How does this engineer know what is in front of him?
This particular snow plow is being pushed by 3 locomotives and is used to clear the tracks ahead.
Wait for a moment and you will see the engines come clear of the snow.
The sled in front has a high blade with no retractable side hydraulics to push away from the tracks, unlike the Jordan Spreader that is used in the High Sierras along the Truckee River.
Snow plows are needed everywhere from the mid west to the Rockies and the High Sierras! They provide great entertainment!