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UP 900000 Rotary Snow Plows

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on December 2, 2015.

(Return to UP Snow Plow Index Page)

Overview

During the years 1887 to 1922 the Union Pacific and connecting lines that later became part of the Union Pacific system, acquired a total of 17 rotary plows.

Of the first five rotaries built in 1887 and 1888 for the Union Pacific or its later acquired connecting lines, none were officially retired until 1958. In that year two were retired and two were stored unassigned. As of 1966, one was stationed at Rawlins. It was the first rotary constructed at the Cooke Works. It was seldom used because rotaries built at a much later date were stationed at Green River and Cheyenne and were used in preference. But it still served as standby protection -- just in case it is needed -- 80 years after it was constructed.

Rotary Snow Plows

OSL Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow

1959
Number
As-Built
Number
1949
Number
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Date
Retired
Notes
OSL 900050 OSL 02010 OSL 050 Cooke Jul 1896 Leslie 50 Jun 1968 1
OSL 900051 OSL 02011 OSL 051 Rogers Jan 1913 51166 Jun 1972 2
OSL 900052 OSL 02012 OSL 052 Cooke Oct 1914 54248 Oct 1969 3
OSL 900053 OSL 02013 OSL 053 Cooke Feb 1916 55488 Oct 1973 4

General Notes:

a. OSL 900050 and 900051 had wooden construction and steel underframes
b. OSL 900052 and 900053 had all-steel construction
c. Source: Builder information compiled by Robert Lehmuth.

Notes:

1. OSL 900050 was ordered in December 1895; delivered as OSL 02010; renumbered to OSL 050 in October 1949; renumbered to OSL 900050 in September 1959; retired in June 1968
2.

OSL 900051 was ordered in November 1912; built as OSL 762 in January 1913, renumbered upon delivery to OSL 02011; renumbered to OSL 051 in September 1949; renumbered to OSL 900051 in January 1959; sold to private individual, Blackfoot, Idaho, in June 1972 for use as part of a restaurant; donated in 1979 to Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, Wisconsin; moved in 1980; original cylindrical tender replaced by a non-UP rectangular tender.

(Photo of OSL 900051 at North Freedom, Wisconsin in July 1982)

3. OSL 900052 was built in 1914 as OSL 02012; renumbered to OSL 052 in September 1949; converted from coal fuel to oil fuel in September 1950; renumbered to OSL 900052 in September 1959; retired in October 1969
4. OSL 900053 was built in 1916 as OSL 02013; renumbered to OSL 053 in September 1949; converted from coal fuel to oil fuel in September 1950; renumbered to OSL 900053 in January 1959; retired in October 1973; located at Pocatello at time of retirement, per mailgram dated October 26, 1973; still at Pocatello (with tender 907962) as of October 17, 1974.
   

OWRR&N Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow

1959
Number
Previous
Number
Date To
900000 Series
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Date
Retired
Notes
OWRR&N 900059 ORy&N 059 Jul 1959 Cooke Nov 1887 Leslie 4 Jun 1968 1
OWRR&N 900060 ORy&N 060 Mar 1959 Cooke Nov 1888 Leslie 18 Aug 1968 2
OWRR&N 900061 OWRR&N 061 Oct 1959 Rogers Jan 1913 51167 Sep 1978 3
OWRR&N 900062 OWRR&N 062 Mar 1959 Rogers Jul 1917 55508 Oct 1969 4

General Notes:

a. OWRR&N 900059-900062 all had wooden construction, steel underframe;
b. UP Equipment Record: r3-0034 (OWRR&N 059-090); r3-0633 (UP 9000050-9000099)

Notes:

1. OWRR&N 900059 was built in 1887 as ORy&N 059; renumbered to OWRR&N 059 in 1910; renumbered to OWRR&N 900059 in July 1959; retired in June 1968
2. OWRR&N 900060 was built in 1888 as ORy&N 060 (ordered in November 1887); renumbered to OWRR&N 060 in 1910; renumbered to OWRR&N 900060 in March 1959; retired in August 1968
3.

