North East Rails
Maintenance of Way Equipment
|Plows in Action | Rotaries | Snow Blowers | Plows | Spreaders | Flangers|
Also see: Railroad Snowfighting Equipment | Snow Equipment | Clearing the Snow by by JD Santucci
Per Marty Feldner:
Flangers were even more specialized than snowplows: blades between the trucks
could be lowered to railhead level, and a lower section between the inner rail
flangeways cleared snow below the railhead. This (hopefully) prevented future
ice buildup between the rails.
Some roads modified cabooses or
older boxes to flangers- operator sat in the cupola and raised or lowered blade
as needed (usually air cylinders and lever linkage did the work)- obviously the
blade had to be raised over switches, grade crossings, etc. Some roads had
trackside markers for the operators. L&HR105 (nee NYO&W R-4, bought at the O&W
estate sale in '57 and home built from an old boxcar by the O&W in Middletown)
had the blades suspended from transverse leaf springs in case the operator
goofed- might at least minimize the damage.
Blade bottom profile:
\____ ____/ \_____________________________/CBQ Wedge Plow
Per Mike Sullivan, Chicago Burlington & Quincy "wedge" plow used for many years betwecn Sterling, Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyoming. This flatcar was weighted with a cargo of broken stone to give extra stability. Coupled in front of the locomotive the plow would get a running start and ram into a snowdrift as far as it could go, before backing out for another try. Derailments and overturns were not uncommon to this procedure.
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North East Rails © Clint Chamberlin.