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Welcome to RR Snow fighting Gallery / Visions Page!
To choose the subject please click first the tile below. You can return to this menu any time by clicking the "Top of the page" -link.

More subjects are be added regularly during the winter period.
   
Created for 4rail.net by John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Focalplane, Nick Slocombe, Peider SwissTrip, Stanislav Voronin, Gerard J. Putz and John McKey.

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Snow shed in Riksgränsen, Sweden
When the almost always present plows on the Swedish locos are not enough in the north the rotaries come to rescue.
Rotary snow plow of the Swedish north in Kiruna
BNSF Snow rotary American style, isn't there a saying that everything is bigger in America, so are the snow falls and the rotaries!

Swiss snow fighting VW!
The VW plow is here to bring some entertainment to the otherwise demanding plowing work!



Railvacuum cleaner by Saalasti in Sweden
Occasionally new and interesting inventions arise for the old need: Imagine this huge vacuum cleaner sucking in ice and snow to melt them in to water and dump to sewer!

Snow shed in Riksgränsen, Sweden
Snow sheds on the mountain sides were and still are used to keep the danger of avalanche away, or just to keep the steel wheels rolling throughout the year.

BNSF 728 and 5468 in the snow in Colorado, U.S.A.
Most of the U.S. diesels seem to be equipped at all times with a standard issue heavy snow plows.

 
  Jungfrabahn vehicle in ice tunnel, SwitzerlandTunneling through the ice at Jungfraubahn, when other methods don't work! Swiss snow fighting VW!
Believe or not, although Finland is very far north, this Tka 7 is the heaviest snow moving machine there!
 
       
- - - More updates for the next winter will follow in November 2012 - - -  
       
       
  - - Discuss Page at trainorders.com - -    
       
       
       

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Snow Fighting Equipment

  A Snow fighting VW of Rigibahn
Snowfighting VW of Rigibahn

A VW to Fight Snow?
Who says the snow fighting should be dull? And with the Volkswagen came probably even the radio, otherwise only found on the newer locomotives...

This snow fighter takes care of the Rigibahn slopes and the plow is of right caliber to sometimes demanding cleaning work on the high mountain top. Rigi is a mountain located in Swiss Alps.

Picture: Ilkka Siissalo.

 


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  A Snow Plow of Finnish VR Track
Finland VR-Yhtyma Tka7 number 243 with snow plows installed on both ends

How unusual of a country as far north and with as hard winters as in Finland to lack _any_ heavy snow plowing rail equipment. This VR Track Tka 7 is the heaviest snow plow for the country! In summer the same machine is used on track maintenance and building tasks. There are no rotary snow plows in Finland nor have EMUs or locomotives their normal smaller or large snow plows, interesting feature ... and really a good opportunity for professional snow moving equipment companies to sell something there!

Picture: Stanislav Voronin.


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  A Standard Issue Snow Plow for the U.S. Diesels...
BNSF freight leasd by C44-9W number 535, Southwest U.S.A.

For some parts of the world it is so important for trains to reach the destination, that it looks like almost every one of them is equipped with a heavy snow plow at the front. U.S. is one of the nations with this approach. The formidable freights plow on be it snow storm or heat of the desert. And in many places the weather can change real quickly.

In the picture above a BNSF freight is stopping to pick up more freight cars in the U.S. Southwest. Picture by Gerry Putz.

Below another BNSF freight is seen crossing a bridge in snowy Colorado. The Union Pacific freight lowest is also facing the elements on its voyage in Colorado. Pictures by Nick Slocombe.


BNSF 728 and 5468 in the snow in Colorado, U.S.A.
UP 8199 in the snow in Colorado, U.S.A.

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Rotary Now Plows

  A Rotary Snow Plow of Banverket in Swedish North
Rotary snow plow of the Swedish north in Kiruna

In the north the mountain climate is so demanding that rotaries are needed after bigger snow storms and / or high winds. The wind can easily blow tons of snow around the mountains and occasionally the rail line is recessed from its surroundings, creating conditions for a lot of snow to pile there. One rail Malmbana is heavily so trafficked, that any interruption would cause trouble for the ore giants in the north, so to keep the heavy freights rolling it is good to have a little backup when lighter snow removing methods get exhausted.

The rotary in the pictures was seen at Kiruna center at Banverket depot.

Picture: Ilkka Siissalo.


Rotary snow plow of the Swedish north in Kiruna
Rotary snow plow of the Swedish north in Kiruna
 
Rotary snow plow of the Swedish north in Kiruna
 

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  A Rotary Snow Plow of BNSF Railway in the U.S. Northwest
Rotary snow plow of the Swedish north in Kiruna

What a cool contraption! This interesting BNSF Railway snow rotary originates from the period of Great Northern in the U.S. northwest. To plow, there is a control and operating unit in the front, behind it is a formed FB units, which still provides the rotary with necessary power to roll the huge blades against snow and ice and throw the removed snow far outside the track side. The units will still need a lot of pushing power, provided by huge American diesel locomotives.

Picture: Hannu Peltola.


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 A Railroad Snow and Ice Vacuum Cleaner
Railvacuum cleaner by Saalasti in Sweden

Gerry Putz found this truly railroad sized vacuuming unit on his trip to Sweden. The unit was built by a Finnish engineering company Saalasti in 2004. According to manufacturer the unit is used for  sucking in the ballast for cleaning and dumping back on line after being cleaned. The manufacturer of the vacuuming machinery itselt is Disab of Sweden. The unit can actually perform several tasks by sucking up any material to create a hollow for instance to add a culvert into the track bed and replacing the ballast after the operation is done.

In the winter there are 4 of these machines vacuuming ice and snow away from busy stations. Once these are in a container, next they are melted to water and dumped to the sewer. What an ingenious way to get rid of extra snow of the cold Nordic country!

There is also a long discussion on this machines ability to filter iron pellets from the gravel at trainorders.com. Have a look at the discussion!

Picture by Gerard J. Putz.  



   Other MOV equipment of Sweden...   
   Picture Gallery of Sweden...   


- Discuss this page at Trainorders.com -
Railvacuum cleaner by Saalasti in Sweden
Railvacuum cleaner by Saalasti in Sweden
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Other Alternatives to Plowing

  Tunneling Through the Ice
Jungfrabahn vehicle in ice tunnel, Switzerland

Sometimes no other alternatives exist for quarrying through ice. Here a Jungfraubahn service vehicle is bringing fresh water to the top through the long tunnel!

Picture by Peider SwissTrip.

  Swiss RR Gallery with hundreds of pictures...


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  Snow sheds in the Sweden's North
Snowshed at Riksgränsen, Sweden

Sorry to spoil the illusion, this in actually NOT a snow shed of heavy timbers, although the color would suggest that. It is a modern heavy concrete and steel structure with wood only in the station platform in the front. The heavy iron ore loaded trains use this man made tunnel on their way from Kiruna area mines to Narvik in Norway. There are also a number of passenger as well as intermodal freight trains rolling through it every day and night. This shed is located at Riksgränsen, right at the borders line which can be seen in the distance where the curve is. Pictures by John McKey.

Looking west, the snow shed opens on the other side to create a station on the mountains.

  Some Heavy Railroading on Malmbana Theme Pages...

Snowshed at Riksgränsen, Sweden

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© 4rail.net Railroad Reference 2004 - 2012   -   Created in 28.9.2009, Refurbished 3.2.2012 John McKey, updated 2.3.2012