For railroads in much of the U.S. and Canada, dealing with snow is a perennial problem. The earliest railroad plows were likely derived from agricultural plows, and were the first instance of a plow being pushed from behind rather than pulled by horses or oxen. In 1840, little more than a decade after the first steam engine plied American rails, Charles Lowbaert was granted a patent for a wedge, or “bucker,” railroad plow. Like our model, that pioneering snowplow featured an inclined plane to bring the snow up off the rails and a pointed, triangular wedge to throw it to both sides of the track. Over time, railroad plows evolved into an arsenal of equipment ranging from engine-mounted blades to the ultimate snow-fighting weapon, the rotary snow plow.
Our model represents a wedge plow that was likely cobbled together by a railroad’s shop crew. Components include an elderly wood-bodied gondola and a plow blade that was either home-built or bought from an outside supplier. To fortify the plow for battling snow drifts, the gon has been weighted with large concrete blocks — bearing in mind that snow clearing often entailed several locomotives ramming the plow into packed snow at high speed, and repeating the procedure as often as needed to open the line. Our model features separately applied details including a hand brake wheel, lifting rings on the concrete blocks, and a screen to protect the operating headlight perched above the plow blade.
High quality, traditionally sized RailKing Freight Cars provide detailed bodies and colorful paint schemes for the O Gauge railroader. MTH makes an enormous variety of RailKing Freight Cars, including many different car types and roadnames. No matter what era or part of the country you are modeling, RailKing is sure to have something for you.