Yes ice and snow was a concern
Author: Lucky Strike
Date: 09-12-2020 - 17:19
Please keep in mind that the last years of Espee were heavily influenced and controlled by the new DRGW or Denver boys. Some of their beliefs were -We don't need a lot of rotaries, flangers and spreaders. They can be replaced with sets of ballast regulators.
Also, Rocky Mountain snow is the same as Sierra Nevada snow. Snow is snow.
In 1988 winter, the snow plan was to run a set of sd9s with their ice breakers in the up position. As long as trains keep running every 3-4 hours; there was no need to run dedicated plow trains. Also, two sd9s are just as good as two sd40/45 pushers. About half of the trains had "dead" first generation power being dragged back and forth between Roseville and Sparks.
In Dec 1992, someone decided that that the #2 track was not needed between Truckee and Reno when it stormed/snowed. It was neither plowed nor traversed when my parents travelled on a very tardy Amtrak #5 from Salt Lake.
Back to the original question. DRGW was not as fond with SS (spring switches) and they also replaced the "V" or flop over switches too. Train could run through yard switches at low speed and they were considered rubber and would change without causing damage.
And thank you for the nice comment about my Truckee video. I have quite a collection of personal videos highlighting the final years of SP.