Throwing Snow

By Brent Burger; posted January 3, 2005

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Colorado experienced one of its largest snowfalls ever in the winter of 1899. On February 5 of that year, Colorado & Southern snow train left to clear Boreas Pass from Breckenridge with 7 locomotives pushing several crew cars to sustain the crew during the effort and their rotary snowplow on the front. The storm was of such magnitude that the train was unable to return from Como (the other side of the 10,604 foot pass) for two and a half months! While I do not have photos in my collection of that effort, the above photo is one of three I have showing the D&RG rotary being used to clear the track in front of the Durango depot during that same storm, giving one a clear idea of just what this operation was about. Doing this in town is a far cry from shoving a train over a remote pass without roads or population. Colorado railroading at its finest!