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All-New ‘Snowbound in the Sierra’ Exhibit to Showcase Historic 1920s Rotary Snowplow

Back by popular demand, visitors to the California State Railroad Museum now have the opportunity to see an impressive 251,000-pound rotary snowplow from the Museum’s collection, along with a compelling and all-new exhibit titled “Snowbound in the Sierra.”

With the historic snowplow as an eye-catching centerpiece, the exhibit highlights the dramatic story of 226 passengers and crew members who were rescued – with the help of crews working around the clock and seven rotary snowplows – after being trapped on a luxury streamliner locomotive during a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada in 1952. The exhibit will include riveting narrative from passengers and crew, a special kiosk, exhibit case and video, along with an interactive game.

The historic rotary snowplow on display in the Museum Roundhouse was built in 1920, converted to electric in 1958, retired by Union Pacific in 2004 and was donated to the Railroad Museum in 2008. Since then, the historic snowplow has been housed in the Shops in the Sacramento Railyards.

The historic rotary snowplow and exhibit will give Museum visitors an understanding of how early snow removal methods were cumbersome, arduous and often dangerous but will also highlight the critical role they played in saving lives and clearing the path for freight and transportation. Rotary snowplows were often used by the railroad as a very last resort – such as was the case for the City of San Francisco locomotive highlighted in the exhibit – due to the incredible expense involved.  Rotary snowplows only moved five to ten miles per hour, had high fuel costs and required an elite crew. It is estimated that less than 200 rotary snowplows still exist throughout the world today.

The rotary snowplow and the companion “Snowbound in the Sierra” exhibit will be on display in the Museum’s Roundhouse at least through April 2018 and are included in Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under.

For more information about the snow plow, exhibit or the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280 or visit CaliforniaRailroad.museum.

All-New ‘Snowbound in the Sierra’ Exhibit to Showcase Historic 1920s Rotary Snowplow via @sacramentopress

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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