Greg Corbin is heading back to his future, living the reality what goes around comes around for him in a career immersed in railroad history.
“I relocated from Carson City down here in 1998,” said Corbin, who for 16 years has been the Nevada State Railroad Museum director in Boulder City. He returns Monday to become director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, the place where railroad museum work began for him. “It’s, to me, like going full circle.”
Corbin has worked in the state museum system for more than 33 years and was on hand as the railroad museum along Carson Street took shape after V&T Railway cars handled by the state parks system were turned over to the new Department of Museums and History in the early 1980s.
“I was there from the beginning,” he said in a telephone interview from Boulder City this week. He said facetiously the railroad museum in Carson City has his carbon footprint on it. “To have the opportunity to come back and be director is great.”
Corbin, who started in August of 1981, said he celebrated 33 years in the system last Sunday. Next Monday he starts his new role in Carson City.
“I’m going to assess things when I get there,” he said, adding no big plans are necessary because the museum here is well established. He said he would focus on short-term goals that require few resources, fix anything that might need fixing, and keep things low key until needs grow apparent and resources are available.
“I’m going to keep my goals relatively simple,” he said.
He began with work as facilities supervisor, overseeing the maintenance program, managing development projects, and was involved in exhibit construction and other railroad-related restoration projects. In 1989, he was named Nevada’s first assistant administrator of railroad operations for the Department of Museums and History.
In 1998, he became the first and only director at the railroad museum in Boulder City. He also has been overseeing daily operation of the Nevada Southern Railway excursion train operations there.
Corbin recalls with fondness and clarity his previous time in Carson City. He said he met his wife, Nancy, and married her in the state capital. She also has worked for Nevada government more than three decades and now is deputy commissioner of the state’s mortgage lending division in the Department of Business and Industry.
He said their daughter, Erica, graduated from Carson High School in 1993, went on to earn undergraduate and master’s degrees and now is with the University of Washington in Seattle.
Corbin also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Warren Engine Co. from 1978 to the mid-1980s and recalls the biggest fire he fought in Carson City was the 1979 blaze at the Nevada Appeal on Bath Street.
“I was one of the initial attack team,” he said, entering the smoke-filled building and crawling with colleagues until they found the flames. “I remember that night well.”