Months after the final Golden Spike was hammered into place and the very first transcontinental railroad was open for service, an avalanche near Donner Summit damaged hundreds of feet of track and a subsequent blizzard left miles more buried under deep snow. Service on the railroad ground to a halt for weeks and as soon as the snows thawed, 42 miles of snowsheds would be built by the Central Pacific Railroad to protect their line. Initally constructed out out of 65 million board feet of lumber, the original snowsheds were soon replaced with stonger and fire resistant concrete structures and, are what you can find still standing today.
For 130 years, Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and AMTRAK ran trains though these snowsheds and was only abandoned and left to sit idle back in 1997. Up the summer of 2012, you could actually drive your Jeep through these amazing snowsheds but, for one reason or another, Union Pacific finally decided to construct a permanent barrier and block off vehicular access. Lucky for us, we were able to take Moby through one last time before they were closed and, these are some pics we took our final trip through. I hope you enjoy.
Donner Summit Snow Sheds Final Run Photos