Thursday, November 22, 2007

"The Iron Horse: The way to Sierra winter sports"

"The Iron Horse: The way to Sierra winter sports" by Mark McLaughlin, © Sierra Sun, November 13, 2007. (News Article)

" ... The Southern Pacific railroad's Snowball Express delivered winter sports enthusiasts to Truckee in the 1930s. ... Building a railroad over the Sierra Nevada, however, was a major challenge to the men laying the rails, especially during the heavy winters of 1867 and 1868. Forty-four snowstorms during the winter of 1867 took a lethal toll on the Chinese railroad crews struggling to reach the Sierra Crest west of Coburn’s Station (soon re-named Truckee). Total accumulation on Donner Pass that year exceeded 40 feet, which effectively shut down all construction except for tunnel work. One avalanche wiped out an entire work camp; when the bodies were discovered the following spring, work tools were still clutched in their hands. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]