Snow plow train

Thanks for all the comments on the weird and wonderful trains video. I’m glad I posted it.

If you missed it, the below won’t make much sense, so here it is again.

A few of you kindly sent in this pic, of the train that was gnawing away at my curiosity:

How I couldn’t work out it’s a snow plow is beyond me. But there you go.

Some really good stuff came in:

“The unit at 2:19 is a double-ended snow plow. Most snow plows of that type had a “box” end on the rear which required the unit be turned to clear snow in the other direction (see attached photo.) This one eliminated the problem by having a plow at both ends.

The NYC “Jet” passenger car was actually an RDC (Rail Diesel Car, self-propelled) that was modified. Supposedly it reached a claimed speed of about 150 miles per hour. The one that followed that was the Russian version which reached roughly the same claimed speed. Interestingly enough, the train that set the North American speed record at nearly 170 miles per hour used jet turbine engines — the United Aircraft Turbo Train, which was a double-ended train that didn’t have to be turned at the end of the line. Each locomotive had seven turbine engines (see attached photo)

San Bernardino, California
United States”

“Dear Al,

Very, very, good! Thanks I have saved it.

Actually some of the locomotives were very successful. The Pennsylvania Duplex 4-4-4-4 and 6-4-4-6 were developed because the pistons and connecting rods from one cylinder per side were getting so big they played havoc with the tracks. The idea was to have 4 cylindrers instead of 2 and divide the power to the eight drivers. The Union Pacific needed the power of the Big Boys and the Huge Gas Turbine locomotives over the mountain grades. The UP is now using multiple diesels, some times as many as six in one train instead.

Likewise the C&O allegheny 2-6-6-6 mallets were very successful. The Algerian (PLM)4-6-2+2-6-4 streamlined Beyer Garrett was built for fast Passenger trains in Algeria and still holds the world speed record for articulated locomotives.

The Mig15 jet engine is probably not a locomotive but an attempt at snow removal. The New York Central built an experimental snow removal vehicle by mounting a jet engine on a flat car. It worked wonderfully blowing away the snow and the heat melted ice from the switches. Unfortunately it also blew away the ballast from the tracks, braking lineside windows and injuring passengers waiting for trains in stations as it passed!

I’m going to send this post to all my buddies at the Peninsula Model Railroad Club in Newort News VA USA.
Thanks again.


I was very hesitant of posting the Weird and Wonderful video (but I’m glad I did now), because many moons ago I shared a link about a book I thought was wonderful (The Christmas Train) and got some crappy emails.

Which reminds me – I while back I asked for some book recommendations. Lots of you came back with Clive Cussler. Thank you all – wading through the Isaac Bell series at the mo.

Anyhow, please keep ’em coming. Business as usual next time.



18 Responses to Snow plow train

  1. That should move some drifts

  2. Dear Al –
    There is an example of a single ended Canadian Pacific snow plough at Markham Museum in north-east Toronto. When I visited the museum this summer and I first spotted this plough, it took me a while to work out what it was – it was so tall! I will take a photo next time I’m back there visiting the relatives

  3. If you live in an area where you do not get snow you would not recognize what this car was used for. Take a look on the internet and search for snowplough trains and you will find that this one is a little baby compared to some others found around the world.

  4. For those who made ‘crappy’ comments about “The Christmas Train’, I wish for them a ‘crappy’ Christmas. Thanks for sharing all of the interesting tidbits. Really enjoyed your Weird and Wonderful info.

  5. Frank is correct about UP. I observe almost daily UP trains going between Nampa, Id. and Hermiston, Or. Depending on the number of cars attached and if their loaded or not I’ve seen as few as three and as many as seven locomotives per train.

  6. We don’t seem to have snow ploughs in the United Kingdom. When it slows the trains stop. So does everything else! It’s the way we do things here. Kinda cute, eh!

  7. The Mig15 jet engine is probably not a locomotive but an attempt at snow removal.
    Yes you’re right. Jet engine was used for snow removal. I’m remember them on Czechoslovakien railroads in sixties. I like watching but was very noisy. :-)

  8. i thought that wa made by Dr. Suess haha

  9. There was another experimental jet powered passenger car named “the Black Beetle: because of its paint job. I don’t know if belonged to the New York Central RR or not. Your readers might want to look it up.

  10. John Fuller you got that right.I live in Canada.there is a bigger one than that.Alot of those are used in the BC mountain’s.Seeing a lot of times one side of the train traveling is snuggled up against rock cliffs and mountain sides.the other side is open to a view’s of gorges and mountains and vallies. Dr suess hahaha ya does.upside down anvil

  11. For those interested, Marklin makes an HO snow plow\blower (model 26833)

    Thanks Al for all the interesting stuff. Glad you’re enjoying Cussler.

  12. Al, it was a great video and I have kept it for future viewing. James Patterson is another good read, but doesn’t have the Hi-Tec gadgets that Cussler does. Patterson is more down to earth. Cheers, Douglas

  13. We need one of those monster things in the highlands of Scotland.

  14. If anyone would like to run a snowplough on their layout but doesn’t want to mess it up by adding huge amounts of fake snow, I recall seeing a pair of single-ended snowploughs being taken for a test run after their pre-winter servicing. They were coupled plough to plough with a bar coupling and had a loco at each end, the rear one, running dead-in-train, would have been fired up to bring them back to the depot, to avoid needing to run round, and perhaps to ease any necessary shunting if one of the ploughs ran a hot box or something. I couldn’t see much detail as they were just passing, but it appeared there was a small hatch in the plough end with a coupling hook of some sort beneath for emergencies.

  15. The New York Central M-497 jet train set a speed record in July of 1966 In Bryan, Ohio ( My home town ) of 183.66 MPH after throttling down. It was “piloted” by Don Wetzel and a real sight to see. There is a small book ” The Flight of the M497 ” that all kinds of information Bill

  16. Hi Jim,
    Good Site for railroad items. This is a Good Picture of Snow Mobil.

    Lee Gilbert
    Edgerton, Ohio

  17. Well, yes it is a snowplow. But I thought you meant the “Czech 836″ which seems to be up at 2:19 when I viewed the video. Rather hard to see any of the drivers, etc. in that pic. Is there any more info out there about it?

  18. where those plow have a engine in them or had to have a loco in back to push iti seen the single plow ones in operation but never the 2 plow one i could see lots of accident with this unit being push by a diesel even with the crow nest on that plow did they come with side mount wingsto push a wider path just curious thats all

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