King County Landmarks: Northern Pacific Railway Steam Rotary Snowplow No. 10 (1907), Snoqualmie

  • By Heather MacIntosh
  • Posted 1/01/1999
  • Essay 2381
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Address: Railroad Right-of-Way, Snoqualmie. The heavy snowfalls in the Cascade mountain range posed a challenge to providing year-round train service through the mountains. Rotary snowplows, invented in the late nineteenth century, provided rail crews with an effective tool for keeping lines open in winter. The Northern Pacific Railway Steam Rotary Snowplow No. 10 is a rare surviving example of a steam-driven rotary snowplow. Built in 1907 by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York, this plow cleared the snow on Stampede Pass between 1907 and 1964. The car's original wooden body was replaced with steel in the 1950s, but the cutting blades and rotating scoops that threw the snow clear of the tracks are original.

Sources: King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission.

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