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Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechThis rotary plow-fronted train is ready to keep the other trains running in the worst winter weather using good old-fashioned steam power! 100% fictional history of the steam engine type (and the whole train, really): In late-1929, Thomas Carter was Chief Mechanical Engineer for Brick Railway Systems (BRS), and on vacation to visit family in New Zealand. He was about to get on the train in Christchurch, when he was passed by a new NZR "G" class 4-6-2+2-6-4 Garratt steam engine. Remembering how he was having problems getting the next "big thing" built back in America, and that he was having a steam power crunch when it came to rotary snow plow duty up in the Rocky Mountains, he contacted the engine's manufacturer, Beyer, Peacock and Company, and talked about a possible contract in America using the New Zealand "G"class as a starting point. Once he got home to BRS company HQ in St. Louis, Missouri, he got the upper management's final okay, and began final design on the new "DC" class of Garratts. (DC standing for Double Consolidation, as it is really just two Consolidation 2-8-0 type loco wheel-set's back-to-back with one boiler.) All in all, six of these (assigned numbers 4834 - 4840 by the railroad) were made as a trial run in 1930, but the Great Depression worsened in 1931-33 so no more were ever ordered. (originally, 10 locos more were planned for general freight service but were never built, which would have brought the grand total up to 16 engines.) Six engines were permanently paired off of with a dual snow plow team: two DC engines on each plow, with each engine team working the two track main line, one team per track, one way, until they met at the halfway point of Continental Divide (also known as the town of Summit Point), which was a vital steam-era crew exchange and refueling point near a inter-state highway. The third team of two engines and it's plow (The one marked YO seen above) was used as replacement engine for the two crews already mentioned, and were only used if another rotary crew was down for regular maintenance or due to an accident. After diesels came on the scene to replace the steamers (plows and engines alike) in the mid-to-late 1950's, the only two steam engines left of the DC type in North America were pushing the spare steam rotary plow YO. One of these locomotives (no. 4840) was found to have a severely rusted water tank and front engine frame, and was thus kept for spare parts to keep the other loco (no. 4839) running. This severely impacted the surviving engine's ability to push the rotary plow hard enough to make it through the dense banks of Colorado snow. After a few unsuccessful modification attempts to keep the 34-year old engine going, it was decided to send the entire train (plow, engine, and caboose used for the train) to a railroad museum in Missouri. They would also be sent with all the remaining parts from engine 4840 as it might be prudent to re-steam the engine in the future. So, in 1963, the YO and 4839 were sent to National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, where it still sits today. (The following part of the story is actually true!) This steam powered rotary snowplow was inspired by the real-world Denver and Rio Grande's narrow gauge plow "OY", as now seen on the Cumbres and Toltec RR in New Mexico / Colorado. I've decided to name my plow "YO" in tribute to my inspiration, using a 2010 Toy Story printed part for the "YO" designation. Oh, and yes, the front "blade" does spin around, but is not motorized. This model has been updated since the last time I uploaded this, with a better plow shroud because the old one would fall off when I looked at it funny. This one is not upside down on the bottom half like the old one, but it is MUCH more sturdy. (I was inspired by @dr_spock's rotary snowplow to build my own plow. Take a look at his Flickr as he's got a bunch of cool designs there!) The rear of the plow features the coal tender with a ladder from the water tank-top down to the magnetic coupler. (Before anyone says anything about Garratt loco's not being ever sold into the North American market, I'll say this is not from our reality, this is my own railroad mirror-world and does not follow our history as closely as it could. I mean, I've got steam loco's running into the 1970's on main lines hauling premier passenger trains for goodness sake!) This engine was originally inspired by two SRW locomotive works products. (Both were Garratt models made by @SavaTheAggie and formerly available on Bricklink until LEGO sadly removed his instructions) I reworked the model from Sava's 4-6-2+2-6-4 to a 2-8-0+0-8-2. I also added the forward water tank and aft coal bunker from his 2-4-0+0-4-2 Garratt, a custom boiler designed by me and medium Big Ben Bricks drivers to make it from a fast passenger loco into a slow freight hauler. (or in this case, a snow plow pusher!) The engine is flexible to a degree more than this, but not by much. It goes though R40 curves and switches just fine, though. A simple caboose, for the protecting the rear of the snow plow train. I used a pair interesting windscreen parts for the cupola windows. Inspired partially by 2001 My Own Train set 10014, (Caboose) but in blue. NOTES: Finally finished 10/7/2020!
This model is the last of the original Museum of Transportation vehicles I have planned on buying, but that doesn't mean I won't have more in the future... who knows what may happen. This model will be built at some point in 2019. Real World Background: Here is Union Pacific rotary snowplow 900081. It was designed and built in 1966 at the UP Omaha shops, and is the heaviest rotary snowplow ever built, weighing 367,400 lbs. Three or four diesel locomotives, which were controlled from the non-propelled plow, pushed it at four to six mph. The snowplow is powered by an EMD 16 cylinder 3,000hp turbocharged diesel engine that drives an electric generator, which provides power to turn the 12’ rotary blades at up to 150 rpm. A steam generator provided heat to the cab and can thaw out the blades if they became frozen. This rotary snowplow was last used in Green River, WY in the mid 1980’s, and it was donated to the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri in 1994 by the Union Pacific, where it is still seen today. LEGO model notes: I was inspired by Dr_Spock_888 and his rotary snowplow to build my own way back in 2014. Needless to say, it the originally 8 wide model didn't come out quite right at that time, so I put it aside for quite some time. I just recently remade the model into a 6 wide body with a 10 wide blade section, and have have smoothed out the roof studs with tiles. As before, the words "UP" (the initials of the former owner Union Pacific) should go on the studs towards the middle, while "900081" should go on the studs in the center in printed 1 x 1 tiles, right below the two UP tiles. The blades are actually part of Dr_Spock_888's design, but mine do not move with the train like his... mine are not connected to the wheels on the track, and do not move unless you spin them with your hand. Inspiration: (Photo by Wampa-one from Flickr, not me) Complaints, suggestions, thoughts, & compliments are always welcome!