A Southern Pacific freight departs the east-end of the yard at Roseville, California, in June 1990. This freight will soon begin its eastward ascent of Donner Pass. This route was part of Central Pacific's original transcontinental railroad that opened to through traffic in May 1869. Roseville Yard was developed by SP in the early years of the 20th century and is conveniently situated at the junction between Donner Pass (Overland Routes) and SP's East Valley line. Union Pacific acquired SP through a merger in 1996, and invested in substantial improvements to the yard.
The photographer had just purchased a new Nikon F3T single-lens reflex 35mm camera and this was the first exposure made with the new system.