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March 1997 - Page 63


N orden after leaving Shed 1 0 proved to be the heavi est plowing of the tri p . A t the Soda Springs crossing, Mahon wished every one a Merry Christmas and departed for home and a well-deserved rest. The spreaders plowed out the No. 2 track from Shed 47 to Truckee, arriving back at 7 : 50

p.m. An additional 1 8 inches of snow had fallen that day-bringing the stOl1n total to 72 inches-but the rail road had been cleared, and trains were moving easily. The valiant DOlmer snowfighters had eamed their rest. I shared q u i c k good-byes and Christmas wishes with Jerry Tausch and Steve La Vigne, and drove home over the mountain to Yuba City. As I m a d e m y way, m y m i n d wandered back t o the previous two days. I thought about the dedication of Mahon, La Vigne, Tausch, and Jacques-officials deeply respected by their men. These l eaders set a n examp l e t h ro u g h t h e i r w o r k e t h i c , whether i t i s expressed o n the end of a shovel or through su pervising a gang of men. I t 's t h e profe s s i o n a l i s m of these men t h a t keep trains r o l l i n g over D o n n e r P a s s-a place that receives more snow t h a n any other rai l road loca tion in the continental United S ta tes. R ailNews

OPPOSITE PAGE: Inside the last remaining wooden snowshed at the west portal of Tunnel 41, a spreader waits for a green signal on Oec. 23, 1 998. LEFT: On the night of Dec. 22, 1 998, a flanger plows the heavy snow near Upper Cascade bridge west of Norden, Calif. BELOW: As flanger power heads east for Truckee, a spreader pauses at the West Nor den snowsheds on Dec. 23, 1 998.

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