Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Train Snow Plow!


Have you ever wondered how they clear the snow from the railroad tracks...?
Check out these photos and video of a Rotary Snowplow. These photos specifically were taken on the BNSF Railroad in Nebraska. This amazing piece of equipment can be described best by my good friends at Wikipedia:
A rotary snowplow is a piece of railroad snowfighting equipment. It is characterized by the large circular set of blades on its front end that rotate as a unit to cut through the snow on the track ahead of it. Rotary snowplows are highly expensive due to their high maintenance costs, which the owning railroad must pay regardless of whether they are needed in a given year. As a result, most railroads have eliminated their rotaries, preferring to use a variety of types of fixed-blade plows that have significantly lower maintenance costs, in conjunction with bulldozers, which can be used year-round on maintenance-of-way projects. In addition, because rotaries leave a cut in the snowbank that fixed-blade plows cannot push snow past, once rotaries have been used, they must be used for all further significant snowfalls until the snowbank has melted. Since rotaries, which need some form of fuel to power the blades, also cost more to operate than fixed-blade plows, they are now generally considered to be a "weapon of last resort" for the railroads that own them; they are only used when snow is too deep or heavy for fixed-blade plows.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing!

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