Truckee-area contractors finalizing Kids Railroad shed |

Truckee-area contractors finalizing Kids Railroad shed

The Railroad Society desired the shed for history interpretation, onsite storage of the train in the winter, and for increased enjoyment of riding the train.
Courtesy photo |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — CATT Community Project, a charitable arm of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, recently coordinated construction of a historically accurate snow shed over the tracks at the Kids Railroad in Truckee River Regional Park.

The project began in early 2015, when Bob Bell of the Truckee Donner Railroad Society approached CATTCP for help.

The Railroad Society desired a 36-foot-long, 5-foot-wide, 7-foot-high shed for history interpretation, onsite storage of the train in the winter, and for increased enjoyment of riding the train.

Additional benefits of the proposed shed include educating all community visitors and citizens on the history of how the railroads keep the trains running over Donner Summit during heavy snow.

The project also offers opportunities to teach safety concerns that exist in current modern snow shed structures with the lack of clearances inside and the dangers resulting in walking in existing snow sheds on active railroad tracks.

The project caught the attention of Paul Zarubin (Mt. Lincoln Construction) who stepped up to become the Project Manager.

“Doug Gadow approached me to be the project manager, but I really had to put the bags on to get this project moving in the right direction,” said Paul. “We all in our hearts want to contribute to our community, but finding the time and recruiting volunteers is the hard part.”

The design — inspired by the historic Donner Summit snow sheds — was provided by architect Forrest Huisman as a gift to the Railroad Society.

The design was handed off to Doug Gadow (Linchpin Structural Engineering), who modified it based on feedback from Zarubin and the timber-frame manufacturer, and then provided structural engineering and permitting services to get the project approved for construction. Linchpin’s engineers also spent time assisting the construction of the shed.

Dave Rhoden (Caseywood), CATTCP President coordinated with Kurt Westerlund (Fraserwood) to procure the timber frames for the project.

Fraserwood volunteered to pre-notch and drill the timbers for easy assembly and arranged for them to be shipped from Canada. Caseywood donated additional materials and supplies valued close to $6,000.00.

“Paul and Doug were phenomenally instrumental in streamlining the building process, in terms of restructuring the design,” said Dave. “I was thrilled to be a part of this great project, by procuring the materials to build, via donations from Caseywood, Fraserwood, DHC Supplies, and Simpson Strong-Tie.”

In May 2016, the construction began with help from Brent Neil, Tom Smith, Greg Zirbel, Karl Pape, Steve Disbrow, Greg and John Kuzma and Jerry Blackwill.

The project is nearing completion and will serve as a permanent destination for educational programs year after year, as well as add riding interest on the miniature train.

Bob Bell concludes, “We want to educate all residents and visitors about Truckee railroad history and especially want parents and their children to understand and learn about the history of Truckee’s contribution to living and recreating along the country’s first transcontinental railroad.”

The public is invited to visit this remarkable project made possible by the Truckee Donner Railroad Society, generous donors and CATT Community Project.

This article was provided by CATT Community Project. Visit to learn more.

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