Blizzards Trap City of San Francisco
Said to be the worst storm to hit the railroad since the early 1870s, the New Year’s blizzard brought traffic across the Plains to a standstill. One of the trains affected, the westbound City of San Francisco, met 10-foot drifts in Kimball, Neb. Amid below-zero temperatures and howling winds, passengers and crew took refuge at a local hotel. It was the same story all along the line. Union Pacific dispatched 14,000 men, tons of equipment and sticks of dynamite to break through the drifts. Three years later, the worst series of blizzards in 50 years stalled the same extra-fare Streamliner near Donner Pass, trapping 222 passengers for days. Amphibious Army vehicles delivered emergency food supplies. The train got free after five days.