Rotary snowplow returns to Donner Pass – Cool Video

Rotary snowplow returns to Donner Pass – Cool Video

Battling the third snowiest winter in the Sierras in recorded history.



Video by jakemiillephotography.com
(Railroad buffs will love this website.)

 

Here is an announcement from Union Pacific issued on February 27 regarding the return of the rotary snow plow:

To Our Customers,

Union Pacific’s most powerful snow-removal machine, the rotary snow plow, was in full operation this past weekend during the third snowiest winter in the Sierras in recorded history. The plow cut through snow that reached depths of 13 feet, across 14 miles near the Donner Pass. The railroad’s first and second lines of defense against snowstorms – flangers and spreaders – were unable to keep the tracks clear due to the depth of snow walls, so the rotary was required to clear large amounts of snow in a timely manner.

We have three one-of-a-kind rotary snow plows to use as needed during winter months. Union Pacific’s plows were originally built in the 1920s and operated by steam, then overhauled and converted to diesel electric in the 1950s. In 2012, we made the first major makeover in more than 60 years to one rotary plow enhancing its productivity, reliability and power. We plan to enhance another rotary plow in 2017.

Union Pacific is working diligently during the winter months to keep our lines cleared of snow and ready for your business.

https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/generalannouncements/CN2017-19.html

Another video of the rotary snow plow in action:
http://trainfanatics.com/union-pacific-rotary-snow-plow-action/

Read more about rotaries here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjBQ3MaBYiU&feature=youtu.be

Thanks to Caroline Snyder for these links


10 thoughts on “Rotary snowplow returns to Donner Pass – Cool Video”

  1. I want one of these for my driveway! And a long line up of rope tied to the tracks Bankers and Lawyers.

    Linden

  2. ” In 2012, we made the first major makeover in more than 60 years to one rotary plow enhancing its productivity, reliability and power. We plan to enhance another rotary plow in 2017.”

    Apparently planners at UP live in the real world and know they must deal with real snow. Good for them, but I’d bet someone at corporate tried to nix the upgrade because “we won’t need that, there won’t be any snow”.

    • Not any more. Apparently it is on the chopping block with a good deal of the US Coast Guard’s budget. If I were cynical I would be suspecting that the South American cartels want to losen the import restrictions unofficially.

  3. Amazing to think those are the same machines that were built in the 1920’s. Upgraded and rebuilt but still the same basic machine.
    They don’t build them like they used to I guess.
    Of course its those same rotary snow plows on that same track that were unable to free the stranded “City of San Francisco” in 1953.

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