OWRR&N 900061 was built in 1913 as OWRR&N 061 (ordered in November 1912) renumbered to OWRR&N 900061 in October 1959; retired in August 1968; donated to City of Ogden, Utah, (with tender 907827) in September 1978; displayed at Utah State Railroad Museum, Ogden, Utah.

(Photo of OWRR&N 900061 at Ogden, Utah, in September 2005)

4. OWRR&N 900062 was built in 1917 as OWRR&N 062; renumbered to OWRR&N 900062 in March 1959; retired in October 1969
   

UP Jull-type Snow Plow

1918
Number
As-Built
Number
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Date
Retired
Notes
UP 03004 UP 065 Southwark Jul 1889 Jull 1 Mar 1949 sold for scrap
  UP 066 Rogers Feb 1890 Jull 2
(Rogers 4256)
(1899) to Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf; to C&S 0200 in 1899

General Notes:

a. UP 065 and 066 had wooden construction and steel underframes
b. These two snow plows were first and second of eleven "Jull Centrifugal Snow Excavator" snow plows built.
c.

One source wrote, "these plows had a large spiral screw placed diagonally across the front of the plow to clear the snow. They were not as good in deep or heavy snow as the Leslies, and never really caught on."

(Read about using Jull snowplows to fight snow in North Dakota and Montana)

   

UP Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow

1959
Number
As-Built
Number
1918
Number
1949
Number
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Date
Retired
Notes
(UP 900070) UP 061 UP 03000 UP 070 Cooke Jan 1887 Leslie 1 Nov 1958  
(UP 900071) UP 062 UP 03001 UP 071 Cooke Nov 1887 Leslie 2 Nov 1958  
UP 900072 UP 063 UP 03002 UP 072 Cooke Dec 1887 Leslie 3 Oct 1959  
UP 900073 UP 064 UP 03003 UP 073 Rogers Jan 1913 52449 Oct 1969  

General Notes:

a. UP 061 and 062 had wooden construction and steel underframes
b. UP 900072 and 900073 (ex UP 063 and 064) had wooden construction, steel underframes
   

UP Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow

1959
Number
As-Built
Number
1949
Number
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Date
Retired
Notes
UP 900074 UP 03005 UP 074 Cooke Dec 1922 58636 Oct 1969  

General Notes:

a. UP 900074 was built in 1922 as UP 03005; renumbered to UP 074 in August 1949; converted to oil fuel in August 1951; renumbered to UP 900074 in 1959
b. UP 900074 had wooden construction, steel underframe
c.

See also: photos in The Streamliner, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 2000; page 37 (review of newly released Walthers HO scale model)

In November of 1922, Union Pacific placed an order with American Locomotive Company for a steam-powered rotary snowplow. The new unit arrived in December and was assigned road number 03005. It weighed 203,000 pounds, and was 80 feet, 8-1/2 inches long over the tender. After the experiences in the Blizzard of '49, the plow was upgraded. The cab received centralized controls and improved visibility, and the mechanism received power reverse gear, and larger air pumps. Force feed lubrication was provided for both engine and shafts. Later in its career, the plow was renumbered to 074. In 1959, when numbers were revised to be compatible with computers, the plow became UP 900074.

Notes:

1. UP 900074 was retired in October 1969.
   

UP Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow

Research suggests that following the harsh winters of 1948-1949, Union Pacific approached the locomotive builders to design and purchase a modern rotary snow plow. (Alco had built the last domestic rotary snowplow in 1937.) Apparently, only Lima-Hamilton Corp. responded with a proposal. During the design process, Lima saw a potential market for a new design rotary snow plow, and an all-new design was announced to the industry on December 19, 1949, although two had already been sold to Union Pacific. Formal construction began in late spring 1949, working with Union Pacific on the design, and the first plow for Union Pacific was completed on December 30, 1949. A total of four plows were built: one for Rock Island, one for Soo Line, and two for Union Pacific, numbered as UP 075 and 076. All four plows were completed in the late December 1949 to February 1950 time period.

