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Thread: Winter and turntables

  1. #1
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    Default Winter and turntables

    I am working on a Merrimack valley inspired layout. As winter descends on us here in New England I got to thinking, How did the railroads clear the snow from the turntable pits? I have not seen any images of this. My guess is after a snow storm they would do an "All Hands" muster and start digging out with shovels. Was there any standard for what to do? did it very from company to company?
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    Lonnie
    Trainz since 2006
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  2. #2
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    Ya know, this is one of those thing I never thought about, and am now confused as to why I didn't!

    I imagine on the larger powered turntables, they just kept it moving and compressed/ melted the snow with friction until they couldn't get away with it anymore. Then set Joe and his friends out with shovels.

    I also have to imagine there was always a guy saying "guys, the table is metal, the rails are metal, the pit walls are concrete, and the wood ties are far from the bottom of the pit, why don't we just pour some oil in there an set it alight! melt it all!"

  3. #3
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    I would imagine that a turntable had very limited horse power, but that they would repeatedly throughout the day and night, exercise the turntable so that it could push a couple inch's of snow aside, so that the turntable could be positioned to the most usually used tracks. A turntable was mostly used to do this, and was more somewhat rarely spun a full 360 degrees. But if they had to enable a full 360 degree rotation, an army of workers would have to be sent down into the pit with manual snow shovels, or a portable conveyor would have to be lifted twice into each side of the pit by a rail crane on the turntable, to assist the snow shoveler's (either that, or employ lots of little kids in the area, to shovel the GD (slight chance of partly cloudy) solid rain).

    I would imagine that a wye track would also be placed in these continual heavy snowfall prone railroad areas, such as Buffalo.

    Perhaps they had a steam hose manned by a roundhouse hostler, who would melt the snow, so that it melt and would flow down a central drain in the center of the pit.

    I would imagine that a secondary, straight track, repair shed was constructed for emergency heavy repairs to locomotives.

    I don't use 4 letter wurds' much: Cold, Snow, Work, Brrr I remember a time when Sledding was lots of fun, and climbing up a steep hill, just in order to fall down it, made actual sense.

    Casper the Friendly Ghost didn't heed his mothers warning that he come inside from playing in the snow before he got too cold, and he caught influenza, and died, becoming a Friendly Ghost, a true fact from episode 1 of the cartoon !

    When we were kids, Winters were so snowy and so icy, that we had to wrap our feet in barbed wire, just in order to get traction on the ice, and we had no shoes, and we had to actually shovel our way to, and from, school, and it was uphill, both ways !



    Horse Power, we need mor' Mule Power !
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    Last edited by MP242; November 29th, 2019 at 01:59 PM.
    TS19, I Like It, I Like It A Lot ! (line from Robocop movie)

  4. #4
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    What I found interesting was the general lack of solid info. You would think that SOMEONE would have said "Use a Y track in such and such district because of snow fall". BTW I like that idea. Makes sense. I also like the steam hoses. I used to be a MPA on a 1200psi steam plant and you did not let THAT steam out at all. But 200psi would be a lot easier to control.
    Thanks
    Lonnie
    Trainz since 2006
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  5. #5
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    I would hazard a guess that with most roundhouses have a combination power house/steam plant there would have been some way to heat the pit or melt the snow via steam. I might have to check some old trade periodicals to see if there is any info on this matter.
    Last edited by n8phu; December 1st, 2019 at 01:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    Looking at the video above it's one or two men with shovels and the turntable looks to be powered by steam.

  7. #7
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    Google is your friend.

    https://www.drgwrr.co.uk/drgw-durango-roundhouse/
    The turntable was powered by attaching a hose to the air supply of a locomotive. The air runs a motor on the turntable bridge.
    Malc


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