Sierra Scenic Train & tracks -taken when I traveled in 2016 January using Amtrak. The scenery was spectacular. The company too. I sat with a very nice lady (in her sixties) who loved reading books and was on-route to take care of her mom (in her nineties) who had a fall.
Quoted from online source: https://www.sierranevadageotourism.org/content/railroad-snowsheds-of-donner-summit/sieD35C8025FC46F75CB
“The building of the Transcontinental Railroad changed commerce and the ethnic diversity of California, and the country, forever.
In the 1860s, hundreds of Chinese laborers braved freezing temperatures, blizzards and unbelievably hazardous conditions to drill the 1,659-foot-long Summit Tunnel near Donner Pass, enabling the Central Pacific Railroad to move trains over the summit even in the worst of Sierra winter conditions. The train route follows major wagon routes of early emigrants that preceded the booming railroad era. And, hidden in the rock near the tunnels are ancient Native American petroglyphs, a testament to the importance of Donner Pass as a route for the first people of the Sierra Nevada and those explorers and pioneers who surmounted it to find a new life in California.”
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