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Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr Above the American River (editor's title)

Amtrak on Donner Pass
Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr, led by a Southern Pacific freight diesel, climbing high above the North Fork of the American River towards the summit of California's Donner Pass, November 1973. The train is passing a location known both as Rocky Point and Casa Loma. Civil engineer Theodore Judah surveyed much of the route over the Sierra Mountains in the 1850s for the nation's first transcontinental railroad. Completed largely through the efforts of Chinese laborers in the 1860s, the route remains an important link in the nation's rail system. In 2008, Trains selected this image as one the "100 Greatest Railroad Photos" ever published in the magazine.
Source Shirley Burman
Coverage Spatial, Colton, California; Temporal, November 1973
Rights Richard Steinheimer/Shirley Burman
Date Created 1973
Resource Type
Extent 11 in. x 14 in.
Depicted Railroad
Location Casa Loma, California
Equipment, Locomotive SD-series, SDP40F
Builder, locomotive Electro-Motive Division, General Motors Corporation
Creator Description Richard Steinheimer (1929-2011) often is called the "Ansel Adams of railroad photography." Steinheimer documented the railroads' heyday and their transition to diesel motive power from steam. He had a particular fondness for the landscape of the American West, and many of his images situate trains in the larger geography and culture of the time. Known for taking pictures at night, in bad weather, and from risky perches on top of moving trains, Steinheimer had an enormous creativity and productivity. His photograph, "Southern Pacific steam helper at Saugus, California, 1947," was included in the Center's 20 Memorable Railroad Photographs of the 20th Century.
Collection Richard Steinheimer/Shirley Burman Collection
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