Steamscape: The Overman Pit. A V&T Freight, en route to Virginia City, Crosses the high fill on the edge of the Overman Pit, just after dawn on a cold winter morning.
Although the scene is spectacular, this is one of the few places on the reconstructed V&T, where you just can't re-create historic shots from the early 1900s. That's because the 800 foot-wide, 300 foot-deep open pit mine that you see on the right side of the photo never existed in the era when the original V&T ran from Carson City to Virginia City. That big hole, called Overman Pit, was created after the V&T ceased operations on the Virginia City Branch back in 1938. By the time the State of Nevada got around to thinking about rebuilding that line as a tourist attraction in the mid-2000s, the mining companies had created a major obstacle to that idea. Rather than fill in the hole, railroad engineers decided to create a rather spectacular fill on the eastern side of the pit, consisting of 300,000 cubic yards of earth and stone. It was the single biggest construction effort involved in the rebuilding of the V&T, but a very worthwhile one. Although the project has not returned the land to its historic state, it has turned a man-made eye-sore into something that has a beauty all its own.