Rotary Snow Plows Clear Californian Donner Pass

 Amusing  Comments Off on Rotary Snow Plows Clear Californian Donner Pass
Mar 262017
With heavy snows hitting the Sierra Nevada mountain range on the border between California and Nevada, these rotary snow plows were brought out to clear Donner Pass. The plows ejected the heavy snow with force, spraying it away from the rail tracks.

The Rotary Snow Plow AKA “The War Wagon”

The rotary snow plow is also known as “The War Wagon“, as if going to war against mother nature.

Unbelievably, the basic rotary snow plow design was invented by a dentist from Toronto, Canada, back in 1869!

These 16 foot high A-units can plow snow banks as high as 12 feet! The centrifugal force created by the swirling 11 foot fan blades can propel the snow upwards of 100 feet to either side of the unit. Turning at 60-90 revolutions per minute, the rotary unit can move around 4-8 mph, acting as a giant auger chewing into snow banks.

Rotary snow plow trains are usually configured a plow front and back so they can make their way back from their starting point should more snow fall after their initial plow through an area.

Rotary Snow Plow Trains Usually Have The Following:

  • 2 rotary A-units front AND back of the train.
  • 2 F7 B- power units for the blades front and back.
  • 2 EMD F7 1500 horsepower power locomotives in the middle.

Most of the rotary plows in the United States have been retired to museums due to the high cost of operating. However, one is still on call in California’s Donner Pass. This infamous area (known for the legendary Donner Party) has annual snowfall upwards of 450″ in a normal winter. The tracks are usually buried and they need this big cannon to effectively handle the drifts.


Train Blasts Commuters With Snow

 Amusing  Comments Off on Train Blasts Commuters With Snow
Mar 162017

Let’s say that you run a railroad. If there’s a heavy snowstorm one night, you might want to have people run snowblowers down the track in your stations before the trains start running.

Here’s a free piece of advice should you ever find yourself waiting for the first train to roll into a station after a heavy snowfall: Stand as far away from the tracks as possible, assuming you don’t want to get blasted with a massive sh*tstorm of snow.

Why this Amtrak commuter train came barreling into the station so fast after a winter snowstorm is unknown, but it seems like an especially unsafe thing to do with passengers waiting on the platform. Thankfully, one of those passengers was Nick Colvin who filmed the whole thing in slow motion, at least until he found himself also buried in snow.


Train Blasts Commuters With Snow


Snowstorms In The 70s vs. Today

 Amusing, Information  Comments Off on Snowstorms In The 70s vs. Today
Jan 292016

Snowstorms In The 70s vs. Today
Great comparison by Victoria Fedden:

Snowstorms in the 70s

  1. Hear on the 6 ‘o’ clock news that there will be snow the day after tomorrow. “Some accumulation,” the weatherman says. He talks about the snow for less than 30 seconds. Continue eating your Hamburger Helper.
  2. Go to the A&P in the morning and casually get some milk, a loaf of Wonderbread and some Velveeta.
  3. Check the shed to make sure the big red snow shovel’s still there and that the kids haven’t used it to build a fort in the vacant lot down the street where they like to play unattended for hours with all other neighborhood kids after school. It’s there. The end.
  4. Put the chains on the car tires, make a pot of soup and a batch of Chex Mix and pour yourself a drink. You are done.
  5. If it snows more than a foot overnight, school will be canceled. You will just somehow know that there is no school because you will use your common sense. There MIGHT be a phone tree. Keyword is MIGHT.
  6. Snow Day!! This means you can bundle the children within an inch of their lives and send them outside in whiteout conditions and 20 below temps FOR THE REST OF THE DAY while you stay inside, watch “As the World Turns,” smoke Eves, do your nails and wait for the snow plow.
  7. Throw salt all over the front steps. Boil some water and stir up a few packets of Swiss Miss hot chocolate for when the kids come back in.
  8. Looks like you’re going to get two feet of snow with this one. Oh well. Stick your head out the screen door and take a couple Polaroids of the kids’ snowman they built since you forgot to buy film and flashbulbs for the Kodak Ektralite. Too much of a pain to take the pictures to the Fotomat to get developed, and who wants to see a bunch of pictures of snow anyway? It snows ALL WINTER LONG. Big deal.
  9. Ask some neighborhood teens to shovel your driveway for you. They gladly do this in exchange for grilled cheese sandwiches.
  10. If the electricity goes out, pile extra afghans on the beds and put all the food from the fridge outside on the back porch. It’ll keep just fine in these temperatures and the electric will be back on in a couple days. Nothing to worry over. There’s always the kerosene heater and the fireplace or the coal furnace in the cellar.
  11. Snow is now piled to the eaves of the house. There will be school tomorrow.
  12. Let the kids go sledding at night after dinner. Have an Irish Coffee. Go to bed early.

