Pat Shingleton: "Snow Sheds..."
The ski season in the west is receiving good reviews. In the construction of the transcontinental railroad, snow from the Sierras to Sacramento created avalanches that wiped out stretches of rail. In 1887 engineers used beams from local timber to construct a sturdy device that furthered construction and kept the trains rolling. The structure is called a snow sheds and initially were placed over exposed track to funnel the sliding snow over the top of the tracks. Today, snow sheds remain a common method for combating the destructive force of avalanches on railroad and highway routes throughout the world. From timber years ago to shed that are constructed with reinforced concrete and steel. On steep slopes, snow fences assist in anchoring the snow packs.