This week the history and the possibility of snow in San Francisco has been a point of much discussion. Debate even, as we are still not sure if it snowed this weekend or not. But not much has been said about the time in 1952 that The City of San Francisco was snowbound for several days in Donner Pass. But it happened, as unlikely as that seems.
The City of San Francisco was the name of a passenger train line that ran between Chicago, Illinois and Oakland, California. You could take a ferry for the final leg across San Francisco Bay to the city proper. You know how there’s that song with the line “…on a train they call The City of New Orleans“? Same deal. Only TCoNO is still around, running to this day. TCoSF was shutdown by Amtrak back in 1972.
The historic 1952 incident is documented on on the newsreel above, by the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum website and much more nerdily by a special module in Microsoft Train Simulator (who knew they had a train simulator?!?). Here’s a great review and extended look at the game: