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Well, after three years I finally got the snowfall I desired and I had an engine ready to go complete with snowplow attached! I couldn't wait to get home from work to give her a shot and everything looked great. For once the dog hadn't been out in the garden and the kids were at school all day and hadn't been out there either. The garden was pristine! It was time to put my Connie on the track and go for it.

One small problem.

There was too much snow!! It was the right kind, fluffy and light but there was 15 scale feet of it and unfortunately the engine couldn't buck the snow on an uphill grade. I don't think the snow packing was the major problem but that the engine couldn't get very good traction. The snow once broken up by the plow tended to drift down on the track and coat the rails. Unfortunately, snow makes a rather passable lubricant. Even when I backed the engine up to get a run at the drift it seemed that the wheels were spinning on the rails and preventing the engine from achieving full speed. On a 1:1 prototype I would use sand to get traction. With 1:20.3 it's not quite so simple. (Hmmm.....perhaps I should look into the possibilities of a rotary?) Anyone have a suggestion?
 

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If you make sure your engine wheels are as cold as the outdoor when you start to plow you will have a better time plowing putting an engine out in the cold from the warm house causes wheel slippage i'm told, and if you're wheels are cold like the snow you are attempting to plow you will have better traction. The Regal
 

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Another problem is that the weight of the engine will cause any snow on the rails to melt (pressure melting) as the engine passes over it. If the rails are at a temperature that is below freezing the melted snow with refreeze as a thin skim of ice. In addition to traction this also effects electrical contact if you are running track power.

As stated earlier it is imperative that the wheels of the engine are cold. If they are warm they will accumulate ice which will prevent them from going around.

Chuck N


PS: if you use a shovel, be sure to use a plastic one. A metal shovel will scratch the track.
 

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Double head as the real railroads do with wedge type plows. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm.....some good suggestions! Unfortunately, I've never seen sand fine enough to scale 1:20.3 so that one's probably out. I had the engine stored out in the garage so the wheels were already near freezing but it's possible that there might have been some melting as the outside temp. was only 9 degrees f. The engine is battery powered so power wasn't a problem. The rails definitely had a coating of ice (probably from compression.) Double heading with my K-27...........that might have possibilities! Hmmm..........

Oh, and as to the shovel suggestion, for shame! That's cheating!
 

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Stanley puts tape on his rails.
Might work for you.
Or, try plowing DOWNhill.
I have used three engines at once to do it.

I have a USA Rotary re-worked with new motor, shaft, batteries and switches.
Works good on powder.
Need to make a new brass blade for the stiffer stuff.
 

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There are times when even rotarys don't do the job.






Occasionally, even the big boys had to bring out the shovels.

In Virginia, the snow is wet and heavy, shovels are manditory.


(unless it is less than 1")


Chuck N


PS For those following the cog railway thread in the "Beginners Forum" that's my cog railroad in the background.
 

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Steve,
I feel your pain.....

JimC.
 

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Believe it or not engine sand is so fine you could use it in G scale if you got guts enough to try it. Later RJD
 

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I saw this 0-6-6-0+Rotary on a German web site. The machine itself is Swiss. I imagine a working large scale model could be formidable running from track or battery power.



I have seen photos of working models on the same site. Several models appeared to be scratch built, but some may have been manufactured. My guess is the manufactured models were from one of the high-end, low-volume makers (and probably would cost more here than a subcompact automobile).

Anyway, it's an interesting concept for the enterprizing kitbasher, so I thought I'd post the photo.

Yours,
David Meashey
 

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ALL

The rotary in Dave's post was used on the metre gauge RhB in Switzerland. The only model I have ever seen was done in HOm by BEMO in plastic. Cost was around $650 at least five years ago. A Scale IIm [1:22.5] model would probably cost at least $3000 if produced by any of the usual builders.

The only time Chuck has been out to run in the winter on my layout, we had to remove the crusted snow off with windshield scrapers. His rotary was not going to work. I keep hoping for some nice dry powder, but that isn't very common in VA.

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Treeman:
 
 The mechanism for the rotary was built around 1990 by Ken Orme a member of the Denver Garden Railway club.  The housing is a former Delton caboose that had been on the receiving end of a large hail storm.  It required substantial rebuilding.



 

 
 

 

 
 

 
Chuck
 

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20 scale feet and still coming here!
 

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Steve, I can sympathize with you
- we got about the equivalent of 18 ~ 20+ scale feet
here
from yesterday's storm!



Below, my LGB coaling tower (covered with a protective plastic bag, mainly to keep bird poop
off!)
If you can spot a slight rise in the snow level to the right of it - my Aristo wedge snowplow was buried
underneath!
(I had left it out overnight!).





The "town" of "Watuppa"
(consisting of a Piko water tower, Aristo "Victorian" station, Piko famhouse,
& not much else yet!
)




The water tower, like the Pola coaling tower, is covered by a plastic bag held down by a bungee cord (in this
case, to prevent the roof from blowing off on windy days!
). The Aristo station & Pola farmhouse, both
of which have figures & added detail, are protected by "garages" (per the Garden Railways article about pro-
tecting outdoor buildings) ; an 18-gal. plastic tote from Wal-Mart covers the Aristo station, a convienently-sized
styrofoam box salvaged from a trash bin at work protects the famhouse.



My Garden Metal Models bridge (top of the snow is just below the top of the photo!)
:


The mine at Summit isn't doing much business today!




This stretch of track I refer to as "Hedge Cut"
, as it normally looks:





... & how it looked this morning!





This is the top of an Aristo elevated switch tower at Whittenton Junction (east end of "Watuppa"):






Since I (wisely!) decided to stay home from work yesterday (my commute is 43 miles one way; I would
have been trying to go in just as the storm hit!), I tried starting a plow train running just as the snow began,
but it accumulated so quickly that getting electrical pickup from the rails became impossible (& yes, I HAVE
considered doing at least 1 battery / RC loco for just such a situation!
). I left the Aristo plow
outside because I considered making a second try with at least 1 of the live steam locos; but I think I've been
battling a bit of a bug
for the last several days, & after bringing the locos in, felt tired enough that I decided
that the best course of action was to "hibernate"
for a while!



Tom
 
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