Author Topic: Pony Plows on the SR&RL  (Read 6134 times)

Steve Klare

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Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« on: May 17, 2009, 05:36:20 PM »
I was watching the Moody/Martin film of the SR&RL the other day and during the winter sequence I noticed that every engine except #24 had a pony plow. This included #17 (old, pilot truckless Forney),  9 and 10 (technically passenger engines designed for speed, not tractive force) and #18 (lighter, older prairie).

Of all the engines to be out in the drifts with a bare pilot, there was #24: bigger, heavier, newer, more powerful: on the surface of it the best plow horse of the bunch.

-it just doesn't make sense!

Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen #23 with a pony plow either.

It makes me wonder if there was something about the SR&RL pony plow design that just didn't hold up to the tractive abilities of the biggest engines and once they crumpled a couple they gave up and kept the big guys reserved for shoving a wedge plow instead.

-any thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 09:03:59 PM by Steve Klare »

Zak LaRoza

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Re: Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 03:51:23 PM »
I don't believe I've ever seen #10 without a pony plow. Maybe once.

Steve Klare

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Re: Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2010, 03:34:55 AM »
If I remember right they took all the pony plows off mid-April.

I also seem to recall a story about a May snowstorm catching 'em off guard one year as well!


Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 08:23:53 AM »
Well, now they DID have WEDGE plows as well. Perhaps the bigger engines were used to shove the wedges and weren't given ponies due to the redundancy or perhaps fear of them being damaged while shoving a wedge.

Zak LaRoza

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Re: Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010, 02:11:50 PM »
I have seen #24 with a wedge plow in Maine Two-Footers.

Steve Klare

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Re: Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2010, 03:52:01 PM »
Which edition?  What page?

I have the 1959 original edition and the later Jones re-edit.

I think it was Linwood Moody (maybe HT Crittenden) that wrote that the favored SR&RL consist for a plow train was a pony plow equipped engine up front with a wedge plow coupled onto the tank.

This placed the weight of the engine up front to keep the train on the track and then used the wedge behind to widen the cut. When you saw one of these trains coming out of the distance it made two waves of snow instead of just the usual one.

I guess living through a couple of episodes of the pushed wedge diving off the track at one angle and shoving the engine off at the opposite would make anybody a little wary.  Beyond the couple of seconds thinking you might (you know) die it was a major pain re-railing a train in a couple of feet of snow, especially while it was still blowing and drifting. Of course all the time you spend getting back on the iron the line isn’t being plowed and is getting that much deeper and icier, so it’s just more work for later.

-makes me appreciate working indoors a whole lot!

I have a film about a crew rescuing a British freight train stuck in the snow, and it's a messy job. One thing is while the boiler is still hot the snow that drifts around it melts and runs down around the running gear. After it re-freezes everything becomes encased in ice and locked solid. They had to pack every moving part they could in cotton waste, dowse it with kerosene and set it on fire and then hope that despite the near zero temperatures and high winds they could warm it up enough to free it up. When they coupled up the rescue engines they dragged it a couple of feet before the wheels began to turn at all.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 04:16:02 PM by Steve Klare »

Zak LaRoza

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Re: Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 06:37:03 PM »
I think it was on the last page or so of the Kingfield & Dead River chapter. I have the original Howell-North 1959 edition, with original maps!  ;D