Rotaries, Avalanche on the Mountain

“Rotaries, Avalanche on the Mountain” DVD and Blu-ray is now available for purchase. We have compiled lots of new information, stories and photos and added it into the program.

Rotaries Avalanche On The Mountain

It’s called “the Hero” and has been know to save the mountain for more than a century. It’s the railroad’s final line of defense against savage Sierra winters. The Rotary snow plow slept dormant in it’s comfortable lair in the rail yards since 1998 until Mother Nature herself summoned the snow eating beast into action in March, 2011. Watch the Rotary’s massive power as it chews up the “Sierra Cement” just in time to save a rail crew caught in an avalanche!
This has been airing on PBS since 2013. It may not be available on air again, so order your copy today!



New Feature – Click here to view ON DEMAND NOW for ONLY $7!!!

Price to own:
$29.95 DVD
$34.95 Blu-ray, program shot in professional HD 1080p
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14 Responses to “Rotaries, Avalanche on the Mountain”

  1. Nelson December 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    It was great! For the first time in months, everyone shut up and watched, and got really involved; I got out a batch of old timetables with the profile maps, so they could follow locations. Lots of discussion remembering the storm, and where folks could go to watch next time they run! The shots of the avalanche had everyone’s attention, and the “climbing out the window” brought similar stories from the folks who live across the street who had a similar experience when their chimney collapsed from snow pressure. Good work!!

    [And then I “was forced” to run my Large Scale Rotary for everyone to see—they had much more informed questions and commentary as a result of your video!.]


    And I want an autographed copy!

  2. Bruce December 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Normally I’m not on the computer at this late time of day but I just finished watching the rotary DVD. You and your crew did a fantastic job on that. Excellent work! Your equipment and personnel must really take a beating getting some of those segments. As the timer reached about forty-five minutes into the film I started dreading what was soon to come…the ending. Sure enough, it did. I know you said that part two wouldn’t be out next week but after seeing part one tonight I’ll be reasonable. Can you make it two weeks? (Right!)

    Great work!

  3. Ron December 21, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    You have obviously been many times on the mountain! You accomplished what, in 1951-52, I wish they could have done in terms of interviews with the men, and an up close look at the machinery. I, too, have a penchant for winter railroading – having filmed Ontario Northland in winter, Heber Valley, steam in Ukraine and China and so on. I surmise you went to great effort to get to several of the vantage points. Also, I enjoyed the crew discussing the problem of people along the track (I have been buried myself a few times…) – sometimes flying chunks of ice – not to mention a metal piece of the blade – can be deadly.

  4. Frank Crowe December 21, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Your DVD’s are some of the best I have ever seen. Excellent videography!

    Sincerely, Frank Crowe Crowe Railroad Art

  5. Roger December 21, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Absolutely, I recommend it. It’s terrific footage all around. I would say it’s right on par with the “Battle” title, but different in it’s own right. The insider views and night scenes are definite plus’s. In Battle, it seems Video Rails was able to get footage from the spreader feeding the rotary (which I enjoy). Of course, the rotary was essentially solo in the BA Productions.

    Sierra Railfan

  6. Bryce December 21, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    This video is outstanding. The drama of snow fighting is brought out very clearly. I had goosebumps for much of it

  7. Roger December 21, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    I received my copy over the weekend. It’s a MUST HAVE for any Donner Pass and/or snow service junkie! BA Productions (Brandon, really cool guy) does not disappoint with his insiders view of the action. Lot’s of spectacular in cab views along with outside as well. This version captures working EB to Truckee, with a prelude for Part II, which one could presume would be the WB trek. The interviews and photo’s of the flanger nailed by the avalanche are amazing.

    Ryan Wilkerson and “Metal Mike” Mike Haire are in the credits for additional footage. Not to be out done, Glenn H. and his tripod have a ever so brief “cameo appearance” as the rotary approaches Soda Springs from the west.

    Mike Pechner and Dick Dorn round out the cast with on camera interviews.

    This is a really fun video, particularly the part where trailing rotary #209 derails. Al, Glenn and I were in Al’s ever so capable hands (okay, F150) on the freeway as we approached Cisco when we heard the call on the radio that the rotary had derailed. One hell of a fun day that I’ll never forget!

    My only gripe is a reference to “Baxter west crossing” which in fact looks like Main Street in Alta, account the guard rails for the flume, and the shack and tower for PTC on the going away (eastbound) view. Nit picking I know….

  8. Ryan December 21, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    I agree with you Roger, it’s a great video…best I’ve seen. I received mine yesterday and it’s just awesome in full high definition (Blu-Ray). I’ve been resisting getting a Blu-Ray player but once I saw the rotary preview video in HD, I decided that it was worth upgrading to see it in all it’s detailed glory. I liked the lead in for Part 2, hope it’s out before next Christmas!

  9. Eugene December 21, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    The storm was this year, March. I ordered my DVD from Brandon at the Train Show in Roseville, received it pretty fast, about Nov 22. They worked on it pretty quick to get it out so soon. It is great!! I was impressed also with the night photos shots. I got it a couple of weeks ago and it’s Awesome. Yes it’s on last years storm.

  10. Nelson and Kathy December 21, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    Ed brought a great video called “Rotaries through the Avalanche” last Thursday, which had us riveted. It is the story of the UP snow service—flangers, spreaders, and rotaries on the Donner Line last March. There’s an excellent teaser @ drop down the page partway for 4:40 teaser.

  11. Clint December 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Hi Brendon,
    High compliments on the Rotary video (part I).
    I finally had time to watch it earlier this fine rainy day (snow up higher I am sure).
    Although not particularly cold here in Nevada City . . .
    Hope that you had a very fine Christmas.

    QUESTION: we wish to know when Part 2 of the Rotary program will be available?

    Also looks like same questions is appropriate about / for the Spreader prgrgam.

    Thanks ever so much AND Happy New Year.
    Clint Nestell

  12. Gary December 29, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    Hi there Donner Rails,
    I purchase your blu ray at Railroad Hobbies on this date December 28. Two of them. The first is “The Spreader Snow Plow. (Part One) and Rotaries “Avalanche on the mountain”. I really enjoyed both of them. Great job your team have done.
    Gary Gates

  13. Tom L December 30, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    I have a number of snowplow videos and many are both informative and a delight to the eye. This blue-ray is a 5 -star. The outside views are excellent and the access to the inside drama and crew is unequalled.
    For US snow plowing – This the best 1st DVD.

  14. Download Fifa 17 October 18, 2016 at 1:48 am #

    Wow because this is very helpfulexcellent work! Congrats and keep it up

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