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Thread: rotary steam snowplow

  1. #1
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    Default rotary steam snowplow

    I was hoping to see some live steam in the yards at Chama, New Mexico, as I have in years past. But the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR didn't run last year http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbres...cenic_Railroad, because a trestle burned. The yards were deserted as I walked around them. But the town expects the railroad to open this year, despite heavy snows in the canyons.

    Two steam-powered rotary snowplows sit on the tracks. There is a link at the bottom of this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_snowplow listing existing steam rotaries. This implies that one of these two may have been built in 1889, but it is not clear.

    I have not found any information on what the steam engines inside looked like, or how they are aligned relative to the shaft of the plow.








    Last edited by aostling; 03-19-2011 at 12:47 AM.
    Allan

  2. #2
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    Can't help you on the steam drive specifics but they still have the rotary plows on the diesels so bound to be some similarities and some differences.........didn't realize they went quite that far back.........
    Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

  3. #3
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    I believe most were direct powered by 2cyl vertical & some by 4cyl vee simple reciprocating engines.

    you may find this useful
    http://www.quickpicbooks.com/files/d...aryoybook.html

    john

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugs
    I believe most were direct powered by 2cyl vertical & some by 4cyl vee simple reciprocating engines.
    John,

    Thanks, that's a helpful link.

    A vertical, that solves the alignment problem that was troubling me. A horizontal with bevel gear drive didn't seem likely.
    Allan

  5. #5
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    Default Rotary snow plows

    Snoop'n around, and uTube shows a German rotary in operation, with what appears to be a dual action, twin cylinder steam engine, with the cylinders running parallel to the rails. ie. some kind of gear box, bevel gear arrangement in use?

    The Chama rotary can be reversed so's to move snow left or right as required. Interesting DINGS in the shearing blades where snow/mountainside had avalanched across the rails, and included rather large rocks.

    --G

  6. #6
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    Southern Pacific used to keep plows in Sparks, Nevada and I think Truckee Ca. now that the SP is part of UP I'm not sure where they are kept. Back in the '70s in an orientation class at SP, I seem to recall hearing that SP converted a steam plow to diesel in the '50s. I don't know how much of the original plow was kept in tact during the conversion but there might be some information at the rail museum in Sacramento.
    Also ya might send a PM to Sbmathias, He knows a lot of rail facts and People and is or was a volunteer for the RR Museum .

    Steve

  7. #7
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    Allen,

    We were in Pagosa Springs this last July and rode the C&TS from Chama to Osier and back one fine afternoon. I had always want to look at and ride a narrow gauge RR and finally got to. Thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to any who are interested in steam power and old machinery.

    I had never seen a rotary snow plow before, it is an awe inspiring piece of equipment for a wannabe machinist!!

    All the best

  8. #8
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    Another example, from Skagway, Alaska. Used on the narrow-gauge White Pass Railroad between Skagway and Carcross (Caribou Crossing), Yukon Teritory.
    Excellent trip. Highly recommended.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor demo
    Southern Pacific used to keep plows in Sparks, Nevada and I think Truckee Ca. now that the SP is part of UP I'm not sure where they are kept. Back in the '70s in an orientation class at SP, I seem to recall hearing that SP converted a steam plow to diesel in the '50s. I don't know how much of the original plow was kept in tact during the conversion but there might be some information at the rail museum in Sacramento.
    Also ya might send a PM to Sbmathias, He knows a lot of rail facts and People and is or was a volunteer for the RR Museum .

    Steve
    There is at least one in Truckee these days. I will see if I have a pic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmc_31
    Allan,
    We were in Pagosa Springs this last July and rode the C&TS from Chama to Osier and back one fine afternoon.
    I'm glad to hear the train was running last summer, at least from Chama to Osier. So at least some of the tourist season was salvaged.

    I was in Pagosa Springs (CO) for the first time, three days ago. I was amazed at the sprawl of vacation homes there, stretched out along US160 for about twenty miles west of town. What do people do with an extra house, empty ten or eleven months of the year?

    In a Durango coffee shop I talked to a woman who confessed that she had four vacation homes, including one in Tunisia.
    Allan

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