Rotary snow plow headed up the hill to get train back on track in Soda Springs | SierraSun.com

Rotary snow plow headed up the hill to get train back on track in Soda Springs

Sierra Sun staff
Rotary snow plows tuned up in the Colfax area Wednesday to get ready for some work in the Sierra to clear tracks for a derailed train. (Photo submitted by Brian O'Brien)

Some heavy machinery is headed into the Sierra to help get a Union Pacific train back on track, as a rotary snow plow will be used to clear a path.

The train derailed and became stuck at Soda Springs while attempting to clear the tracks of snow.

“It looks like just part of the wheels actually pushed off the track, which is actually the more common type of derailment,” California Highway Patrol Officer Pete Man told the Sierra Sun earlier this week.

“That’s one of their bigger plow trains, and they were basically trying to clear the tracks with that so they can get trains running over. The railway has really been at a standstill the last day or so. The rotary plows are firing up (Wednesday) and they’ll be coming up.”

A recently rebuilt rotary snow plow was tuning up in Colfax Wednesday, getting ready to be put to work for first time. The renovation was just completed this year in South Sacramento on the plow, originally built in the 1930s.

It will consist of a crew of as many as 11 when it operates, including maintenance, engineering and machinists personnel in addition to the regular train operating crew are all on hand.

They also have to screen the best they can any slides they clear to make sure are free of trees, large rocks, etc. that may take down the unit.