Henderson to Boulder City

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  • States: Nevada   
  • Railroads: UP   

The Boulder City Branch

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A small sampling of the railroad equipment stored at Boulder City, NV. This property belongs to the Nevada State Railroad Museum, whose main property is in Carson City, Nevada. Photo by Mike Palmer, June 2003.

In 1930, the Union Pacific built a branch line from a junction on its Los Angeles and Salt Lake mainline, just south (west) of Las Vegas, to the construction site for Boulder Dam. The branch passed through Henderson to Boulder City at the end of the line.

A separate US Government railroad was built from Boulder City to the actual dam construction site on the Colorado River. The dam was completed in 1935, and the US Government line was abandoned at that time. Much of the right-of-way of the Government railroad is underneath Lake Mead.

The UP continued to actively use its line as far as Henderson, and still does today. In 1985, the UP donated the Henderson-Boulder City segment to the Nevada State Railroad Museum. This segment is still in place, although at one time the grade crossing near Railroad Pass was paved over (see photo at right). As part of the restoration efforts of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, some of the track has been upgraded, and a station platform and engine shed were built. A tourist train, the Nevada Southern, now operates along the line.

There is a train that takes people from the Railroad Museum in Boulder City to Railroad Pass. The link for more information is : www.nevadasouthern.com

Tim
Las Vegas, NV
11/2/2009

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I was following the whole line on googlemaps.com

Dequante Bazemore
Chesapeake, VA
2/9/2010

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The third photo above indicates that the Boulder City platforms were built in anticipation of future tourist train operations from the station westward. Did such operations ever come to fruition?

Kevin M. Smith
Cicero, NY
5/13/2010

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ya, theres a tourist train that runs from Boulder City to Railroad Pass...probably a distance of 3-5 miles. It only runs on weekends.

Tim
Las Vegas, NV
6/6/2010

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Along the road from Boulder to the Dam you can see many miles of the old right of way and concrete culverts.there is a senic overlook on the Nevada side a little ways from the Dam where you go up a steep hill drive to a good size paved parking area.You look down on the lake from a cliff.Excavated into the cliff is the old ROW and a short tunnel.Inside the turbine room at the dam is an old RR flat car and track imbeded in the terrozo floor.

Dave
southeast, FL
7/8/2010

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The branch is still used today. There is a lot of industry which has popped up in recent years. The track and grade crossings are new at Roysom (where the BC branch spplits from the chemical plant sidings), and there is a yard between Stephanie and Gibson street which sees a lot of action. I have seen large equipment being transferred from a special depressed center flatcar to a giant truck headed for the dam on one occasion. The museum in Boulder City has traded some equipment that used to be seen behind the fence. There are some cosmetically restored steam engines now on display. The shay which sat for years was returned to its home railroad (Oregon?).

Joe Powell
Las Vegas, NV
2/21/2011

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That crossing on US routes 93 and 95 is paved over but not abandoned because I went to the Thomas event at that museum and someone from the Live Steamers told me that it is not abandoned because it can be uncovered which some day they are going to build a bridge in that area and extend the train ride but well although of course it might take a long time because they are going to wait until the Boulder Highway interchange is finished which will take awhile and trains are not using it right now so I don't know why in Mary Poppins heart they still have that crossing emergency notification sign there when they don't use that crossing.

Haydn Haycocks
Las Vegas, NV, NV
7/17/2012

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Are those signal lights at Boulder Highway from Harmon or Aurora? I keep passing by this crossing every time I take a visit to Nevada Southern Railway but unfortunately I can't get close enough to see if there is a brand name on them.

locomotivemaster
Las Vegas, NV, NV
7/18/2012

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Does anyone have info on a "schedule" for UPRR on the branch?

I'm going to Las Vegas soon. RHSachs201@Gmail.com

richard sachs
hackensack, NJ
3/26/2013

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It would be nice to have rail service between Boulder City and Las Vegas once again!

Fred Martinez
San Fernando, CA
12/9/2014

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These are great shots however I have photos I took all over the Vegas valley in the late 70s early 80s I'd like to share. Please let me know how.

Mark

ems4lv@aol.com

Mark
Las Vegas, NV
12/31/2015

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Much of the original ROW at Hoover Dam is now a walk/bike path, complete with the original tunnels and grade cuts. This path extends back to Boulder City.

Frank
Casa Grande , AZ
3/23/2016

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