V&T Locomotive No 1: Lyon

From Carsonpedia

V&T Locomotive No. 1, also known as "The Lyon", is a historic locomotive that once ran on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. It was the first engine delivered to the railroad, arriving in Carson City before the tracks had even been laid. It was named for Lyon County, one of the three original counties that were served by the V&T.


The Lyon was built in 1869 at the H. J. Booth & Company works in San Francisco, CA. It was one of three engines ordered from Booth at the same time; #2 Ormsby and #3 Storey were the other two.

The locomotive arrived in Reno in early August 1869, and was dismantled and transported by wagon to Carson City in pieces. It was reassembled on the site of the depot at Carson and Washington streets, and placed on the rails September 29th, 1869, at a ceremony celebrating the first tracks laid for the V&T. That November it was the first engine to cross the Crown Point Trestle in Gold Hill, and in early January 1870 it was the first engine to make the whole trip from Carson City to Virginia City, marking the completion of the first phase of the V&T.

The Lyon was heavily used in the first few years of the railroad, but as newer and larger Baldwins were purchased this small engine quickly found itself no longer useful. In the late 1870s it could be found almost exclusively switching cars in the yard, and by 1880 it had been parked in the old enginehouse and retired completely. In May of 1887 space was needed in the enginehouse so the Lyon was moved to a siding outside the shop. In 1889 the Lyon spent a few months at the Nevada Reduction Works in Reno, working as a stationary boiler providing steam power. After it was done there it went back to Carson City, relocated to a short siding next to the State Orphan's Home at Fifth and Stewart. Here the Lyon rusted away for the rest of the century, slowly being stripped for parts until finally it was destroyed for scrap.


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