Preserving a Legacy

One man’s determination to chase the future would bring rails to the West’s frontier. Founded in 1880 as the Nevada & Oregon Railway, the railroad was born in the heart of Reno, NV. Financial struggles, slow progress, and a shootout which led to new owners and a new name: the Nevada & California Railway. But there was one more shakeup before the re-established NEVADA – CALIFORNIA – OREGON RAILWAY would lay its final rails to Lakeview, Oregon in 1912.

Under the guiding hand of John T. Davies, and later the Moran Brothers, tracks laid along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevadas would establish new places and connect rural communities. Names like Chat, Doyle, Amedee, Waverly, Termo, Madeline, Alturas, Fairport, Lakeview, and others would each become home to a whistle stop, freight siding, or depot along the line of the N-C-O Ry.

Like all good things, this era ended when the N-C-O Ry. was sold to Southern Pacific Railroad. By 1929, the narrow gauge locomotives pulled their last trains, the line was changed to standard gauge, and much of the equipment and rolling stock was transferred to other railways, scrapped or sold off to the local ranches as bunk houses or sheds. A chapter in railroad history had come to an end and the narrow gauge legacy began.

Join us as we dive into the 50 year history of one of America’s longest narrow gauge railways. As a non-profit historical society, we are working together with researchers, preservations, and volunteers like you to bring to life the legacy of the N-C-O Ry. Explore our website and visit our Facebook page to learn more. Volunteer, subscribe, and become a member today!

Mission & Vision

MISSION

A nonprofit historical society dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Nevada California Oregon Railway.

PURPOSE

To bring together people interested in preserving Nevada California Oregon Railway history.

To collect, archive, preserve, and restore equipment and artifacts relating to the Nevada California Oregon Railway.

To perform research and documentation in relation to the Nevada California Oregon Railway.

To establish exhibits in order to educate the general public of the history of the Nevada California Oregon Railway.

VISION

To become a foundational entity in the region telling the stories of the people, the communities, and the industries touched by the Nevada California Oregon Railway.

To be recognized as an integral partner in the historical community for research, collections, preservation, and education.

To be a positive force within the communities connected by the Nevada California Oregon Railway.

Our Objective

The Nevada-California-Oregon Railway and its Board of Directors, have laid out the following objectives as our focus for the next few years:

Who Has What

Create an archival reference catalog of all documents, photographs, and artifacts in various institutional and private collections.  Maintain for future public and research reference.

Where in the World

Create a real-time list of the location, condition, and future movements of any rolling stock, locomotives, and other equipment. Provide site surveys, photographs, and research on each.

N-C-O in Pictures

Build a photo archive following the mission and purpose of the collection.

Working on the Railroad

Document the history and experiences of all those connected to the railway.

  • Founders and Presidents: the story of the N-C-O Ry from 1879 to 1929
  • Employees: their experience working for the railway
  • Passengers: what was it like taking the N-C-O Ry
  • Shippers: what did the N-C-O Ry carry and for whom
  • Suppliers: who were the businesses and people supplying materials to build the railroad.

Acquisition

In addition to these four areas of focus, the Society will work to acquire the remaining rolling stock still in private ownership. The objective will be to ensure proper preservation in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. As time and resources permit, it is our goal to have these artifacts available to other organizations, institutions, and academics to study as preservation and restoration work is completed.

Board of Directors

Shane J. Starr – President – president@NCORy.org

Serves as District Representative for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, CA-01. In his capacity, Shane works directly with the constituents, communities, and counties of Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra. Shane previously worked for the State of California as an appointee under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger serving as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. There he managed special projects and the Governor’s international trips. Shane is an alumnus of the Great Valley Center Public Policy Fellowship, and CSU, Chico where he graduated with a B.A. in History, and teaching credential in Secondary Education. Shane has had a lifelong interest in railroad history. Growing up in Oroville, CA, he became a fan of the Western Pacific Railroad and its Feather River Route. Shane resides in Alturas.

Eugene Vicknair – Vice President – vicepresident@NCORy.org

Is co-founder and principal in Driven Innovation, a product development company in Silicon Valley.  He is also a member of the Feather River Rail Society, a 501c(3) museum in Plumas County dedicated to preserving the history of the Western Pacific Railroad, since 1985.  Since 1999, Eugene has served on the FRRS Board of Directors and as their corporate secretary.  Among his major projects for the FRRS are spearheading the design of a museum Master Plan, including innovative display buildings for the facility.  Eugene holds a BS – Industrial Design degree from San Jose State University with additional studies in Business Management, Psychology and Electrical Engineering.

Andrew Brandon – Secretary – secretary@NCORy.org

Serves as Curator and Archivist for the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum located in Nevada City, CA. Andrew has studied railroad history for over 25 years, becoming an expert in site surveys or railroad equipment and facilities. In his work, Andrew is a prominent resource in original paint evaluations and re-creation, along with schematic drawings of original equipment. Andrew also serves on board of directors for the Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Historical Society. In 2009, he helped found PacificNG.org, a website dedicated to researching narrow-gauge railroads around the Pacific Rim. In 2018, Andrew published, Railroads of Nevada County, an Arcadia Publishing Co. history book.

Laura K. Snell – Treasurer – treasurer@NCORy.org

Laura Snell has been the Livestock and Natural Resource advisor in Modoc County for over 5 years with UC Cooperative Extension. She has also been the Modoc County Director since 2017. Laura received her B.S. in Water Science and M.S. in Agronomy with a Range Science specialty from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She specializes in navigating the public/private land interface working collaboratively with public and private land managers, policy makers, and the public on issues such as wild horse management, post-fire grazing, water quality and quantity, and rural development. She has been involved in the Society for Range Management, Wildlife Society, Public Lands Council, and several local advisory groups. Laura enjoys helping clientele address local problems with on-the-ground solutions and mentoring the next generation of land managers. When she is not working, she is hiking with her dog Zuri and helping her husband, Shane, with the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway. 

Trevor Albertson, PhD – Communications Director – press@NCORy.org

Serves as the President and Superintendent (Interim) of Lassen College in Susanville, California.  Prior to this, Trevor served as a faculty member at the Department of Defense’s Air Command and Staff College.  Trevor also served as a faculty member at the US Air Force Academy, where he taught political science.  In his professional capacity, Trevor served as Deputy Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, served in the US Air Force where he was an intelligence officer, and was an aide to Congressman Dennis Cardoza (CA-18).  Trevor earned his PhD in World Cultures and History from the University of California, Merced, and was a University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Dissertation Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies.  He is the author of the peer reviewed book, Winning Armageddon: Curtis LeMay and Strategic Air Command, 1948-1957.