Plowing Snow in the San Juan Mountains

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Feb 7, 2019
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Southwest Colorado received more snow this winter than in twenty years. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad struggled to keep the line open and had to run snow plow trains six times. I photographed all of them for a magazine article and was permitted to ride on the last one in the caboose. Photos were taken with a Nikon D850 with a 20mm lens and a Nikon Z7 with a 24-70mm.

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Few more from a wild winter on the railroad.
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Joined
Dec 3, 2012
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What a great opportunity that was, and you got some fantastic shots. Curious what that car is in front of the caboose in the last shot.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
34
What a great opportunity that was, and you got some fantastic shots. Curious what that car is in front of the caboose in the last shot.
It is a "flanger". It is a special type of snow spreader. It has wings on each side that spread the snow away from the railroad track. Each wing has something like ice picks on them that scrape ice off the rails. Railroad wheels have a 1/2 inch flange that keeps them on the track, hard packed ice can derail a train, so the flanger is used to plow the snow and scrape the ice.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
6,595
Location
N Idaho
It is a "flanger". It is a special type of snow spreader. It has wings on each side that spread the snow away from the railroad track. Each wing has something like ice picks on them that scrape ice off the rails. Railroad wheels have a 1/2 inch flange that keeps them on the track, hard packed ice can derail a train, so the flanger is used to plow the snow and scrape the ice.
Thanks!
 

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