The International Steam Pages


Railway Steam Snow Blowers / Ploughs

At the instigation of and with considerable assistance from John Taubeneck who first love is steam cranes, here is a preliminary list of surviving (rotary) steam snow blowers / ploughs by manufacturer, the two terms seem to be used interchangeably. For a general introduction see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_snowplow. The initial paragraph of the above article reads (I have corrected their spelling of Patterson RD).

"The rotary was invented in Toronto, Canada, by dentist J.W. Elliot in 1869. He never built a working model or prototype, although he wanted to. Orange Jull of Orangeville, Ontario, expanded on Elliot's design, building working models he tested with sand. During the winter of 1883–1884, Jull contracted with the Leslie Brothers of Toronto to build a full-size prototype that proved successful. Jull later sold his design rights to Leslie Brothers, who formed the Rotary Steam Shovel Manufacturing Company in Patterson, New Jersey. Leslie Brothers contracted with Cooke Locomotive & Machine Works in Patterson to do the actual construction."

For this reason, they are often referred to as Leslie Snow Blowers.

This list includes only those steam powered machines  which are still as built. There are a number of surviving conversions, most of which are electrically powered. Note that confusingly they may emit steam when working as it is used to protect vulnerable parts such as fuel pipes to the generator and also prevent icing up of the cutting blades. Prime examples of this are Union Pacific Railroad former Southern Pacific Rotary Snow Ploughs SPMW 209/211 as seen on the web 'in steam'.


We would appreciate submission of pictures to fill the gaps as experience suggests that some of the links given will prove to be ephemeral.

American Manufacturers

Cooke for Leslie Brothers Manufacturing Company, Patterson, New jersey

7 Cooke 12-1887 Northern Pacific RR #2 retired 01-14-68

Steam Preservation Society Cadillac, MI 04-19-68
Lake Superior RR Museum Duluth, MN 02-15-75
https://www.flickr.com/photos/23711298@N07/18649892100  
Retired 09-20-57 or 09-58

24 Cooke 01-1889 Denver & Rio Grande RR #2>OM (3’ gauge)

Denver & Rio Grande Western RR #OM
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR #OM 1970
http://drgw.free.fr/DRGW/MOW/Snow/Rotary/CTS-00-387_en.htm

This is James Waite's picture from May 2014.

25 Cooke 02-1889 Denver & Rio Grande RR #2>ON (3’ gauge)

Denver & Rio Grande Western RR #ON 
US Army Skagway, AK 1942
White Pass & Yukon RR #3 retired 1947
(used a riprap in Skagway River 1968)
http://www.whitepassfan.net/whitepass/engines/rotary/rotary-3.html (link dead by 12th April 2018)
http://wpyphotos.com/MW/rotary/rotary-3b-river.jpg 

54 Cooke 1897 Caile Farte Romane (Romanian Government Ry)

Display Sibiu, Romania
https://noflytripping.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/dsc03017.jpg 

55 Cooke 11-1898 Long Island RR #193

Ron Ziel 1968 (stored in New Jersey)
Steamtown Foundation 1988
Steamtown National Park Scranton, PA 1993
https://www.nps.gov/stea/planyourvisit/upload/lirr193.pdf 

56 Cooke 11-1898 White Pass & Yukon RR #1 (3’ gauge) retired 02-64

Display Bennett, BC
(restored to operation 1996)
Display Skagway, AK
http://www.whitepassfan.net/whitepass/engines/rotary/rotary-1.html (link dead by 12th April 2018)

The picture below from Wikimedia Commons is used under the Creative Commons scheme.

59 Cooke 01-1900 Colorado & Southern RR #03>0270>99201 (3’gauge)

(converted to standard gauge 1903)
(converted to 3’ gauge 1935)
(converted to standard gauge 1949)
Burlington Northern (not relettered) 1970
Colorado RR Museum Golden, CO 10-72
https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g33447-d263364-i86070748-Colorado_Railroad_Museum-Golden_Colorado.html 

61 Cooke 09-1900 White Pass & Yukon RR #2 (3’ gauge) retired 02-64

Sumpter Valley RR Restoration Baker, OR 1980
Summit Historical Society 1989
Display Breckenridge, CO 
(lettered Denver, Leadville & Gunnison Ry #01)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenm_61/14732155903 

The picture below from Wikimedia Commons by John Peeken is used under the Creative Commons scheme.

62 Cooke 10-1900 Buenos Aires & Valparaiso RR (metre gauge)

F. C. Transandino
Cruz del Eje, Argentina http://trenesdel90y2000.blogspot.com/2010/09/ 

American Locomotive Co. (Cooke Works)

43060 Cooke 10-1907 Transandean Construction Co. Argentina (metre gauge)

F. C. Transandino #1 
Maestranza del Trasandino at Los Andes, Chile.
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amigosdeltren.cl%2Fel-trasandino-los-andes-mendoza&edit-text=&act=url 
http://www.trenesdechile.cl/maquinas/BarreNieves-EnLosAndes.jpg

43670 Cooke 12-1909 Stock

After 1911 Laramie, Hahns Peak & Pacific RR #099
Colorado, Wyoming & Eastern #099 1914
Laramie, North Park & Western RR #099 1924
Union Pacific RR #099>900099 1951 
Forney Museum Denver, CO 10-69
http://metroworld.com/bigtoys/rail/snow/rotary/up02.jpg

44037 Cooke 11-1907 Northern Pacific RR #10

Puget Sound Ry Historical Assn. Snoqualmie, WA 1968
Northwest Ry Museum Snoqualmie, WA 1999
https://www.trainmuseum.org/index.php/northern-pacific-railway-steam-rotary-snowplow-10

The picture below from Wikimedia Commons is used under the Creative Commons scheme.

