Truckee historical train series kicks off with recount of 1952 snowbound steamliner

Staff report
A snowbound City of San Francisco train sits near Donner Summit in 1952.
Courtesy Southern Pacific Collection |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Barbara Shelden Czerwinski next week will present “The Human Side of the 1952 Snowbound Streamliner” as part of the Truckee History Alive: Train Series.

She will discuss the ill-fated steamliner’s trip that winter from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at the Truckee Veterans’ Memorial Building at 10214 High St. in Truckee.

Truckee’s history is replete with stories of the railroads and dealing with the “storm king.”

The story of the 1952 snowbound streamliner, City of San Francisco, is one of the monumental stories of the Sierra that captured the nation’s attention at the time. Truckee played a key role in the rescue operations.

Dr. Czerwinski will present the highlights of what became a successful rescue from the perspective of those who were part of the rescue efforts and/or surviving family members and their stories of passengers and rescue workers.

Czerwinski’s 49-year nursing career has spanned seven states that drew to a close with a May 2010 retirement to Truckee.

Since, Czerwinski has become active with a weekly hiking/snowshoeing group; was appointed by the town of Truckee Council to the 2010-11 Parking Working Group; is Truckee Donner Railroad Society member, and board member 2012-15; was a Truckee Donner Historical Society member, volunteer researcher and board member 2011-14; and in 2013 was appointed to the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission.

The Truckee History Alive: Train Series is sponsored by Truckee Library, Truckee Donner Historical Society, Friends of the Truckee Memorial Veteran’s Building and the Truckee Donner Railroad Society.

Visit to learn more. Look to future editions of the Sierra Sun for information on the second and third parts of the series.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.