Snowstorms 2016

  1. Get a news alert on your smartphone that in ten days the blizzard of the Millennium is going to strike. Turn on 24 hour cable news immediately for round the clock coverage.
  2. Look for constant updates on WINTER STORM CHIONE. Look to see what everyone is posting on Facebook about it. Pretend you know how to pronounce Chione.
  3. Three days before the storm is supposed to hit the governor will declare a State of Emergency. It’s 70 degrees and sunny out.
  4. Rush to Whole Foods and buy $756.00 worth of healthy junk food. You cannot weather a blizzard like this without hemp seed ghost pepper non-GMO tortilla chips, and the kids won’t survive without vegan, fruit sweetened gummies.
  5. Charge all devices. This includes the five iPads you own, three smartphones, the laptop, both Kindles, and your fancy toothbrushes.
  6. Check to see if Anderson Cooper is wearing his casual clothes and if he has gone outside. If Anderson Cooper is broadcasting from outside, you are basically screwed.
  7. Yup. We’re all going to die.
  8. Brace yourselves. There are going to be a lot of Game of Thrones memes on social about this.
  9. Snowmageddon is definitely happening. It is all over the Internet. School is now closed two days before it is supposed to snow. You know, to keep the children safe from all the people rushing to Target and fighting one another tooth and nail for the last loaf of Ezekiel bread, organic 2% milk, and cage-free Omega 3 eggs. Because if we’re going to go off our Paleo diets for some French Toast, it should at least be whole freaking grain. (I think?) Whatever, screw it.
  10. There is a sugar coating of very fine snow on your flagstone walkway leading up to your meticulously restored craftsman cottage. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE. It is dangerous in these conditions. Oh my God, it is 33 degrees. Screenshot the weather app from your phone and tweet it. #brrrr #freezingtodeath #winterstormchione
  11. But wait!! At least you get to wear your Uggs! And your buffalo plaid!
  12. Receive an automated call at 4 in the morning that school is canceled basically until the end of the month because of the winter storm’s devastation.
  13. Check Pinterest for educational snow day crafts and activities to keep the children engaged and learning. Do not let them outside to play in the inch of snow that just fell because OMG frostbite.
  14. Take lots of pictures of the snow. Post to Instagram. The Amaro filter makes snow look like a photo from the Anthropologie catalog.
  15. Post all the same pictures to Facebook too. Complain about how bored you are, but then hashtag your status #blessed.
  16. Relent and let the kids outside. Bundle them up within an inch of their lives.
  17. Forget that you didn’t make them go pee first. Unbundle them and make them all go to the bathroom. Then rebundle them. By now an hour and a half has passed.
  18. Only let them stay out long enough to get some good candid shots of them building a snowman, even though you are the one who actually built the snowman because you needed it to look just so. Do not let them go sledding because they could get traumatic head injuries. You have read enough stories online about accidents like that and how they could have easily been prevented by just keeping children inside attached to screens all day.
  19. Is this hot chocolate fair trade? And oh my God, who can you hire to shovel this away? Does your landscaping company take care of snow removal? Because there’s no way you can figure out the ethanol powered, cordless, half solar snowblower you bought on sale for $900.00 because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
  20. There is at least four inches of snow. The electricity went out for five minutes. You have plowed through the bag of ghost pepper chips and you are sure the world is ending. Scroll through your phone looking for the best deals to Aruba this weekend.
  21. The day after the storm hits, the meteorologists will apologize profusely that they said there’d 75 inches of snow and ice and 89 mile per hour winds, even though you got maybe five inches total when all was said and done and it melted overnight. Blame climate change. The forecast models are very unpredictable. Shrug.
  22. Start packing for that Aruba trip you booked.