Friday, January 15, 2016

MoW: Rotary Snow Plow

Glen Miller posted
I've seen several photos and videos of rotary snow plows. It is past time to start saving them.

Glen's comment:
1910 postcard of a rotary steam snow shovel on a Chicago and North Western train.
The steam engine in the plow does nothing but turn the rotary. They pile on regular locomotives on the back to push it into the snow.

David Borck provided a video link. Since he said that it is still in use, and since video recording devices did not exist when the plow was first used, I assume the crew knew that railfans were watching. That would explain why the plow and the first engine firemen are putting too much coal on the fire to create all of that black smoke. In fact, at the beginning of the video, the first engine pushing the plow was running with a clear stack. But when he came around a curve and realized that railfans were watching, he turned the smoke black.

Union Pacific rotary video.

Screenshot of video posting
Update: it is not a rotary plow, but it is a mechanized plow.
Daniel C Carroll Jr. shared Old Images of Denver's photo
View of the Colorado Midland Railway rotary snow plow on Hagerman Pass (Pitkin County), Colorado.
Between 1882 and 1896?
Is part of; History Colorado, William Henry Jackson Collection
Chris Stivers posted
Andrew Koetz From what I heard, when this rebuild was done, the traction motors in the front truck alone are for the blade movement alone, so indirectly they are not powered in the sense of say tractive effort. I would suggest that this unit is powered, but not powered for "self propulsion", due to the effort of grafting the plow onto the nose of the geep.
Andrew also added some links of the plow before the rebuild: front, left+rear.]

Jay Crowley shared three photos with the comment: "At NT Diesel Shop today."
Barry Kelley A bit of trivia - The first rotary snowplow was invented by Toronto dentist, J.W. Elliot, in 1869 but was never built. The first rotary snowplow to be manufactured was designed by a Canadian named Orange Jull and built by the Leslie Brothers. After testing in the winter of 1883-84, the brothers bought the manufacturing rights and went into business. The Leslie plows could handle heavy, deep snow. Over the years, other plows were manufactured by competitors. A steam operated rotary snowplow can be seen at the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson/St-Constant, Quebec.
T Iolanthe Williams III BNSF, Northtown Mn



James Louis commented on Jay's share
Buffalo, NY Blizzard of 1977) Feb. 6, 1977: Nine days after the first blast of the storm, Conrail was still trying to open its rail lines north along the Niagara Thruway near downtown Buffalo. This big rotary plow, brought from Syracuse, hadn't been needed in 10 years. It's shown working on a hard-packed drift one and a half miles long and up to 15 feet thick.
Photo by Fred. B. Furminger
Mike Hysell commented on Jay's share
Clearing the West Yellowstone Branch of the UP spring 1973. by self

Tim Tupper posted
Tim Tupper Cat 966 front end loader
Dennis DeBruler I'm trying to figure out how a snow blower can be effective in a yard. It appears to not be blowing the snow into gondola cars for removal. Tim's comment implies my theory that you run the blower on a track into which a train is to arrive and then worry about where it landed when that track is needed. Is my guess correct?
Another example of a snow blower attachment for a wheeled loader. Downers Grove, IL bought one during the bad winter at the end of the 1970s. Note that the attachment has its own engine.
Devon Riou commented on a post [Cat 950K]

(new window) Skip to 4:35 for some real action.  8:52 is a scaled up sidewalk snow blower.

A video of many scenes of a Rio Grande steam powered snow plow in action.

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