Then ... and Now
So, when you live in Truckee a good part of the time, and you get an email from a colleague on the other side of the country, the email comes with a photo, you take notice. The picture is of a train pulling through TRUCKEE, California on a frigid December morning, in 1971. The email certainly caught my attention. The writer wanted to know how things may have changed in 50 years.
(Above) This is the image that accompanied an inquiring email about whether or not Truckee, CA may have changed in 50 years. This image is in the public domain at this American Rails Twitter page, https://twitter.com/americanrails/status/1308941396481650688. It shows Southern Pacific Train No. 6446, the California Zephyr, westbound headed to San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Drew Jacksich.
So my colleague asked if it was possible to get a current photo from the same perspective. Courtesy of photographer Greg Zirbel, who is also President of the Truckee-Donner Historical Society, look at the similarities in these two images. You can even see the Sierra Tavern outline in both photos. Amazing!
(Above) Greg Zirbel took this photo on Jan. 20, 2022, just a tad over 50 years. The view truly hasn't changed much. Note too the presence of the gothic-shaped curved building in the middle left, the Truckee Veterans Memorial Building. [In the 1971 image above, the building in the first photo is yellow.] In 2021, TDHS was able to get the Veterans Building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Note too that the westbound train is still called the California Zephyr. https://amtrakguide.com/routes/california-zephyr/
So yes, times do change, but sometimes iconic figures remain recognizable - even after 50 years. And if you want to see additional images of trains in Truckee, please see the photographer's Flickr account.