Wednesday, April 19, 2017

MoW: Snow Plow

I've discussed rotaries for big snows, spreaders for smaller snows, and other snow removal techniques, but the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is the first time I've seen a big plow up close and personal. Note the hand brake wheel on top is in the middle of the unit.


As I went up the stairs, I noticed that it was built in April, 1946. This unit was NYC X625.

The part in the middle is a "wing" that can be folded out to push the snow further away from the track.
The wings are attached at the front with four hinges.

I had a hard time getting this picture of the inside because of the sun's glare off of the window. I was finally able to hide most of the glare with my left hand while I took the picture with my right hand. There were two of these "ram" units. I concentrated on getting the one on the right side since they were identical. I assume it is the ram that pushes the right wing out. Since it has a large diameter, I'm guessing it used compress air instead of hydraulics.

The stuff at the bottom of the picture is paint supplies and an adjustable wrench. It is nice to see that they are actively maintaining this unit. One problem with some museums is that they get equipment, but then they don't have enough volunteers to maintain the equipment and it ends up rotting away anyhow.




Since I was not willing to chop down that power pole, I'm afraid the background of this shot has a lot of clutter.

Update:
Bob Thomas posted
John Purvis posted two photos with the comment: "Snow's coming soon. In the rail yard at Mendota, IL."
1

2
David Giddings posted
Sometimes even the Midwest has blizzards that the wedge plows can't handled. Especially during the last 1970s. I remember an Amtrak train got stuck between Chicago and Lafayette. On more than one occasion the eastern railroads had to borrow rotary snow plows form the western railroads to open their tracks. In 1978-79, we has so much snow and it stayed below freezing for so long that the piles by our driveway were over our head. To pull out on Main Street, my wife would get out of the car and walk to the street to let me know when the coast was clear. Downers Grove bought a front loader and snow-blower attachment for less than it would have cost to hire a snow removal contractor from Buffalo, NY. Railroads were putting snow in gondolas and hauling them south to sideings where they left them to melt. Chicago was dumping snow on parks, playgrounds, and the river.

Decatur Historic District posted
THINK YOUR JOB IS ROUGH? In 1977, these Union Pacific RR guys were using this plow to clear the tracks for Norfolk-Western....in sub zero temps and as high as 5 ft. snow drifts!
Herald & Review
Daniel Heckman Operating equipment like that doesn’t actually qualify as a “rough job”. The guys that clear track and clean switches with shovels and brooms (while those guys sit in a heated engine) have rough jobs.
Joe Kveton commented on the above posting

Make O'Brien posted
616-30 London, Ontario - 2004 - Snow removal package
Switch Broom Pyke K 1978
Joe DockrillGroup Admin Bert Pyke Model K cable broom Broom, dressed for winter snow removalFred BainGroup Admin One of the best snow fighters ever. Note on the one way plow that it is cut to do a flange. A short hydraulic cylinder on the plow made it super quick. The wings were fast but not a lot of reach. You made up for the reach with speed and the bevil to throw snow 50 feet or more. Downside was the broom and auger, they could have used some more power and hosebags
Tim Tupper posted
Location unknown
Joe Dockrill posted
Ghislain Roy At top speed, I throwed the snow over 50 feet away
Joe Dockrill posted
Alaska Railway
Ken Dyck There's how you move snow.
Joe Dockrill posted
Julian Nelles The Knox Kershaws are comfy, but super loud inside
Joe Dockrill posted
Joe Edwards Although I have never ran a Knox I would think this is better plow than our kershaw big V plow?
Joe Dockrill posted
Sean AngeloGroup Admin I’m trying to convince my boss to buy the snow fighter package for our Kershaw 46-2.Rick LeggettGroup Admin Love the blower attachment on the broom. The ones we purchased for our BEB's back in the late 70's, kept breaking down...so we scrapped them.
Joe Dockrill posted
Bert Pyke Model L V wing
Bryan Murphy Looks like what we used to call big bertha
Joe DockrillGroup Admin almost a spreader, used with the undercutter to cut shoulders too.....
Clifford Land Move a lot of snow at 45mph I tested one at Japanese one winter.David Dockman Unique as all heck and loved dearly by those customers that owned them.Terry Clark 64 mph brand new on the red dot speedoDavid Dockman Wow - they were available in 2 basic models , 35 and 50 mph.Terry Clark Yup next time I was in it 38 per
Joe Dockrill posted
Rick LeggettGroup Admin While my first thought is it looks really cool, a closer inspection from someone who has spent probably much more than 500 hours working one brings up a couple of things I don't think I would like. 1-Those 'shutters' look like they could cause problems in real cold weather and all of the ice/snow that is inevitable to get into the tracks. 2-Where's the window looking forward for the wing operators? Once again, it is a real pain always keeping the window open in extreme cold to be looking at what is coming up. I do think the lower window would be really nice when working around switch stands or other tight places though. I would love to see pic's of the inside and all in all...I wouldn't refuse to run it. lolBrian Duggan Shutters are a opinion don't have to get them.
Rick Leggett commented on Joe's posting
Running from the spreader is the ONLY way to go Joe Dockrill. There is nothing worse than running a wing, having problems getting your locks off because there's a bluff coming up, yelling to the nose operator who has the radio hanging by them to tell the engineer..."THAT'LL DO" ..and it being too late. Don't ask me how I know this. LOL

Joe Dockrill commented on Joe's posting

Joe Dockrill commented on Joe's posting
Alaska's unit bought around 2000
Rick Leggett commented on Joe's posting
Here's a better photo of it and a little history of Jordan, that I can't swear is 100% accurate (re: Bruce Jensen)...but it sounds good. LOL The stuff about the new features we specified...are correct though. http://www.alaskarails.org/fp/Jordan-spreader.html
Brian Duggan The speaders that have been built in the last few years are the first ones sense I have worked at Harsco rail Ludington

This photo and comment confirms that they can extend the wing on one side to shove the snow past an adjacent track.
Kevin Dorn posted
Norden was once the Nerve center of Donner Pass. And with the words Donner Pass, fighting snow comes in the next sentence. While Norden now many only be a literal shell of its former self it is a one off place on the globe. It's walls and ceilings covered in 50 plus years of diesel exhaust it still holds a special feel. While the SD 9's, 40's, and 45's no long send reverberations off the walls there is still one second generation locomotive soldering on that continues to serve. These would be the ex SP non turbocharged GP 38's that are specialized for snow service that at times push the equipment to the max and sometimes beyond. The 645 power plant and spartan cabs are the last to use Donner regularly in a class 1 world dominated by wide cabs. Norden may only seem like a cold lifeless cement snowshed but it comes to life for a bit with the passage of snow fighters and snow fighting equipment. A pair of 38's push spreader 4031 as it approaches the east end of the shed. With it's wings in the wide wing configuration it is pushing snow from the number 1 across to the number 2 track while pushing snow to the north side of the number 1 at the same time.
Rick Leggett posted
Clearing the main at Honolulu (no joke, that's the name of a station/siding on the Alaska Railroad).
Joe Kveton At what speed?

 Rick Leggett
Group Admin Probably about 25-30 in the photo Joe Kveton. There was only about 4 inches over the rail and we had been going a lot slower winging the berms over, but I decided to set the shot up to show snow flying. This is a Tamper regulator and back then (late 80's), this one could shift on the fly to keep your speed up...whereas our Kershaw Snowfighter couldn't and you always had to stop and shift it.Group AdminAt what speed?



(new window) Skip to 7:37 for some real action.



Video of various wedge plows in action. At -2:10 one is plowing some pretty deep snow. (source)

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