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Operation Snow Storm

Discussion in 'Bullhead Memories' started by Ploughman, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    A few photos of an Operation run in winter 1947.
    One of Yorks relaying gangs, Number 7, was despatched to work with a snowplough train between Leeds, Selby, Ravenscar, Goathland and Whitby.
    These photos were taken by Ernie Sanderson who was a member of the gang.
    The gang were sent out for the duration and lived in a second train with messing facilities and bunks while they were out.
    Besides the snowclearing work a secondary purpose was to deliver supplies to cut off villages such as Ravenscar and Fyling Hall.

    1947 - 1.jpg

    1947 - LONDESBOROUGH 1.jpg Londesborough.

    1947 - LONDESBOROUGH 6.jpg Londesborough

    1947 - NUNBURNHOLME.jpg Pendas Way Crossgates Leeds Tank Factory behind.

    1947 - PENDAS WAY 3.jpg Fyling Hall

    FYLING HALL - 1.jpg Number 7 Gang

    Number 7 gang - Copy.jpg Ravenscar

    RAVENSCAR - 1.jpg Ravenscar

    RAVENSCAR - 3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  2. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    More photos of Ernie's.
    Ravenscar
    RAVENSCAR - 4.jpg Ravenscar
    RAVENSCAR - 7.jpg Ravenscar
    RAVENSCAR - 8.jpg
    RAVENSCAR - 9.jpg Ravenscar
    RAVENSCAR - 10.jpg Robin Hoods Bay
    ROBIN HOODS BAY - 1.jpg Robin Hoods Bay
    ROBIN HOODS BAY - 2.jpg

    For their efforts they received a sit down Fish and chip tea in a cafe in Whitby.
    A bit later they received a Thank you letter as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  3. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Active Member

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    Thanks for those, Bryan.
    Yikes and double Yikes, I've walked part of the trackbed over by Ravenscar, It was somewhat bleak even in the summer.
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    When there were so many more sets of points (with less sets of points heaters) and innumerable miles of signal wires to freeze up than exist today, those old photos give a real sense of just how much human effort was involved in keeping the network running back then.

    Quite the contrast with expectations after 70 years of progress! Of course, adoption of continuous welded rail and widespread mechanisation of so much PW work means the numbers of staff available today to deal with severe winter conditions is a fraction of what it took to keep the pre-Beeching/Marples mileage (of jointed track) up and running through some of the worst conditions mother nature could throw at the railways. I'd imagine the limitations of modern track circuitry would be another factor when compared with 1947.

    It's a matter of record that troops were (unsurprisingly) ordered in during the winter of 1947 to keep the nation moving and there were experiments to mount jet engines on wagons in attempt to deal more effectively with the blizzard conditions during that winter. A few possible pitfalls seem pretty obvious, not least of which would have been establishing something akin to workable safety guidelines.

    Does anyone please know how many of these contraptions were thrown at the snow during that winter? The basic concept seems viable enough, as there's evidence a-plenty of updated versions of it in present day North America, but the notion looks to have fallen from favour here. Pity, as the UK network could really use an effective leaf-blower!

    This, apparently taken at Dowlais Top (S.Wales Valleys):
    DowlaisTop_Winter1947_JetEngineSnowplough.jpg.cf.jpg
    Photo courtesy of alangeorge.co.uk

    Here's another, but larger (No prize, but does anyone recognise that cockpit)?:
    Snow-Blower-MiG-mounted-on-a-train.jpg.cf.jpg
    Photo courtesy wierdomatic.com

    From (I think) Canada, comes this image. It comes from a series of images delighting in the title 'Engine Porn'!
    Blower1359254165.jpg.cf.jpg
    Courtesy forums.pelicanparts.com

    And a broadside shot of a different machine:
    20127262738_CN snowblower 1 Aug 99 Moncton.jpg.cf.jpg
    Coutesy railroad-line.com

    And, although I suspect it's a tad more restrained in operation than the UK's 1947 contraptions, here's an actual clip of one of the modern equivalent in use in Maine (I can't see any accreditation, but it was posted on YouTube):
    https://uk.video.search.yahoo.com/v...alt2&age=1230069041&fr2=p:s,v:v&fr=crmas&tt=b
     
  5. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Active Member

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    Yikes, the elf n saftie aspects of those give me pause ...
     
  6. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Where's your sense of adventure man? :D

    With that large 1947 jet, I've always had visions of windows and frozen washing on lines a quater of a mile from where it was in use being shot through with flying ballast!
     
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  7. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I will have to have a dig round but there is a video online somewhere of the GWR Dowlais experiment shot by the GWR civil engineering department, whilst it cleared the snow, it also cleared a lot of the ballast and had to be discontinued as it made the track unstable.

    Edit - this is not the one I was thinking of, but despite the video comments sugesting its Lincolnshire the signal box suggests Dowlais Top?

     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  8. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Fantastic find and many thanks for posting it. That jet looked to be dumping an awful lot of snow onto the adjacent line, which can't have been any too helpful. I could easily imagine one or two signal wire pulleys not coming out of it all too well either. A tad more work needed on that idea, methinks.

    In view of the caption mentioned, I wonder if there actually is another clip which really shows one of these hair-raising contraptions over in Lincolnshire?
     
  9. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Active Member

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    the cockpit looks like a ME262
     
  10. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Active Member

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    bn09b.jpg Meanwhile...in Canada.....
     
  11. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And in Norfolk....

     
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  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Ooh! ...... our Norfolk .... Well, I wasn't expecting that!

    Some of those 37's must be over 55 years old by now. What with the "2040 Deadline" (Oink oink, flutter flutter!), you've got to wonder if a few of these, plus a handful of 20's and 08's might yet see out the diesel age in "big railway" service.
     
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  13. Romsey

    Romsey Well-Known Member

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    Or Switzerland ...

    Xrot9213 & 182 Ospizio Bernina 18 Feb 2018.jpg

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  14. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    @Romsey Looks quite a small tender ... Is that one of the RhB G4/5's?
     
  15. Romsey

    Romsey Well-Known Member

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    Xrot9213 has a small four wheel tender which looks completely out of proportion to the main part of the snow blower.
    It's RhB 182 (Ge4/4) Bernina Bahn line mini Krokodil assisting the snow blower.

    Cheers, Neil
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Cheers Neil. On closer inspection, how the hell did I take it for a G4/5? Glad to see at least one of the old Krokodil's still finds gainful employment, but I'm really beginning to worry about my lastest pair of specs!
     
  17. Romsey

    Romsey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a bit like that after the Gluhwien at the SRF music festival in Pontresina on the previous evening!

    That Krokodil is privately owned, but seems to be stabled in the RhB heritage stock shed at Pontresina. There is at least one other Bernina Bahn Krokodil around the network plus a couple of 11kv ones in use on heritage trains around Davos.
    We also had 802 one of the electro-diesels assisting at one point.

    If you feel rich, the RhB Snow blower trips for 2019 are already being marketed by the Swiss Travel Centre in London, but you can book direct with the RhB in Chur.

    Cheers, Neil
     
  18. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ploughman/Bryan. Wonderful photos of the operations at Ravenscar/RHB/Fyling Hall. Thanks for posting them. Do you know the plough and locomotive numbers please?
     
  19. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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    Sorry but unless you can make them out on the photo then no.
    The photos I scanned off were not in very good condition.
     
  20. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Ah, no worries. Perhaps someone else might have a better copy.
     

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