Railway Preservation News

Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow
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Author:  E.B. Levin [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow

Can anyone advise if the Conrail (ex-NYC X-659) Cooke rotary snowplow that was last assigned to Frontier Yard in Buffalo made it to be preserved. I understand it was retired by the CSXT shortly after the merger.

I have the file out of our Mechanical Engineering office that details the 1950 NYC steam to electric conversion as well as the Conrail 1978 overhaul.


Author:  Mike Tillger [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow

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Author:  tim o'm [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow

It occurred to me during our last round of snowstorms that the fleet of plows must be getting smaller, since nearly every museum has at least one snow plow, rotary, flanger or spreader in its collection. My question is "Are there new railroad snow plows being made, or are the small plows on a handful of locomotives sufficient?" The weather is definitely something a railroad can not avoid. Any answers?

Author:  Terry Dempsey [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow

The last Jordan Spreader that I know of was custom built for the Alaska Railroad by Harsco (sucessor to the Jordan Co.). By that time Jordan Spreader production had been shut down for 19 years and Harsco had to call back thier old production manager out of retirement to act as a consultant becuase no one else had the experience making them.

Snow fighting equipment does not wear out fast since it's only used a couple of times of the year and sits n a siding for most of its lifetime.

I know of an ex-NP Juell Plow on the Red River Valley and Western that was built in the 1920s. Many class 1 railroads have Russell snowplows dating to back before that.

I'd guess that when it comes down to it, once the need for new Jordan Spreaders, Russel Plows and other snow fighting equipment arises, raildroads will rebuild existing ones or come up with new designs they can build in thier shops or contract out.

Author:  pm-man [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment left?

Dumb question I know, but there can't be too many fox-plate trucks left in existence. Could this be the last active pair? I know I've only seen them in b/w photographs before this.

Also, is this the only surviving piece of Rome, Waterstown & Ogdensburg equipment left? Wasn't there a caboose out there somewhere?


TJ Gaffney

Author:  Les Beckman [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l

I can understand the conversion to roller bearings, but why not leave the cover plates in place?


Author:  Boyd Owens [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l

M&StL 4570 at Mid-Continent still has her fox trucks:

Author:  Tom Cornillie [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l

The plant that built Fox trucks was still standing in Joliet, IL the last time I was there about two years ago. It is quite an interesting building, utilizing limestone masonry construction.

Tom Cornillie

Author:  Aarne H. Frobom [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Roller-bearing conversions

When equipment is converted from solid to roller bearings, the journal-box covers are removed so bearing failure can be detected by eye, smell, or by hotbox detectors.

Author:  David Farlow [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l


When the railroads reuse friction boxes, the lids are left off so that the hot box detectors are not fooled and also so that crews would quickly see that they didn't need to service these boxes. I suspect there was an AAR rule on this that eliminated the covers. No reason why they couldn't be put back on in a museum.

David Farlow
Whitewater Valley RR

Author:  Stephen Hussar [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l

I'm curious as to why there is interest in this rotary....maybe someone's been reading Gary Krist's excellent new novel "The White Cascade" :-)))

Author:  scrmcurator [ Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l

Note that Fox Plate trucks and regular Fox trucks are different animals. As the picture of the plow's trucks shows, the plate truck sideframes are fabricated from a flat piece of steel. The Fox trucks we usually think of are pressed steel, with about a 2" flange all the way around the sideframe edge.

Several years ago, I did an informal survey of surviving Fox trucks. Naturally I didn't write down the list I came up with so it would have to be compiled again. IIRC, I found about a dozen pair of Fox trucks on the continent. Only about half were still in use under a car.

SCRM has a 1906 flat car built by Pressed Steel that rides on Fox trucks. I can only take the car's history back to the middle 1960s, before that it's a complete mystery. The build date is an educated guess based on a date cast into the couplers.

Here's a pic of our car, which unfortunately doesn't show the trucks very clearly: http://www.scrm.org/HTMsrc/fr234.htm

This is my favorite car in our collection. One day, when we have a shop to work in, I'm going to attack it and do a full restoration, replacing the brake rigging and rebuilding the bearings.

Author:  Mr. Ed [ Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Last fox trucks, last piece of R. W & O. Equipment l

How did this thread get highjacked from snow plows to Fox trucks?

Mr. Ed

Author:  John T [ Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow

Has anybody ever established if Conrail had one or two rotaries? Here is what I have on NYC rotaries:

27 Cooke 01-1889 Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Ry
New York Central
28 Cooke 01-1889 New York Central & Hudson River RR #X-659
New York Central #X-659
(converted to electric 1951)
Penn Central #64599 1968
Conrail #64599 1976
CSX 1999 (retired 2001)
Western New York Ry Historical Society 11-03
66465 Cooke 01-1926 New York Central #X-660
(converted to electric)
Penn Central #60021
ConRail #60021
Scrapped 1980s
http://www.modelrailroading.nl/collecti ... c-x660.jpg
http://www.railpictures.net/images/d1/8 ... 834375.jpg
http://www.railpictures.net/images/d2/1 ... 531582.jpg

Author:  LeoA [ Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Conrail ex-NYC Rotary Snowplow

In what I've collected about rotary snowplows, I've never seen a reference to #27 surviving to Penn Central ownership, let alone Conrail. And it's the #28/X-659 that I show as becoming #60021 for subsequent owners.

My information doesn't show the X-660 as surviving her NYC ownership nor any sign of being repowered with electric traction motors. I'd bet good money that the Central in the 1960's decided that two rotaries was a luxury that they no longer needed, with the much older plow being spared thanks to already having been converted.

Edit: Or my data is incomplete...

http://www.railroad.net/articles/railfa ... g_9758.jpg

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