The design was unique and modern in every way, using designs and processes that were as up-to-date as possible. For easier maintenance, the design used a boiler that was mounted with its smokebox toward the rear of the plow. The boiler burned fuel oil, as well as other types, including diesel fuel due to its increasing availability and use on the railroads. The plows were equipped with six 13x15 vertical cylinders, identical to those used on Lima's Pacific Coast Shay. The engines were located, three on each side, in front of the boiler to allow better access for maintenance and better connection to the rotary wheel itself. This design allowed the combination of a horizontal drive shaft and spur gears to drive the wheel. The plows had a total of 1,500 horsepower each, fifty percent more powerful than previous rotary snow plow designs.

Photos and narrative are in "Lima: The History" by Eric Hirsimaki (Hundman Publishing, 1986; second edition, 2004), pages 278-280.

A message on the UP Modelers Yahoo discussion group mentions that because the last Pacific Coast Shay had been built in 1938, Lima had to call in some retired employees to help set up the boilers, cylinders and gearing prior to delivery.

(Photo of the interior of one of these snow plows during construction; showing the arrangement of the boiler and Shay engines)

UP 900076 was the last steam-powered rotary snow plow used on a Class One railroad in the U. S. In March 1977, Rock Island borrowed UP 900076 and used the plow in Colorado and Kansas. UP 900076 was the last steam-powered rotary snow plow retired in the U. S., in June 1985.

1959
Number
Previous
Number
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Assigned
Tender
Date
Retired
Notes
UP 900075 UP 075 Lima-Hamilton Jan 1950 9387 25-RC-1594 Apr 1977 1
UP 900076 UP 076 Lima-Hamilton Jan 1950 9388 25-RC-1572 Jun 1985 2

General Notes:

a. UP 900075 and 900076 had all-steel construction
b. UP 900075 and 900076 were ordered in December 1949; delivered in January 1950.
c.

The tenders assigned to these two plow came from ex C&O 2-8-8-2s, UP 3572 and 3592, respectively.

(View the roster listing for UP 3570-3588)

d. These two snow plows are very similar to the HO scale model offered by Athearn; the major difference being that the UP plows had much larger tenders.

Notes:

1.

UP 900075 was built in 1949 as UP 075, delivered in January 1950; renumbered to UP 900075 in 1959; assigned at Cheyenne by September 1973; assigned to Green River to protect the South Pass Branch, serving the connection with the USS Atlantic City iron ore mine, north of Rock Springs; retired in April 1977 due to freeze damage; donated to Kansas City Railroad Museum in 1979; moved to Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois, in 1992.

(Photos of UP 900075, at RRPictureArchives.net)

2.

UP 900076 was built in 1949 as UP 076, delivered in January 1950; renumbered to UP 900076 in 1959; assigned to Hinkle, Oregon, by March 1984; retired in June 1985; to City of Hermiston, Oregon, moved to permanent display in August 1986.

(Photos of UP 900076 at RRPictureArchives.net)

   

UP Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow

Road
Number
Previous
Number
Builder Date
Built
Date
Retired
Notes
UP 900080 UP 080 UPRR Dec 1958   1
UP 900081   UPRR Aug 1966 1994 2
UP 900082   UPRR Jun 1971   3

General Notes:

a. UP 900080 was designed and built in 1958 at the UP Omaha shops, using the frame and rear truck from a retired ex C&O steam tender; numbered as UP 080; renumbered to UP 900080 in 1959; operating weight 347,240 pounds; self-contained, diesel-electric, 1750 hp; 50'-9" length; 16'-8" high; rotary plow blades are 12' in diameter.
b. UP 900081 was designed and built in 1966 at the UP Omaha shops, using the frame and rear truck from a retired ex C&O steam tender; numbered as UP 900081; operating weight 367,400 pounds; self-contained, diesel-electric, 3000 hp; 52'-2" length; 17' high; rotary plow blades are 12' in diameter.
c. UP 900082 was designed and built in 1971 at the UP Omaha shops; operating weight 284,500 pounds; self-contained, diesel-electric, 2500 hp; 55'-3" length; 17' high; rotary plow blades are 12' in diameter.

Notes:

1.

UP 900080 was assigned to Cheyenne in 1986; moved to Portola, California, during the early 1990s and used to clear the former WP Feather River Canyon and High Line; moved to Roseville after 1997; seen in Roseville, California in March 1999; moved to Portola (date?); moved from Portola, California, to Cheyenne, Wyoming in August 2005; still there in September 2012.

