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  1. #1
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    Plowing snow with Steam

    I grew up near a narrow gauge line that ran steam occasionally, so perhaps that is why I have always found steam locomotives fascinating. The contrast of snow and steam in this video was intriguing me. (Maybe it's because I miss snow, as it hasn't snowed where I live for a few years). Let me know if you like this video as I have a few more bookmarked.
    This video is of snow removal on a narrow gauge railroad in Colorado.


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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Here's another video filmed a few days earlier on the same line. The Southern Pacific 18 is on loan to the D&S so the operators can become proficient with an oil burning locomotive. It's a pretty 10 wheeler (4-6-0) which puts on a good show hauling up steep grades in the snow. Don't forget to look for the frozen photographer at the 5:00 mark.

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    Senior Member Joetech's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    You're tugging at my heart strings with these trains. I still remember walking to the end of our street with my dad when I was little and watching the locomotives roll by. It was late 1950's and steam engines were still in use.
    "Don't follow in my footsteps. I stepped in something."

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Since there's some interest, how about a branch line on the East Coast? CNJ 113 is noteworthy for being one of the largest 0-6-0 switchers ever built. It is also unusual in that it was designed to burn hard coal (anthracite). Here it is being run at it's maximum safe speed, thus the highball reference. The diesel locomotive is on back for both rail line regulations and to "help out" the switcher which is hauling a heavy train for that size locomotive.


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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Here's another snowy steamy video, or that a steamy snowy video? The photogenic Southern Pacific #18 cruises through Animas Valley. I find the juxtaposition of the antique locomotive with the modern residential and commercial architecture in the background to add to the already amazing scenery combined with the snow and steam. For example at 0:49 the locomotive drives past the typical franchise hardware store that is so common throughout suburbia in the US. New franchise vs. restored antique.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Porkncheese's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    I love the snow. There ain't much here in Oz. Just enough for a few hundred meters of vertical train. Snowboard every year. I luv it. A friend worked up there 2 season in a row so I became ok riding with the local boys.

    But the title goy my attention cos towns that get a lot of snow fall typically have snow moving equipment for the roads. But what about that 5ft snow drift in ur driveway.
    Is shoveling the only option. Seems so saccording to the few people I've met that live in the snow.

    I imagined a heated driveway just like homes have heated floors. This title got me thinking about a steamer that metals away the snow and ice u can get to work on time...

    Is there really a market for this or am I a dreamer from sunny Oz?

  7. #7
    Member Manuallaborer's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Here in the midwest of America, we know snow. When you melt snow, you create liquid water in freezing temperatures that will quickly ice. Simply having a heated driveway on your property would create an ice dam where the drive meets the city street. It would only work if the city was on board and made it mandatory in new construction building codes. If all private property driveways were heated, and the city streets were heated, with the additional sewer drains to capture the water, it would work. I haven't Googled it yet, but I'm sure this is how the wealthy live. Shoveling snow is for the poors. No offense, I'm definitely including myself in the "poors" category.
    If it floats, flies or fucks, it's better to rent

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    Senior Member Porkncheese's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Cos i try to imagine. Going to work at 6.30am, its still dark and there is 10ft of powder all down my lovely 60ft driveway.
    Its an important job that needs to be finished... U guys have flamethrowers right.
    How about if we camber the driveway so it forms a channel along its length.

    A woohaaa let the laws of thermodynamics take its course with a military flamethrower.
    The water will freeze it the gutter that we designed, restricting it going onto the road too much at once.

    Tyres are a big thing too. In parts of Scanidinavia and North America im sure, guys have necessary tyres to drive on an icy road.
    Spike tyres, 4WDs with huge lugs
    Here i just use snow chains in my RWD to get up the small hills to the ski villages.

    But with all of mankinds genius and the large populations living in the snow im somewhat surprised that there isn't anywhere that has kind of defeated this great force of nature. Water. Snow. Ice.

    The whole city would have to be on board as u mentioned with building codes and standards. Fleets of snow moving equipment. It would require quite a massive engineering undertaking really to which the costs are probably not favourable to a states budget.

    Im thinking the Germans, the North Americans, the Japanese, the norther Europeans, the Chinese, Scandanavians. These are literally the most high tech societies in the world. And as far as i know the shovel is still the leading methond of removing powder from the driveway.

    Considering we went to the moon its seem like a huge underachivement to man.
    Or it shows that pay runs every thing. The more i think of the engineering challenges the more i see such a vision being way over budget.

    Just my engineering mind thinking out loud really.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Joetech's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Try to imagine a car with a plug sticking out of the grill. That's where you plug in your engine block warmer when you park it at night. That's how they used to do it in Buffalo.
    "Don't follow in my footsteps. I stepped in something."

