The last Snowball Special left the station long ago, but you can still take a train to the mountains.
The Snowball was a novelty train and another vanished wonder from the peak era of Northern California train travel. A ski train that catered to day trippers in the 1930s, it departed Oakland at midnight for the Sierra Nevada so people could play in the snow all day and then return that night.
Nothing that convenient runs today. There’s just one daily train that goes all the way to the mountains, the California Zephyr, which leaves the Bay Area shortly after 9 a.m., reaching Truckee in the afternoon — if it’s on time.
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