See and hear two of the most famous steam locomotives climbing over the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California. Experience their massive pulling power like nothing you’ve ever seen. All along the line, people stopped what they were doing, waiting for a glimpse of this train. They stood and they stared at the spectacle as, for a moment, the two soot- breathing locomotives pulling their train, stopped the world and transported us back in time for a day. People watched in amazement as the Union Pacific Railroad’s Challenger # 3985 and Northern # 844 locomotives journeyed all the way from Cheyenne Wyoming steaming their way over Donner Pass in California.
The purpose of their journey included a rededication of the rebuilt Roseville Rail Yard, recently refurbished with millions of dollars by UP. The locomotives also steamed across country to participate in the Railfair 99 at the Sacramento State Railroad Museum. Traveling over the Sierra Nevada mountain range, these locomotive steamed through many of California’s famous railroad towns along the main line of the former Southern Pacific/Central Pacific main line over Donner pass. The engines rolled through towns and places like Truckee, Norden, Soda Springs, Cisco, Emigrant Gap, Gold Run, Colfax, Auburn, Rocklin, all the way to Roseville! The Donner Rails camera crews were strategically positioned at over 40 locations along this historic route between Sparks Nevada and Roseville California to catch all the adrenaline-pumping excitement. The journey for the locomotive crews and engineers was not without unexpected events. Hear their stories in rare interviews, and get the real story about what happened in Tunnel 41 as told by the engineers.