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    When I visited my relatives in New England, it snowed and there were lots of snowblowers in evidence. Americans love power equipment and snowblowers fall into that category. A lot of people also contract to have their driveway plowed off after each snowfall. So if one is up before dawn after a snow, one can see the large pickups with snowplow blades mounted driving around making $60 or more per each house they visit. One of my uncles does this as a side job.

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Speaking of plowing snow and New England, there's always the WW&F 2' gauge railroad. The Forney 0-4-4T locomotive is being helped by the diesel switcher and plowing is still a slow process. You can hear lots of wheel slip and stack talk from the little steamer.

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Skookum lives again! This is a rare 2-4-4-2 mallet which has been recently restored to operation from a rusty pile of parts. It's one thing to perform a frame off restoration from a formerly working and still assembled piece of equipment. It's a lot tougher to build a rare locomotive from a pile of parts that was last together 70 years ago. This locomotive is articulated a designed to handle the very tight curves of a logging railroad yet still provide lots of power for pulling log trains.


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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Perhaps it's time to show a little of the other end of the steam spectrum. Narrow gauge and short branch lines generally required low speeds and the ability to handle tight curves at the expense of speed and power. It was different out on the main lines where the capacity to pull heavy passenger trains at 100mph was needed. Here is clip of the UP 844, a 4-8-4 mountain class. A superheated, superpowerful steam giant. Much credit to the chaser who was keeping a camera steady at 80mph!


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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Those drivers have to be huge to be turning that slow. There so big you can watch e'm go round. Smaller wheels would be a blur going 80.

    Another useless fact you might not know is steam engines produce their peak torque at zero RPM.
    Every day I make the world a little bit worse.

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Yes, the drivers are 80" in diameter, specifically because the designers wanted a top speed of 120mph when pulling a train. The top speed has been unofficially verified at 121mph. Peak torque is at 0mph, but this locomotive develops the majority of it's horsepower at above 70mph. Here's a link to specifics.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_844

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    Senior Member Porkncheese's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    An engine block warmer.
    Snow blower drive way services.
    Good insights into life in the snow.

    Max torque of a steam engine is at 0 RPM was almost like a trick question big I totally get it. It's actually exactly when it needs the most torque. A diesel engines max torque is also at low RPM. HP increases with RPM.

    I'm a bit surprised so many steam locos are in operation.
    There's none here. All diesels now

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Quote Originally Posted by Porkncheese View Post
    An engine block warmer.
    Snow blower drive way services.
    Good insights into life in the snow.

    Max torque of a steam engine is at 0 RPM was almost like a trick question big I totally get it. It's actually exactly when it needs the most torque. A diesel engines max torque is also at low RPM. HP increases with RPM.

    I'm a bit surprised so many steam locos are in operation.
    There's none here. All diesels now
    Where's "here" for you, Porkncheese? Give me a country and I can do some searching. You might be surprised at the number of steamers around. There are steamers active in several countries besides the US.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Porkncheese's Avatar
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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Quote Originally Posted by ABigSiameseCat View Post
    Where's "here" for you, Porkncheese? Give me a country and I can do some searching. You might be surprised at the number of steamers around. There are steamers active in several countries besides the US.
    I live in Melbourne, Australia. The only one I know of is "Puffing Billy". Its an old group of steam trains that operate in our far eastern suburbs. Its a neat tourist attraction which I took my family to a couple of Xmas' ago.
    My olds are going on the Indian Pacific train ride next month.
    It crosses Australia from Perth to Sydney and is one of the longest railroad links in the world.

    All kinds of engineering interests me from old architechture to the lastest innovations.
    Do u like high speed trains? Which country has the best high speed trains?
    The fastest? The best network? The most efficient?

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Ah, Australia, now you've given me reason to mention "Sydney's Great Steam Train Race" which features a nice Victorian 10 wheeler, 3526 and the delightful 6029 4-8-4+4-8-4 Garrett. The "race" gives the passengers the opportunity to view each train as it passes the other, a truly wonderful idea for an outing. The first video is shot from the train pulled by 3526.


    The second video is of 3526 pulling it's train with nice "stack talk" as the engine is under load. What's even nicer about the video is that it is shot from the cab of 6029. A pacing shot of steam locomotive, filmed from the cab of another steam locomotive.


    Here's a link to the Wiki entry for the Garrett design, in case you are unfamiliar with them.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garratt

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    Re: Plowing snow with Steam

    Here's a video of "Garden Scale" railroad. It's very rare to see an actual coal burning locomotive at this scale, propane, or fuel oil/kerosene are much more common as it's hard to manage a coal fire in a firebox the size of my coffee cup. This model is both stunningly detailed, and, even more impressive is a 4 cylinder compound expansion locomotive just like the full size version! It is being broken in and so is running with a minimal load for a locomotive of it's power.



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