Author Topic: Snow removal and other odd creatures  (Read 15209 times)

James Patten

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2011, 10:29:48 PM »
We have a charter this year on March 5, so I'm talking about clearing out the line for a good reason - and there was Victorian Christmas a few years ago where we got a lot of snow.  I wouldn't call it doing it for fun very much fun, because it isn't.

Ken Fleming

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2011, 10:38:08 PM »
If someone can provide me with the prints for operating parts for a flanger, I'll have my Mennonite blacksmith/railfan friends build them for us.  Operating levers and such are a piece of cake down here.  All of this horse drawn equipment (like plows) have parts we could use.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2011, 11:06:57 PM »
I've always hoped we'd someday have a wedge plow and a flanger- i.e. reproduce the WW&F plow and flanger, so we can clear our line the old fashioned way.  As James points out, it's not much fun- but in my opinion, only because of a few specific issues, such as a couple certain crossings, and switch clearing.  I believe we could address and ease the couple of concerns, and make the process a lot more fun.

At some point we'll will reach homeostasis with our railroad and equipment construction- hopefully allowing us to do a few lower priority but fun projects.  I hope a wedge plow and flanger is on that list.  Keeping the railroad open in the winter could be a fun activity for volunteers (if we ease the burdenous parts of the process), and will allow us to maintain some programs throughout the year such as school trip programs.

Jason

Mike Fox

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2011, 11:19:03 PM »
The only interior parts in the flanger in Bridgton would be the lever to raise and lower the blade and the rod for the wing on the side. Other than that, pretty empty usually. I think they would have used the space for commonly needed items for the snow removal. Shovels, jacks, block and tackle (rerailing) and other essentials.
Mike
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2011, 11:50:51 PM »
The Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge had (has?) air-operated flanger blades behind the pilots on all their surviving engines. They were operated by a couple of air cylinders. From what I could see (and I admit I wasn't looking very carefully), the flanger blade was a flat steel plate notched for the rails. It was on an angle of about 30 degrees. The air cylinders appeared to be old brake cylinders, and apparently air pressure held the blade in the "down" position; a release would allow the piston to retract and raise the blade at switches, crossings and other obstacles between the rails. I'm sure there are photos or drawings around somewhere. Ira?

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2011, 01:00:21 AM »
Ok, I'm all on board with this. From what I've seen, the flanger blase itself looked to be a double-ended plow blade (that is, two blades back-to-back as if for bi-directional operation) to dig out between the rails. I don't remember seeing additional blades for moving the snow away from the rails themselves on the 2' version, but I'm sure they existed in one form or another.
The thing to remember is, if you're going to start flanger operations, you're going to need to add flanger SIGNS at every crossing, switch, and guardrail. Otherwise,...

...OUCH!

Ken Fleming

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2011, 11:34:30 AM »
I have found the plans and details for a scraper or flanger blade in the American Engineer, Car Builder and Journal, Volume LXXI, 1897.  Its for standard gauge, but very easy to scale down for a 2 footer.  The rail notch size would be the same but distance between the notches will need to be determined based on the angle of the blade.  They used 4'9" of the distance for the notches for standard gauge.  The notches were 5".  The raising mechanism was a pair of air cylinders set at about 30 degrees from each other.  The blade was flat with individual pieces making up the edges of the blade, e.g. notches, tapered center section, etc.

The flanger described in the article was a simple flanger with no wings.  Its was built from a flat car.  They added a body to house air cylinders,  piping and operator's position. 

Mike Fox

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2011, 10:21:13 PM »
Lowes in N.Conway has this bad boy for sale. 45 inches wide.
Mike
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Ira Schreiber

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 10:57:39 PM »
I will be at the Colorado Railroad Museum tomorrow and see what I can find. I just glanced at the flagers last week.
BTW, it is unofficially 70* and I just got back from a 20 mile ride on my new (to me) scooter.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2011, 11:50:22 PM »
IIRC the Durango & Silverton uses a former D&RG(W) flanger like the one Wayne desrcibed.  I have seen video of it being pulled by a K36, it's built on a flatcar.  I'd like to see us build a reproduction of the WW&F flanger.  As Jason mentioned it would be a good piece to have someday. It's not a complicated car to build, set up on a flatcar with the enclosure braces anchored in the stake pockets.  The WW&F flanger was originally an outside braced (single sheath) car that had outside boards added after a few years.  The outside sheathing was added to give better stability and insulation to the enclosure.  Yes, flanger signs would have to be placed before switches and crossings.  The WW&F used an unpainted horizontal board on a post about 5 feet tall. 

Tom Casper

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2011, 12:56:57 AM »
Stewart,  Look at the video again as the pictures I saw showed it as an orignial flanger with blades added by the D&S.  Not a flatcar but a steel frame designed for that service.

Tom C.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 06:04:40 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2011, 02:31:46 AM »
That wasn't me talking about the D&RGW flanger cars, which Stewart notes look like flatcars. Rather, I was describing flanger blades mounted on their steam locomotives. I can't find my photos from a 1996 trip to Durango and Chama, but I took some shots of the flanger, at least as much as I could since they are well-hidden between the pilot wheels and the pilot. I just thought an air-operated flanger blade could be fabricated for No. 52 until such time as we build our own replica flanger and snowplow.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2011, 04:09:26 AM »
Tom, You're right.  Been a while since I watched the video.  The D&RG(W) flanger is a short steel framed car that is pulled behind the locomotive.  The blades work off of air from the locomotive.  Wayne, I didn't know some of the D&RG engines had a built in flanger blade near the pony truck.  I'll be at the Big E show tomorrow and will stop by the Friends of the C&TS table to see if they have photos.

More thoughts on the WW&F flanger.  The car had swing windows on the side window frames to protect the operator from flying snow and ice as he looked out.  There was a coal stove that was bolted down like the one in the caboose. 

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2011, 02:22:42 PM »
I had forgotten about the Albion flanger- that would be a great deal to work out, I think.  Perhaps in exchange there's an Albion event featuring No 10 or something...

I thought the B&SR flanger had it's equipment; further, I think I remember the gear being arranged with a counterweight right in the car, such that the gear would "fall" upward and clear of the track.  I think it was on a cam or trigger such that if the flanger blade caught something on the track, it would trip upward and clear (have your hands out of the way).  Very clever device... Maybe Mike can get a peak in through the windows if he's ever in Bridgeton, though we'd really have to get inside to understand the mechanism.  I remember being impressed at it's simplicity, ruggedness, and thoughtfulness in design. 

It also has manually operated spreader wings... don't know if the WW&F one did. 

Wayne makes a good point on a #52-plow-mounted flanger in the mean time-- if we keep it simple, that won't be too hard to do.  It may depend on the success of this year's March charter and in turn our desire for expanding winter operations.

Jason

Dave Crow

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Re: Snow removal and other odd creatures
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2011, 06:44:30 PM »
I think there are interior photos of the flangers in Peter Varney's seriesof books.  Gary Kohler and Chris McChesney's Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley, Vol. 4, has photos of the interior and exterior of the flangers.  Wolf--Jobst Siedler also has drawings in this volume as well.

Two Feet To Tidewater, near the back of the book, has the various pages listing the materials required by the Portland Company to build a flanger for WW&F; wonder if the plans are in either our archives or in the State of Maine archives?