Snow Plows

Snow removal is a formidable challenge throughout the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Wedge plows are able to clear most snow drifts, but deeper snow may require a rotary snow plow. Both types require a locomotive to push them. A rotary’s circular blades chop up the snow and throw it clear of the tracks. Unlike wedge plows, rotaries are expensive to operate and maintain and are used only for the most severe conditions.

Chicago Burlington & Quincy No. 205065 (S)

Chicago Burlington & Quincy No. 205065 (S)

No. 205065 is a wedge snow plow. Wedge plows push snow to the side of the rail line. This one is attached to a flat car loaded with rock and steel to provide stability.

Colorado & Southern No. 99201 (S)

Colorado & Southern No. 99201 (S)

This C&S rotary snow plow operated over a number of Colorado mountain lines from 1899 until 1965. Large spinning blades on the front threw snow high and far to either side of the track, clearing the way for trains. Power to spin the rotary blades was generated by a steam engine located in the plow. The plow cannot move itself and must be pushed by locomotives. (Data Sheet [PDF])


Colorado & Southern No. 99201 (S)

Colorado & Southern No. 99201 (S)

Historic photo of the C&S No. 99201 operating on the Leadville to Climax line near Fremont Pass, 1961.

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