Cumbres & Toltec Railroad Snow Removal
High country snow means business for this 100 year old rotary plow!
It’s serious business to get this snow up and out of the way in the high country of New Mexico!
The snow is quite deep and requires slow and steady handling of the engine and rotary plow. The Cumbres Pass is the scene of the battle.
These machines are no lightweights either, with their 11 foot fan blades and separate power sources along with the pusher engine.
The idea of the rotary snow plow was first conceived by a dentist in Toronto, Canada back in 1869. The rotary plow was designed for deeper drifts where a sled plow would be ineffective.
Since rotary plows leave an open-cut in the snow bank, The sides of the cut set up like concrete which in turn make the regular push plows useless.
Modern rotary plows can heave the snow as much as 150 feet to the side!
The centrifugal force created by the swirling 11 foot fan blades can propel the snow upwards of 100 feet to either side of the unit. Turning at 60-90 revolutions per minute, the rotary unit can normally move around 4-8 mph, acting as a giant auger chewing into snow banks.
Let us know if you have ever seen a rotary plow in action! We would love to hear your comments!