Steamscape: American Flat. Just north of American Flat Tunnel, a V&T Freight passes through a rock cut and begins to traverse the wide, sweeping horseshoe curve at American Flat. Known as the "crookedest shortline in America", the V&T Virginia City Branch follows the contours of the hills as it takes about the most circuitous path possible to reach Gold Hill and Virginia City. On the run from Carson City to Virginia City, it is said that there are enough degrees of curve to make 17 complete circles!!!. That's the old mining town of Gold Hill that you see in the distance on the left. Physically, it is probably less than two miles distant, but the train will travel roughly double that distance getting there, on a steady 2.2% grade doing so.