Snow removal is a formidable challenge throughout the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Wedge plows are able to clear most snowdrifts, but deeper snow may require a rotary snowplow. 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.

In the following descriptions, (N) indicates narrow gauge and (S) indicates standard gauge.