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I came up with the idea for this section of the webpage while working the Jordan Spreader in the Cascades in 2007. The manager overseeing the snow removal operations, John Day, has several years experience working Donner Pass under Jim Mahon including several stories about working Donner.

I contacted Dick Dorn for assistance with constructing this section and owe a great deal of gratitude to him. If there are those out there that would like to contribute to this section, feel free to e-mail me.


When the Central Pacific Railroad built it's Donner Pass crossing of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in eastern California, new challenges were waiting just around the corner. Snowfall in the Sierras ranks among the highest in terms of accumulation, pushing men and equipment to their limits.

Donner Pass became the Southern Pacific's proving ground for snowfighting techniques which were adopted at other locations of the railroad as well. Much of the equipment used today is the same equipment that was used in the 1970s. Fixed and Broken Wing Jordan Spreaders along with the Flangers and Caterpillar dozers are a common sight on Donner, leaving the heavy snow removal to the Rotary Snowplows

This webpage depicts all aspects of the snow removal on Donner Pass and will be ongoing as far as new photo additions.

Below you will find an index to the photos of snowfighint operations on Donner Pass. I would like to thank Dick Dorn for his assistance in getting this portion of the webpage off the ground!

A flanger blasts east through Soda Springs on #1 Track, December 22, 1996

All photos within this web page MAY NOT be reproduced at any time. If you see a photo on this website that is yours, or you know who it belongs to and you know it should not be posted, e-mail me ASAP so as to remove it or provide proper credit where needed.

I do not make any profit from this webpage and that's how it will remain! The purpose of this webpage is to provide a source of valuable historical information at no charge. This website is in no way affiliated with the former Southern Pacifc Railroad, or Union Pacific Railroad.

Thank you!!!

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© Joel Ashcroft
Joel's Southern Pacific in The Cascades