WNYRHS MAINTENANCE OF WAY EQUIPMENT
Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works
1889 - RW&O Railroad Leslie Rotary Plow
| The rotary snow plow was originally invented by Canadian Dentist JW Elliot while living in Toronto in 1869. He never built a working model of his invention, but by 1883, Orange Jull of Orangeville, Ontario had expanded on the original design and worked with the Leslie Brothers of Toronto to build the first successful prototype. The Leslie Brothers contracted with the Cooke Locomotive Works to build the actual units.
Built by the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works of Patterson, NJ in January 1889 as builder's number 28 for the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad. Original Number not yet known. This Leslie Rotary plow fought the heavy lake effect snows along the shores of Lake Ontario from Lewiston to Watertown.
The New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Co. acquired the RW&O in 1891 and the plow was renumbered as X-659, later NYC X-659, PC 60021 and CR 64599. The plow weighs in at 79 tons. Originally steam powered, the plow was converted to electric in 1951. Four large EMD traction motors power the large rotating fan blades. The plow was used extensively during Buffalo's Blizzard of '77 and was last used during the winter of 1993-1994.
The Plow still retains its original "Fox Plate Trucks", although the axles were converted to roller bearings. From research on the internet, there appears to be 50 rotary snow plows still left, some are newer models still in service on the western railroads. A Northern Pacific plow built in 1887 is the oldest preserved unit with ours being the second oldest Cooke Leslie Plow and is the oldest Standard Gauge Rotary plow in existence east of the Mississippi. The WNYRHS acquired the plow from CSX Transportation in November 2003. We need to replace copper wiring stripped from the unit in 2005 to bring the plow back to full operation.
CR 64569, ex. PC 60079, was built by the Russell Snow Plow Company of Ridgeway, Pennsylvania, for the New York Central System in November, 1948. It weighs 89,000 lbs. It was designed as a single-wedge flanger for the movement of snow off the multiple tracks of the NYC's, New York to Chicago mainline. It also was aquired by the Society in November of 2003 from CSX and is now on lease to the Arcade & Attica Railroad in Arcade, New York.
All photo's ©2004 Joe Kocsis & smph50
Built by the Chesapeake&Ohio RR in 1965 and originally numbered SP - 25. Equipped with Pere Marquette trucks, #914025 weighs in at 42,800 lbs and is 44'-4" in length. It was last used in service on the B&O (B&P) in 1986 seeing service between Buffalo and Salamanca, New York. Stored in Hamburg, NY.
This 1950's Fairmont "M-19", series "F" speeder was donated to the WNYRHS in 2014 by William Agate, retired Chief Mechanical Officer of the South Buffalo Railway. The speeder is stored serviceable at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center. in Buffalo, NY.
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The WNYRHS, Inc. P.O. Box 416, Buffalo, NY. 14231-0416 is an independent organization and has no affiliation with any other local or national group.
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