Sunday, 30 March 2014

Snow bound

Sunday morning at Auburn dawned clear and calm, with patchy cloud. After consulting on line resources, the command decision to tackles Donner Pass without snow chains was made - just do it.

The upper ski-fields got just under 2 feet of snow overnight, and the snow clearing guys did an excellent job of clearing the roads.

We called into Colfax where there was no signs of snow or any trains, so continued on. Within a few minutes and at about 3000 feet altitude we hit the white stuff - the whole place looked stunning - I got the drive to Soda Springs on GoPro, so should look pretty good.

The ski-field car park where I wanted to park hadn't been cleared by the plow guys, but one further along had been, so we had asafe place to park and only about 50 metres to walk to the grade crossing - 3 short trains later we were happy, which is just as well as the cloud soon rolled in and it started snowing.

We continued east and stopped at Truckee for lunch, where there was still plenty of snow on the ground, but the weather hadn't caught up yet.

While feeding our faces we saw an intermodal pass through, however this was soon followed by an empty grain train. I decided to continue east to Verdi, Nevada where we arrived just in time to catch this same train again.

We then headed back to Auburn and called into Hirschdale and sat on the bridge for a while, only to see one Amtrak pass through. The drive to Auburn was a real doozy - lots of snow - and it was still falling.

Upon arriving back at Auburn, it was soon realised that the bad weather was passing over and the light improving, so a select few decided to return to the tunnel at Newcastle where just after 5 minutes a ballast Herzog train passed through - timing.

Back to Auburn for dinner, shower and a good sleep.

I got a sunburned head at Soda Springs. More to come no doubt.

Piccies below:

Soda Springs

Soda Springs

Soda Springs

Lead loco for the Flanger set at Truckee

Spreader sets at Truckee

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