Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

I snapped snowplow X-900215 in July, 1960, in Tacoma Washington. This Milwaukee Road snow plow was built as a steam driven rotary. Milwaukee Road's Chief Electrical Engineer, Laurence Wylie, was the architect for converting her from steam to electric by replacing the boiler with two GE direct current traction motors. And adding a pantograph to gather 3,000-volts from the overhead wire to drive the blades, not propel the plow.

While the plow could drive with the overhead wire, she proved to be more efficient drawing 600-volt juice from diesel-electric locomotives, pushing the plow and dragging along a tool car and hack (caboose.)

In all, there were four steam to diesel conversions; X-900212 and X-900214 were assigned to the Rocky Mountain Division on St. Paul Pass between Avery and St. Regis. X-900207 and X-900215 were assigned to the Cascade Division, operating mainly on Snoqualmie Pass between Cedar Falls and Easton.

These rotary's were often referred to as "slide rotary's."  They had fewer blades - but much stronger - for tossing small trees and boulders off the track!

All remaining Milwaukee Road steam rotaries were scrapped in the ‘70’s. Here be a photographic roster showing the variety of snow plows employed by the Road.

From the Milwaukee Road Archives, the Operation Manual for snow plow  X-900212.  Note the letter signed by the legendary Mr. Wylie!

Railroad Stuff: Milwaukee Road X900215, built by the American Locomotive Company, Cooke Works, August 1906. Converted to electric drive 1955.

1 Comments - Click here:

LinesWest said...

Merry Christmas to you two (Ginger too). Looks like a nice calendar this year too. Thanks!

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