Barreling across terrain that few would venture, the locomotive has to get the job done no matter the weather conditions. In recent years,the locomotive industry has come up with some pretty innovative and amazing tools to trek the world wide railway systems. With snow being the number one obstacle for just about any form of transportation, the railway industry through the years has come up with some of pretty ingenious inventions since its conception. The goal being to aid the locomotive through the worst weather conditions.
While various forms of locomotive snow plows have been in existence for well over a hundred years, with evolving technology, the journey has been made a bit easier for the most part and appears to be pretty effortless even in the worst snow apocalyptic areas.
With the weather being hard to predict on any given year the railroads’ have seen an increase in the need to use heavy duty snow removal equipment in North America in recent times. Heavier snowstorms during the winter months have seen the use of specialty locomotives fitted with snow plow attachments in use more often. A railroad snowplow typically consists of a specially designed car on which snow-removal devices, motors, control mechanisms, lights and other equipment are mounted.
With the snow plow locomotive’s main objection to clear railways for the travel of freight cars and passenger cars the plow car is moved onto the tracks via a pusher locomotive to create more force in the removal of snow. Others like the the twin-track, with a blade and wing span design are mounted directly to the front of the car, then remove the snow to the outer side of the track in an epic showing as seen in the video footage.
Ranging in speeds from as low as 10mph to upwards of 70mph depending on depth and thickness of snow, the typical locomotive snow plow is capable of clearing a strip width of up to 16 feet, with a height clearing of around 16 feet as well. This is yet another example of innovation meeting functionality with the goal of adapting and overcoming obstacles (snow in this case) via machine. Now, the real question is would you captain one of these given the chance?