The War Wagon Returns

The War Wagon Returns | Train Fanatics Videos

Affectionately known as the War Wagon, the rotary snow plow is only called out when mother nature has worked overtime!

Seen here on the Donner Pass on the western side of the Sierra Mountains in California, it is not uncommon to have heavy snowfall over the pass during wet winters on the coast.

These 16 foot high A-units can plow snow banks as high as 12 feet! 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 move around 4-8 mph, acting as a giant auger chewing into snow banks.

Rotary snow plow trains are usually configured a plow front and back so they can make their way back from their starting point should more snow fall after their initial plow through an area.

Rotary snow plow trains usually have the following:

  • 2 rotary A-units front AND back of the train.
  • 2 F7 B- power units for the blades front and back.
  • 2 EMD F7 1500 horsepower power locomotives in the middle.

Unbelievably, the basic rotary snow plow design was invented by a dentist from Toronto, Canada, back in 1869!

Let us know if you have ever seen one of the beasts in action. We would love to hear about your experience!

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