44596 Cooke 11-1907 Nevada Northern RR #B

http://metroworld.com/bigtoys/rail/snow/rotary/up02.jpg 

45561 Cooke 09-1908 Paris-Orleans RR

French National Ry (SNCF) #ZR1 1938 retired 1973
Cite Du Train Mulhouse, France 01-78

The picture below from Wikimedia Commons is used under the Creative Commons scheme. (The snow is anything but real!)

51166 Rogers 11-1912 Union Pacific (OSL) #762>02011>051>900051

Private individual Blackfoot, ID 06-72
Mid-Continent RR Museum North Freedom, WI 1979
http://www.midcontinent.org/equipment-roster/service-equipment/oregon-short-line-762/

51167 Rogers 11-1912 Union Pacific (OWR&N) #061>900061

City of Ogden, UT Display 09-78
http://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?media/owr-amp-n-7827-steam-power-rotary-snow-plow.78685/ 

56162 Cooke 12-1917 Stock

Copper Range RR #9
Laramie, Hahns Peak & Pacific #098(2nd)
Laramie, North Park & Western RR #098 1924
Union Pacific RR #900098 1951 retired 12-80
Hanna, WY Display
http://www.trainweb.org/dcstation/UP/UP900098.html 

64381 Cooke 07-1923 Japanese Government Ry #K1 301>601 (1067mm gauge)

Otaru Transport Museum Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan
Otaru Synthesis Museum 2007
http://www.japaneserailwaysociety.com/jrs/otaru/snow_blower1.JPG 

65053 Cooke 11-1923 Denver & Rio Grande Western RR #OY

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR #OY 1970
https://davesriogrande.net/Rosters/DRGW/workcars/oy.htm 

67650 Montreal 12-1928 Canadian National Ry #55361

Canadian Ry Museum Delson, PQ 1965
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=465858&nseq=54  

Lima-Hamilton

See http://limalocomotiveworks.com/rotary_snow_plows.html which indicates there are two survivors:

c/n 9387 C.O. 1213-SP Dec. 1949 Union Pacific Railroad 075 Retired 1979, displayed at Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois. See http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rspicture.aspx?id=10401

c/n 9388 C.O. 1213-SP Jan. 1950 Union Pacific Railroad 076. Retired 1985, displayed at Hermiston, Oregon.


European Manufacturers

Henschel

Verkehrshaus Museum, Lucerne from the standard gauge Gotthardbahn.(100) built in 1896.

See https://www.verkehrshaus.ch/en/museum/schienenverkehr/steam-powered-snow-blower. This is James Waite's picture:

ÖBB 986.101 is preserved non operational at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin in Germany. It was built in 1943.

The picture below from Wikimedia Commons is used under the Creative Commons scheme.

Further examples (in Europe) are:

Hungary:

Budapest Railway Museum: https://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve/34466584620

Austria:

ÖBB 986.107 at Strasshof Museum: https://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve/39866677962 

Poland:

At Zduńska Wola Karsznice depot (10th April 2011), https://www.flickr.com/photos/15632944@N00/5609825168/in/album-72157626350820339/ and  https://www.flickr.com/photos/15632944@N00/5609246677/in/album-72157626350820339/ 

At Chabówka Railway Museum. The picture below from Wikimedia Commons is used under the Creative Commons scheme.

Turkey

At Camlik Railway Museum, http://www.trainsofturkey.com/pmwiki.php/Network/SnowRemoval#toc5 

Thunes

At Finse the summit of the original Bergen - Oslo line.
http://www.railpictures.net/photo/547565/ 
“This six axle rotary with four axle tender was built in 1914 by the Skabo Jernbanevognfabrik, Sköien pr. Kristiania and the railways own Thunes workshops and was in use till 1976.”
http://rallarmuseet.no/ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXTmqyYS8mw 

Winterthur (SLM)

Metre gauge Rhätische Bahn Steam Snowblower 9213, SLM (2419/1910). Operational; for detailed information see James Waite's article on this site. This is his picture from a 2009 event.

Metre gauge Rhätische Bahn Steam Snowblower 9214, SLM (SLM 2399/1913), preserved on the Blonay-Chamby museum railway. See also https://www.dfb.ch/index.php?id=85&L=2. The picture below from Wikimedia Commons is used under the Creative Commons scheme.

Metre gauge Rhätische Bahn Steam Snowblower 9212 / R12 (SLM ???? / 1913) is on the DFB (Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke), seen here under repair. The picture below from Wikimedia Commons by Martin Horath is used under the Creative Commons scheme. Unlike the two above, it is not self-propelling. See https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/RhB_R_11%2B12.


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk