This is the story of nature’s bitter legacy of snow on the mountain each winter season and the Union Pacific’s annual effort to keep a green light burning on the mainline. Learn about the history of weather, snow sheds, and snow clearing equipment used on the mountain. Learn about the strategies of deployment and how the Flanger and other snow clearing equipment work together to clear snow and keep the rails open. Find out how equipment is “turned” on the Balloon Track and “flipped” back to Truckee. Hear the real inside story from the “Bear”, legendary boss of Espee’s snow service crews who worked Donner Pass. Hear colorful stories from Richard Steinheimer, famed railroad photographer. Learn about Donner’s fascinating railroad history from Ken Yeo, local railroad historian; and hear from Mike Pechner, UP’s weather forecast consultant for Donner, and much more.
Witness white-out conditions through the diesel cab’s rotating windows, forcing our flanger crew to pause their night operations to dig out switches in the light of their diesel ditch lights. Experience the spectacular camera views of the flanging operation as snow is shot careening over banks and bridges with breathtaking scenery in its path. Hear the engineer & conductor explain details of the flanger operation. Experience what it’s really like to ride inside the flanger “box”.