Union Pacific’s Feather River Canyon route still closed

Snows on Donner Pass trigger rotary plows into service
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Union Pacific's former Southern Pacific rotary snow plow SPMW 207 is back to work sending snow skyward over Donner Pass in California on Feb. 25. The plow last operated over the pass in 2016, when it returned from rebuilding.
Mike Haire
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Union Pacific’s route through the Feather River Canyon is still closed from heavy rains that plagued northern California starting more than three weeks ago.

In its latest customer service advisory, railroad managers say the last remaining rail outage is located between Oroville and Portola, Calif. The route is part of UP’s ex- Western Pacific main line through the Feather River Canyon.

Due to extensive repairs that are needed to restore the line to operation, the railroad could not provide an estimate on when the line could reopen.

The railroad had reopened its rail line from Portola east to Winnemucca, Nev., on the former Western Pacific. The railroad’s ex- Southern Pacific line, including Donner Pass, was still operational during the weekend despite heavy snows.

The railroad activated its rotary snow plow across Donner Pass during the weekend to help combat heavy snow drifts on the former SP route. Freight rail traffic is still running between 24 and 48 hours behind schedule in the area. Rotary plows last traversed Donner Pass in March 2016 when former Southern Pacific plow SPMW No. 207 returned to service for tests after extensive re-building.

Amtrak’s eastbound California Zephyr train No. 6 for Feb. 26 was running about 90 minutes late as of Sunday night. It departed Reno, Nev., approximately 1 hour and 26 minutes late.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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