Pentrex presents a rare and exclusive look at a Union Pacific rotary snowplow at work. In January 1993, a series of cold Pacific storms brought heavy snowfall to northern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Union Pacific Railroad’s mainline through the Feather River Canyon was unusually hard hit.
While spreaders kept the mainline open, trains made slow progress through the Canyon due to inoperative signals, snowbound sidings, and frozen switches. Pentrex has captured the beauty of this winter wonderland as trains attempt to negotiate the snow-covered Feather River Route. For the first time since it acquired the line in 1982, the Union Pacific dispatched one of its Cheyenne-based rotary snowplows to Portola, California. Not since the days of the Western Pacific Railroad has a rotary been needed to protect the mainline through the Feather River Canyon.
Steve Lee, Manager of Steam Operations for the UP, takes you on a tour through the cab of the rotary and explains its history and operations. From trackside and aboard the train you will experience this awesome machine at work. The battle of snowplow against the winter elements is captured here for you to experience in all its fascinating splendor.