This is Day 3 of Stages of Snow which is part of the Libraries of Instagram challenge Library Wonderland.
In honor of plow drivers we have a "Rotary Snow Plow in Action Moscow - Troy Highway". I believe this is Idaho Highway 8. It runs from the Washington State Line in Moscow (pop 23,800 in 2010) to Troy (pop. 862) and beyond to Elk River (pop. 125) for about 53 1/2 miles (86.24 kilometers). I have postcards with bigger snowbanks, but none are Real Photo Postcards! I've never noticed a Rotary plow; most are regular plows. I think the sidewalk plows are rotary type. They were common on railroads - are they still? I found some large ones for airports and industrial spaces. This postcard was probably taken between 1925-1950. I've got no idea of the vintage of the plow.
Yesterday we got a Snow Bomb! I went outside just after midnight for a little bit and the sky was clear. By early morning the Barometric Pressure Had dropped quickly and it was snowing. It snowed and blew around almost all day. Basically this Stage of Snow is enough to frustrate many people, to cause difficulties and power outages, to be dangerous to be on the roads, to cause transportation slow downs, to give children and some workers snow days, and to give plow drivers a lot of work. I stay in as much as possible.
I know many of you experienced snow, even for the first time in decades in some areas. This came with an historically high tide. Every coastal community in Massachusetts had at least some impact. There was a lot of flooding. A whole parking lot was underwater with dozens of cars potentially destroyed. What's worse is the bitter cold snap. After the snow things are freezing.
I hope you've enjoyed this theme. Please join me tomorrow!
The town of Skagway is pretty cool! Skagway has under 1,000 residents year round, but the day we were in port there were over 10,000 people there. Most of where we were is part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Beautiful flowers, gorgeous mountain backdrops, fun shops, and a lot of history is here. Heather and I got some fudge and she got her picture taken with a totem pole. Rotary Snowplow No. 1 was built in 1898 in Paterson, NJ! It has 10 huge blades that helped push up to 12 feet of snow off the track. It was retired in 1965 and now sits at the Skagway Depot. • #skagway#funfacts#nowyouknow#rotarysnowplow#nhp#goldrush#alaskancruise#alaskanadventures • “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:11-12 #truth
In previous posts, we have discussed how the @uprr snow fighters keep the Donner Pass Route open. This last Saturday, Union Pacific used the biggest piece of snow removal equipment available. This is the "last resort" for the railroad. Here is an announcement by UP regarding the recent operations: "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." In this shot you're seeing SPMW cut its way through Troy, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Keeping the lifeblood of the American economy moving during a fierce winter is no easy task. #UnionPacific#Trains#railroad#Rotary#rotarysnowplow#Snow#Scenic#DonnerPass#SierraNevada#SnowFighters#DonnerPassRoute#UPRosevilleSubdivision#Troy#NorthernCalifornia#jakemiillephotography
5 2322:56 AM Feb 28, 2017
A little history on #spmw207 Built in August 1926 as a steam-powered #rotarysnowplow by Alco-Brooks for #SouthernPacific as SPMW 708, and assigned to Roseville, CA to protect #donnerpass. It would be renumbered a few times over the years to SPMW 711, SPMW 7207, and finally to SPMW 207. Along with the several other SP rotaries, it would eventually be converted from steam to electric, with its conversion taking place in 1967. Along with the conversion, wing extensions would be added to the sides of the rotary housing, allowing crews to remove more snow from the tracks. Another addition would be an F7B unit to replace its steam tender, which would house the diesel/electric prime mover to power the rotating blade, as well as a boiler/steam generator package to supply steam to critical parts of the rotary to keep them thawed out at all times. Former F7B unit SP 8299 would be the selected 'snail' for 207, and was renumbered to SPMW 8207. Last known use was February 1993, and would eventually become a parts donor for other rotaries. In March 2012, rotary SPMW 207 would be sent out to Relco in Iowa to be overhauled and completely rebuilt, with the completion of the rebuild in 2013. With California being in a drought since 2011, there wouldn't be enough snow in the Sierras to test the rotary until March 2016. The rotaries are not deployed every year, as they are used only as a last resort. When they are brought out, the entire Donner Pass route from Roseville to Truckee is shut down, as the rotaries operate at a very low rate of speed, anywhere from 1 mph to 15 mph. The average time span between rotary deployments is roughly 4-5 years, with the longest being 13 years. Finally, in February 2017, after a long 6 years since their last deployment, the rotary snowplows returned to Donner Pass, and were deployed Friday February 24 and Saturday 25. #unionpacific#train