RailPictures.Net Photo: WPY 1 White Pass & Yukon Route Rotary Snow Plow at White Pass, British Columbia, Canada by Kevin Madore
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


White Pass & Yukon Route (more..)
Rotary Snow Plow (more..)
Canadian Shed (near MP 21) (more..)
White Pass, British Columbia, Canada (more..)
April 26, 2011
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
WPY 1 (more..)
WPY Rotary Fleet (more..)
Kevin Madore (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
Deep in the trenches, the battle rages. On Day 2 of their 4-day mission to clear the line, the White Pass Snow Team attacks the worst of the snow pack, in a deep cut called Canadian Shed, about a mile north of the US-Canada Border. Here, the snow has drifted to a depth of between 15 and 20 feet. The top of the pack is very soft from the warming temperatures of April...and the bottom is like concrete. Even mighty Rotary #1 was never meant to handle conditons like this, for back in the day, the railroad never would have allowed a season's worth of snow to accumulate. She needs an assist, and today, that assist comes in the form of a Caterpillar D6XL, a massive bulldozer piloted by WPY Operator Bob Mahle. He can run back and forth breaking up the crusty snow and reducing its depth, but only the rotary can pick it up and fling it out of the cut. Back and forth they'll go for several hours, with the "Cat" trimming the snow pack down to size and then the rotary moving in to clean it up. Initially, they'll make only a hundred yards or so per hour (if that), but later in the afternoon, they'll finally break through the worst of it and be dealing with a much more managable 3-4 feet. Tomorrow, they'll go nearly 20 miles, almost making Bennett. Incidentally, photographing this operation in the deepest snow conditions was extremely difficult. The train was often deep in a snow canyon, and it was tough just to find a safe place to watch. With a south wind blowing the smoke and snow toward me, the equipment was often invisible. And of course, there was the ever-present hazard of "post-holing"....sinking so deeply into the snow that you were helpless. Been there, did that, got the fur-lined tee-shirt.
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