at the Depot.
When will THE POLAR EXPRESS™ tickets go on sale?
- Tickets go on sale each spring and are available on our website. For additional notice regarding ticket sales, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who needs a ticket?
- Anyone 2 years or older will need a ticket. Children 24 months and under, who can sit on an adult’s lap, are free.
How are tickets sold?
- Tickets are sold on this website or by calling 855-724-5102. Tickets for this event sell quickly and advance purchases are encouraged.
- VIP Tickets – These tickets are for our 1890’s Parlor Car which holds 30 passengers. This intimate setting is perfect for large families or groups and includes a keepsake ceramic mug and a large Christmas cookie.
- Coach Class Tickets – Each Coach Class car has available seating for 70 passengers. All 70 seats will be filled. All children 2 years and under must be held on an adult’s lap unless a ticket is purchased for the child. All passengers holding a coach ticket will receive hot chocolate and a cookie.
Are seats assigned?
- Tickets are assigned at the Depot by passenger car. Seating within the cars is open, so groups wishing to sit together should arrive early to ensure they are at the head of the boarding line for their car. Groups are not guaranteed to sit together. Our seating is limited and cannot accommodate extra baggage. All seats will be occupied by passengers so it is crucial that we have room for everyone.
Where are my tickets?
- Your tickets will be ready for pickup at the Depot located at 4650 Eastgate Siding Road, Carson City, 30 minutes before departure on the day of your train. Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your departure to ensure time to pick up tickets and board the train. There will be a heated waiting area provided.
Are there any refunds or exchanges?
- There are no cash refunds. Cancellations require two weeks’ notice and will be provided as gift cards for a future ride. If space is available, date exchanges can be done two weeks in advance and will include a 15% fee.
I would like to bring a group, are there group discounts?
- Sorry, due to the popularity of this event, there are no group discounts.
Why should my children dress in their pajamas?
- In the story, all the children taking this magical train ride are awakened from their beds on Christmas Eve. Join the fun by bringing your children in their pajamas. Adults are also encouraged to join the PJ party fun too. Please dress accordingly with winter coats as it can be cold in the loading area.
If I haven’t read the book or seen the movie will I still have a good time?
- Yes, you can read along or just listen as we read the storybook on our train ride to the North Pole. If you have read the book or seen the movie you will feel like you’ve just stepped off the pages as we recreate the story with your child as part of the cast. Feel free to bring your copy of THE POLAR EXPRESS for the conductor to sign, or purchase a copy at our depot.
Do you keep a wait list for sold-out trains?
- Yes, you can access the waitlist here.
Is the event handicapped accessible?
- Yes. A wheelchair ramp is available on-site. We encourage you to contact the railroad with any questions.
Are there hotels in town?
- There are a variety of hotel choices in Carson City and the surrounding area. Many of these hotels are offering room packages that will provide room discounts for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ event. Please contact the individual hotels to learn the specifics of their room packages. You may call 800 Nevada-1 for more information or go to Plan Your Trip.
Is there more to do in Carson City than just attend THE POLAR EXPRESS™ event?
- YES! We suggest that you make a weekend out of your trip to visit the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Carson City also features, bowling, movies, and top-notch accommodations. For older visitors, there are several casinos and great restaurants.
DAY OF EVENT INFORMATION
When should I arrive for my train?
- Trains depart PROMPTLY at their scheduled departure time. Please arrive no less than 30 minutes to allow time for picking up tickets from Will Call, visiting the restroom, and gift shop. Should you miss your train, there are no refunds or exchanges. The trains operate on Pacific Standard Time.
How long is the train ride?
- The train ride is about 60 minutes per round trip.
Will I get to meet the conductor of the train?
- Yes, he will call ‘All Aboard’ when the train is ready to leave the station and he will punch your train ticket during the trip.
Will my child get to meet Santa personally?
- Santa will board the train at the North Pole and give a sleigh bell to each child during the return trip.
Is there a restroom available on board the train?
- There are no restrooms on board the train. There are restrooms available for use before and after the ride at the train station.
Will there be other things to do at the Depot?
- Yes, you will find holiday gift ideas at the Polar Express Gift Shop and the Ticket Office Gift Shop.
Will there be food service available at the event?
- No. There is no food service at the event. There are a variety of restaurants in the Carson City area, please check online at visitcarsoncity.com or call 800 NEVADA-1
Is parking available?
- Free parking is available at the Eastgate Depot.
Will there be opportunities for professional pictures?
- Yes, a professional photographer will be onsite to take pictures of guests in front of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ backdrop with Santa Claus. Photos will be available for purchase.
Are strollers permitted?
- Strollers are welcome at the event but are not permitted onboard the train. Stroller parking will be available track side.
May I bring my pet?
- Pets are not allowed at THE POLAR EXPRESS™ event. Service animals are always welcome.
What is the inclement weather policy?
- The Polar Express will not be canceled due to inclement weather. Please use your own judgment on safe driving conditions from where you start and to our destination. No refunds will be given due to storms or highway controls.