The big reveal. White Pass Master Mechanic Dave Sorrell opens the access covers on WPY Rotary #1 to reveal the steam engine that powers the greatest show on rails. When I heard that the White Pass & Yukon folks intended to take a 113 year-old rotary snow plow, put 2 steam engines behind it and put it up against a whole season's worth of accumulated "white concrete", I had more than a few concerns about whether or not the thing would survive the first day of operation. When I arrived in Skagway on Easter Sunday and got my first look at this machine, most of that concern vanished. This thing is built like a tank and is maintained like it is used every day. As you can see, there's no rickety wooden cab on this unit. She's armored with steel plate. And the machinery? It's in top-notch condition. Master Mechanic Sorrell and his colleague Wayland Ferreira had spent months preparing for this operation and all of their work paid off in one very impressive demonstration. During the 4-day plowing operation in April of 2011, this machine went up against drifts that were 10-15 ft tall and snow that was nearly as dense as solid ice. Arguably, it was asked to do more than it ever did "back in the day" because back then, the railroad never would have let the snow accumulate for a full season. It performed beautifully, with ZERO mechanical failures. It was a testament to the skill and hard work of Sorrell, Ferreira, Chief Mechanical Officer Glenn Sullivan and the entire crew who ran it. The entire White Pass Team is proud to be the owners of North America's last operational steam-powered rotary snow plow, and if you ever visit Skagway, you'll likely find it displayed prominently in front of their depot in the heart of town.