Three power units pushing this unmanned sled shows how it’s done!
On the plains in the midwest somewhere between Kansas and Colorado, this scene plays out each time a major storm dumps snow. The only thing that would be better than watching it is being in the cab of the locomotive. The onboard view must be spectacular!
Spreaders come in various forms from typical Jordan variety which are manned to this example of a weighted down sled being pushed by 3 diesel locomotives. In the off season, the spreaders are also used for ballast maintenance.
These types of sleds have been known to derail occasionally which creates a hazard for the crew.
Some of duties performed are:
- Plows and spreads snow or ballast
- Cuts ice from tracks
- Front plow clears in “V” formation or as a straight plow to the left or the right
- Made of heavy construction with low center of gravity
Most spreaders and sleds are pushed by one or multiple locomotives to achieve high traction and speed for max plowing effectiveness.
Let us know if you have seen snow spreaders in action! We would to hear about your experience!