This deluxe narrow gauge volume traces the amazing story of this three-foot-gauge railroad that ran through the heart of the great American Basin. Built to carry the commerce of rich silver and gold strikes, the Nevada Central struggled against tremendous odds for six decades. Often called a line in the sand, the 93-mile-long rail route ran between Battle Mountain, where it connected with the Central Pacific, in a south-westerly direction to Austin, Nevada. Most of the rail was 35# iron; the struggling railroad line crossed 66 timber trestles between its end points. The railroad began construction in 1879 to help open up the vast and virtually unpopulated area of the Silver State. Running through some of the most barren and remote high desert sagebrush and mountain country in the West, the Nevada Central rolled down through the years with much of its original equipment, mainly because it could never afford to purchase anything newer. The line was finally abandoned in December 1937 and was sold for scrap the next year. The narrow gauge equipment that forms a major part of the California State Railroad Museum collection came from the Nevada Central. In 1938, the late Disney artist Ward Kimball purchased the Nevada Central's 1881-built #2 Mogul for $400. The former Sidney Dillon was transported to the orange grove where Ward and his wife, Betty, were building a new home. The locomotive joined a former Carson & Colorado coach, and Ward s railroad collection started to grow. For the author, a former combat fighter pilot, this is his 20th book about railroads. He has been called the best-loved narrow gauge railroad author in the United States. The Virginia native has authored hundreds of railroad articles and won dozens of awards with his exquisite models. Ferrell s picture collections of railroads and the Old West number well over 150,000 prints. Ferrell says his research on his latest book included mixing with cowboys, sheepmen, ranchers and thirsty miners at Austin's (Nevada) Golden Club Saloon, and listening to their stories of the real Old West.
Mallory Hope Ferrell, a native Virginian, roamed the hills of Tweetsie Country as a boy. A graduate of the University of Miami, the author now lives in Peachtree City, Georgia with his wife, Gloria.