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Railroad Rebuilt Spreaders

Railroad Rebuilt Spreaders

    Railroads have been rebuilding there own equipment in house for as long as there have been railroads. This of course, is is not limited to Spreaders. Here we will detail some noted examples.

Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern 1005

    In late 2010 and currently ongoing, Canadian Pacific has began to convert some of there older, Standard and Roadmaster series spreaders owned by there various subsidiary's into hydraulic power. This conversion work is being done by Progress Rail in Winnipeg Canada. Replacing the air tank is a simple hydraulic power pack. All of the air locks were modified with a small cylinder on top of the lock mechanism, and the large air cylinders also being replaced with hydraulics. These are some of the best looking Jordan rebuilds yet. So far 4 spreaders have been rebuilt:
-Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern 1004: A former Southern Pacific Roadmaster spreader. Converted in late 2010.
-Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern 1005: A Standard 2-200, with an unknown original owner. Converted in late 2011/early 2012.
-SOO 900080: Standard 2-200. Rebuilt in 2012. This is an early Standard, with a riveted frame.

DM&E 1005 in Waseca, MN. Photo by Jason Rathbun

Burlington Northern Conversions

    In a similar case as DME 1005 above, Burlington Northern Santa Fe rebuilt a pair of there Standard 2-180s into Hydraulic Power. These conversions harness the same concept, replacing all of the air cylinders with hydraulic cylinders. These conversions took place around 2000. So far a pair have appeared, BN 972614 (CB&Q 203841)and BN 972615 (CB&Q 203842). In 2013, BNSF rebuilt a 2-225 Road Master into Hydraulic, the number of which is currently unknown. BNSF has also been upgrading other spreaders, 939004, a 2-210 Standard spreader was completly rebuilt (but kept its pneumatic operation), including a new raised cab. Type J 940160 was also rebuilt with a reconditioned cab interior, as well as new power and hydraulic units.

972615 in snow service. Photo by Carl Petersen

Union Pacific Rebuilds

    In the fall of 2009, Union Pacific set out with the largest Jordan Spreader rebuild plan to date. Due to the recent traffic shift of intermodal to Donner Pass, UP opted to add to its snowfighting fleet. The mainstay of this service since 1962 has been Southern Pacific Type J spreaders SPMW 4030 and SPMW 4034. Over the years SP modified these to best suit the service. Such things were addition of a crew cab, spinning windows, heaters, etc. Union Pacific opted to add another pair to the fleet. UP picked spreaders SPMW 4031 (A near sister to 4030, but newer) and UP 903031, a run of the mill Jordan 4-100. UP moved both these, and the original SP spreaders to use as templates to a siding in Sacramento, CA to be stripped to the frame. Contractor Thunder Machine led the rebuild project. They had NMI industrial fabricate the larger parts, such as brand new cabs (with raised headroom and new control stands), crew cabs, and in the case of 903031 new straight wings and nose plow. 4031 kept its wings and nose blade assembly. The small Detroit Diesel generator and hydraulic pump were replaced with a new Deutz package. In the case of both spreaders, new brace locks were constructed. The new ones are the hydraulic friction type (better suited for multiply adjustments in heavy snow) as opposed to the gear rack type. One must see these spreaders to see all of the improvements that were done. After hammering out the kinks in this pair, UP has embarked on a plan to rebuild several more. The next batch, and subsequent others were rebuilt right at NMI Industrial shop, thus the spreaders were trucked a short distance in. All of the subsequent rebuilds have had all the same specifications. UP actually sent a pair of air operated Type A's to be converted as well.

    BA Productions did a documentary on the rebuild of the first pair of Spreaders. The link to purchase this excellent DVD will be on our links page.

UP rebuilt Spreaders
SPMW 4031, Rebuilt Fall 2009
UP 903031, Rebuilt Fall 2009, renumbered to SPMW 4032. Converted to straight wing with articulated nose blade.
SPMW 4030, Rebuilt Summer/Fall 2010
SPMW 4034, Rebuilt Summer/Fall 2010
UP 903020, Rebuilt Summer/Fall 2011, Originally a Type A 3-175 (front cab, broken wing, high plow).
UP 903022, Rebuilt Summer/Fall 2011, Originally a Type A 3-175 (front cab, broken wing, high plow).
UP 903134, Rebuilt Summer 2012, Originally a Type A 3-175 (front cab, broken wing, high plow).
SPMW 4033, Being rebuilt currently (Summer 2012).

SPMW 4034, one of the rebuilt spreaders. Photo by P. Wester.

Other Conversions

    Through the years, plenty of other machines have been rebuilt by the owning railroad. These could be as simple as new cab's, modified plows, etc. We wont go into detail for all of these, as it would take forever. A few notable rebuilds include: Conrail 64619. This was a typical, former NY Central Typa A (3-175) that was converted to Hydraulic operation, in a similar fashion to the BNSF units above. It is unknown as to who, or why this was done. Alaska Railroad rebuilt there spreader #7 (Type J) with an all new full length cab, as well as new cab sides from a GP40 after a roll over accident. Southern Pacific was well known for rebuilding there spreaders with various cab extensions, etc. to better suit the service it was in. In 2013 CSX has started to upgrade there fleet of Type J machines, including new windows, improved cab's, air conditioning, new hydraulic units, and paint.