Statement of Significance (as of designation - September 20, 2006):
Established in 1905 to support the areas booming copper mining industry, the Nevada Northern Railways East Ely Facility is examplary of steam-era rail yards that maintained and repaired the nations rail traffic. However, the dieselization of the railroad industry during the second half of the twentieth century led to major alterations or demolition of railroad yards and shops nationwide. Amazingly, East Ely survived that era unscathed, and it remains essentially unaltered by modern upgrades or demolitions. East Ely, with its depots, offices, shops, yards, motive power and rolling stock, represents the best preserved, least altered, and most complete main yard complex of a historic standard gauge, common carrier, steam-powered railroad in the United States.