Photo: Asif Islam/Shutterstock

This Train Brings You Into the Nevada Desert for World-Class Stargazing

Nevada Train Travel News Astronomy
by Eben Diskin Jul 12, 2019

Riding the train is a wonderful way to travel, even when the destination is the middle of nowhere. The historic Great Basin Star Train departs from Ely, Nevada, four hours north of Las Vegas, and brings passengers east of Ely to a site with zero light pollution to experience the rare beauty of a starry night sky.

The trains are pulled by vintage diesel locomotives, and leave around sunset so you can watch the sun sink below the Steptoe Valley. The trains also feature restrooms, wheelchair accessibility, and snacks and beverages for purchase.

Nevada Northern Railway

Photo: Nevada Northern Railway/Facebook

You can expect to spend about two hours stargazing in one of the darkest skies in the lower 48 — but don’t worry, you won’t just be stepping into a field totally on your own. Telescopes and astronomy guides will be on hand to guide you, so you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at.

Once you’re finished stargazing, the train will bring you back to Ely, where you’ll spend the night in either the railway’s bunkhouse or a working train caboose.

The train runs between May and September on select Fridays. Tickets for this summer are already sold out, but 2020 summer season tickets will go on sale this fall.

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