Several museums and historic depots around Nevada stand as testament to the importance of the railroad in forming and settling the West. The Nevada Northern Railway Museum is part of a 56-acre railroad complex on U.S. Highway 50 in eastern Nevada. The museum is responsible for more than 60 buildings and structures on the complex, the steam and diesel locomotives, the rolling stock, the track and the historic steam-powered excursion trains. The steam train powers up year-round with special “Polar Express” rides in the snowy winter months. Trains are so important to the history of Nevada, and the White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation, which manages the museum, has worked tirelessly to preserve the railroad in Ely, raising nearly $3.2 million that was invested in the complex and raising another $7.5 million that was invested in trains, rolling stock, infrastructure and tracks. In 2006 the museum received National Historic Landmark status and in 2008 it was recognized as the best museum in rural Nevada. Currently the museum is repairing and rebuilding one of its century-old steam engines, and when complete, the repaired train will be able to operate under steam power fro yet another century. Open daily, the museum is located at 1100 Avenue A in Ely. Its collection consists of three steam locomotives, six first generation diesel locomotives, two electric locomotives, a steam-powered crane and a steam-powered rotary snowplow. In addition the museum has six historic passenger cars, 50 historic freight cars and 30 miles of track. During the summer season, steam- and diesel-powered passenger train excursions are offered along with walking tours of the museum grounds. For more information, contact the Nevada Northern Railway Museum at 866-407-8326 or 775-289-2085 or visit http://nevadanorthernrailway.net.