(Photos of UP 900080 at RRPictureArchives.net)

2.

UP 900081 was assigned to Green River in about 1986; assigned to LaGrande, Oregon in 1994; retired in 1994 due to freeze damage; donated to Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, Missouri, 1994.

(Photos of UP 900081 at RRPictureArchives.net)

3.

UP 900082 remains in service, stored at Cheyenne along with UP's Heritage Fleet; readied for use every fall and placed on stand-by.

(Photos of UP 900082 at RRPictureArchives.net)

   

UP Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow
Cooke, 1910 (CMSP&P, 1950)

Road
Number
Previous
Number
Builder Date
Built
Date To
UP
Date
Retired
Notes
UP 900083 MILW X900212 Cooke Feb 1910 May 1981 1988 1

General Notes:

a. MILW X900212 was built in 1910 as a steam-powered rotary plow; rebuilt to all-electric by Milwaukee Road (CMSP&P) in 1950.
b. UP 900083 was purchased second-hand in May 1981 from Milwaukee Road, number X900212; rebuilt by UP at Omaha, released in late March 1985, sent to Hinkle in mid April 1985 for service in Blue Mountains to replace UP 900076. (Pacific News, Issue 229, August 1981, page 16; Pacific News, June 1985, page 26; Pacific News, August 1985, page 23; The Mixed Train, April 1985, page 10)

Notes:

1.

UP 900083 was retired in 1988; donated to City of Hermiston, Oregon, in December 1989. (CTC Board, March 1990, page 15)

Displayed adjacent to Hodge Park, near the intersection of 1st Street (Hermiston-Hinkle Road) and Highland Avenue in Hermiston, about 2.8 miles due north of UP's Hinkle Yard.

(Photos of UP 900083 at RRPictureArchives.net)

   

UP Leslie-type Rotary Snow Plow (LNP&W)

1959
Number
As-Built
Number
1924
Number
1951
Number
Builder Date
Built
Builder
Number
Date
Retired
Notes
  LHP&P 0098 (1st) LNP&W 098   Cooke Sep 1911 49470   1
UP 900098 LHP&P 0098 (2nd) LNP&W 098 UP 098 Cooke Dec 1917 56172 Dec 1980 2
UP 900099 LHP&P 0099 LNP&W 099 UP 099 Cooke Dec 1909 43670 Oct 1969 3

General Notes:

a. Laramie, North Park & Western Railroad was organized in 1901 as Laramie, Hahn's Peak & Pacific Railway; re-organized in 1914 as Colorado, Wyoming & Eastern Railway; re-organized as Laramie, North Park & Western Railroad in 1924; sold to UP in 1951, operated as Coalmont Branch until 1987
b. UP 098 and 099 had wooden construction and steel underframes
c. Source: Builder information compiled by Robert Lehmuth.

Notes:

1. LHP&P 098 (1st) was built in 1911 as LHP&P 098 (1st); wrecked
2. UP 900098 was built as stock, held at Cooke until sold to Copper Range Railroad no. 9; sold to LHP&P 098 (2nd), renumbered to LNP&W 098 in 1924; to UP in December 1951, renumbered to UP 098; renumbered to UP 900098 in February 1959; retired by UP in December 1980; displayed at Hanna, Wyoming (date of move not known)
3. UP 900099 was built in 1909 as stock, held at Cooke until sold to LHP&P 099 in (??, after 1911), renumbered to LNP&W 099; to UP in December 1951, renumbered to UP 099; renumbered to UP 900099 in February 1959; retired by UP in October 1969; donated to Forney Transportation Museum in Denver, Colorado.

Snow Loader / Snow Melter

UP Snow Loader / Snow Melter

1959
Number
Previous
Number
Description Builder Date
Built
Date To
900000 Series
Date
Retired
Notes
UP 900077 UP 077 Snow Loader Barber-Greene Co. Oct 1949 Mar 1959 May 1968 1
UP 900078 UP 078 Snow Melter UPRR Oct 1949 Mar 1959 May 1968 2

General Notes:

a. UP 900077 (as UP 077) was designed and built by Barber-Greene Company of Aurora, Illinois, which produced asphalt paving machines for highway construction. The company also produced specialized trenchers and loaders for construction materials.
b.

