Although the Nevada Northern shut down in 1982 as an operating railroad, it is still a conspicuous presence in East Ely. Currently the complex consists of fifty-two structures and several pieces of vintage rolling stock. Running roughly southeast from the passenger depot, 11th Street once served as the main comercial thoroughfare; today most of the activity has moved to the main highways running through town.
The passenger depot is the most visible and public of the buildings. Most of the remaining structures are located to the northwest of it. Flanking the depot are the old communications building to the east and the freight depot to the west. The communications building once housed a telegraph office and now accommodates a souvenir shop and the offices of the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. The massive engine house anchors the yards at their west end. Emanating from it are several tracks leading to other structures, including the paint and car repair shops located to the east. Across the tracks from the passenger depot stand the coal tower, sand house, and water tower. Their isolated location allowed for easy loading of coal, sand, and water into the engines. The chief engineer's office is at the far east end of the yards, allowing the occupant a clear view of the yards all the way to the engine house.
In the 1980s Kennecott donated the land, buildings, rolling stock, and thirty-two miles of track to the White Pine County Historical Railroad Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The foundation now runs the Nevada Northern Railway Museum and operates train rides with vintage engines and cars in the summer months.