Mark Requa’s Nevada Consolidated Copper Company laid 150-mile of track from Cobre, on the Southern Pacific line, to Ely in 1905-06 to haul ore from the Copper Flat mines west of Ely.
Ore was loaded into railroad gondolas at Copper Flat for the trip to the smelter at McGill, over a double-track trestle that was 1720 feet long. The trestle burned in 1922 and was replaced with an earth-fill span.
Passenger service and the “school train” carrying McGill youth to Ely High School ended in 1941. With the closing of local copper mines in 1983, the railroad ceased operations. Currently, part of the line serves the Nevada Northern Railway Museum for live steam rides. The East Ely shop complex for the Railway was listed as a National Historic Landmark District in 2006.