As early as the mid 1920s, Barber-Greene produced snow loaders for highways and roads, used by street departments to remove snow from city streets, transferring the snow by single conveyor belt to waiting dump trucks. The single belt design was changed to two-belt design and adapted as a snow loader for the railroads, including Union Pacific and New Haven. Three similar machines were also furnished to the New Haven (NY,NH&H) railroad, which kept three 2-8-2 steam locomotives in service solely for snow loader/melter service, until the all of the machines were retired in 1958.

(Read about Barber-Greene at RichieWiki)

(Read about a similar Barber-Greene "Windrow Loader" at Archive.org.)

(Photo of a Barber-Greene street snow loader in service on Ottawa city streets in 1945.)

(Photo of a Barger-Greene street snow loader in Chicago in 1945.)

c.

UP 900077 and 900078 were assigned to North Platte until their retirement in 1968.

(Photo of UP 077 / 078)

d. UP 900077 and 900078 were used to clear yard tracks by using a mechanical loading mechanism which lifted the snow and placed it on to a conveyer belt, which then loaded the snow into a tender-like tank car (no. 900078) where the snow was melted to reduce its volume; the melter was equipped with steam coils that used steam piped from a steam locomotive.

Notes:

1. UP 900077 was built in October 1949 by Barber-Greene Company of Aurora, Illinois as UP 077; renumbered to UP 900077 in 1959; retired in May 1968
2. UP 900078 was built as UP 078 in October 1949 from flatcar 57131 for service with Snow Loader 077; renumbered to UP 900078 in 1959; retired in May 1968 (UP flat car 57131 was an F-50-11 class steel underframe car built by Pullman in July 1941; retired in September 1949, "Dismantled account underframe required for use in construction of snow melter"; UP equipment record sheet r1-0933)

Roadway Locomotive / Snow Melter

UP 4-6-6-4 -- 1 locomotive

1961 UP
Number
Date To
Roadway Number
First
Number
1952 UP
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
Date
Vacated
UP 900079 Nov 1961 UP 3977 UP 3710 (2nd) Schenectady 70160 Jun 1943 Nov 1961

Description:

Cabside Class: 4664-5
Drive Wheel Diameter: 69 inches
Cylinders: 21&21x32 inches
Maximum Tractive Effort: 97,350 pounds
Weight on Drivers: 406,200 pounds
Weight in Working Order (Engine Only): 634,500 pounds
Weight in Working Order (Engine and Tender): 1,071,000 pounds
Fuel: Oil (converted from coal-burners in 1945)

General Notes:

a. UP 900079 was built as UP 3977 in 1943; converted from coal-burner to oil-burner in 1945, and assigned to service on the Northwestern District (OWRR&N); renumbered to UP 3710 (2nd) in 1952; removed from service in October 1959 and used in snow melting service in the switching yard in North Platte, Nebraska; renumbered to UP 900079 "Roadway Locomotive" in November 1961; retired in May 1968 and donated to City of North Platte, Nebraska; displayed as UP 3977 in Cody Park.

The following comes from Jack Wheelihan, posted to Trainorders.com on December 1, 2015:

When I was in North Platte, Neb during late 1963, getting ready to put the EMD GP35/DD35 Demonstrator set together, I remember seeing the Challenger in the roundhouse. They had shop steam piped into it, and when I inquired as to what the purpose of the steam pipe with all the holes in, attached to the bottom of the pilot was for, the Foreman explained "the plan". It was supposed to be for snow removal at all the turnouts throughout the yard. However, the downside was, unless the MoW "operator" was VERY careful with the steam supply to that pipe under the pilot, not only was the snow removed, but also all the ballast, tieplates, and some spikes! We did get some snow while I was still there, but didn't get to see the Challenger "in action".

The folks at the North Platte Roundhouse told me that it did indeed move under its own power, when I was there in late 1963. They had shop steam piped into it so that it would be ready at a moments notice, i.e. boiler with nice hot water and steam pressure, so that lighting the oil fire took only a few minutes. She would then be quickly ready for "work" by the time a crew showed up, as the roundhouse forces/Hostler had her ready to go, quickly.

###