A glorious sight! White Pass Rotary #1 plows the main line between White Pass and Fraser, BC, pushed by White Pass Steam Locomotives #73 and 69. The "White Pass Rotary Fleet", as it is known, is seen here in action at around MP 24, taking on snow that is perhaps 3 feet deep....a whole lot less deep and dense than what she encountered 3-4 miles back. The sight of this operation, under a beautiful blue sky, with the pristine, snow-covered, British Columbia mountains as a back-drop was nothing less than glorious. It was truly the greatest show on rails, and probably the coolest thing I have photographed in the last 10 years.
I am often asked if this event was a photo charter. The answer is both yes and no. Yes, the diesel-powered passenger train that carried us to the work site was a charter, but that's all the participating photographers paid for. No, the actual rotary operation was paid for by the railroad and was done for proficiency and training. There were no "run-bys" and nothing was done specifically for the cameras. With over 40 railroad personnel and at least 4 trains involved in plowing and support, this was a very expensive operation to be sure. At the time, I asked them if they would ever be doing it again. The answer I received was: "Probably yes, but not anytime soon." Six years have elapsed since then, and there has been no repeat. Who knows when or if we'll see this again.