Donner Pass Thunder

(4 customer reviews)

$29.95 $21.95

From old Sacramento to Reno, Nevada here are all the challenges of the Southern Pacific's Sierra crossing. Filmed over three decades in all types of weather.

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SKU: DVD-CSP-111 Categories: ,

From old Sacramento to Reno, Nevada here are all the challenges of the Southern Pacific’s Sierra crossing. Filmed over three decades in all types of weather and with every type of SP train caught on film — from 1955 to 1995 — see a lot of change come to the Southern Pacific. Ride a F7 powered passenger train in a raging snow storm. See early diesel power and the history of the line’s construction, the snow sheds, tunnels and more. Visit the old pre-merger Roseville hump yard and see a wonderful mix of old SD and GP “high-hood” power.

Donner Pass was America’s first line into California and we cover the politics, engineering and construction of this historic line. The last years of the SP are also covered with great action – including “Tunnel motors” built to cope with the extensive, long tunnels and snow sheds. Expect long trains, lots of helper units with foreign power mixed in! Wonderful Donner Pass action for the Southern Pacific railfan!

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4 reviews for Donner Pass Thunder

  1. Aw

    One of my all time C S P videos. Charles Smiley is my all time favorite producer. His videos are the most informative and professionally put together. I would call them true documentaries. If you like to learn about railroads this is the guy to watch.

  2. Dylan Jones

    Charles Smiley does it again. This video is absolutely stunning. Very informative for those wanting to learn more about the SP (Southern Pacific) or Donner Pass. Lots of Maps, great graphics, and awesome narration. Would recommend all of Charles Smiley’s Products to everyone!

  3. rrvideoman, Delisle Saskatchewan

    Start in Sacramento and follow the SP up the mountains through Donner Pass to Reno Nevada. Lots of old engines, including GP-9’s, SD-9’s, high hoods, SD-40’s, AC4400’s, F-40’s, Alco PA-1’s & RS-11’s, etc. Plenty of RR names represented some of which are Amtrak, WC, C&NW, BN, Chessie, CP with the dual flags, and many more. Climb grades that reach 2.4% and see lots of snow in a region that averages 450 inches per year. Snow fighting equipment makes appearances, but not as well covered as found in Extreme SP. Notable is the coverage of the history of California. The passenger ride on Christmas Eve through a heavy snow fall, and the return trip under sunny skies on Christmas Day 1971. Maps of Immigrant Gap with the massive show sheds. Also interesting is photo’s and filmage of Cab Forwards. An interesting movie that was a good purchase.

  4. Tuscaloosa

    The narrator tells a great story and uses maps to help tell it. Nice use of vintage film too. I don’t know about the thunder part, but the trains are great.

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