Turbine Powered Snow Removal?

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Bluenose Railfan

A few weeks ago, I was driving past the Rockingham yard in North End Halifax where I observed a piece of M.O.W. equipment I had never seen before. It looked like a flatcar with a small cab at one end and a very large jet engine with some ductwork which directed the exhaust down toward the track and it appeared to be self-propelled. I was about 200 meters from it and the noise it made was deafening. (not too surprising).

Sadly, no camera at the time....:(

Google has been no help with this beyond a company called Gateway which seems to make things like it but no pics of this one or anything like it. Maybe it's a one-off? I asked a friend who had been the yardmaster there before he retired; he knew about it but no details. Anyone seen one of these?

Robert Gift

former OL presenter
Is this machine any good?
How expensive to build and maintain?
How much fuel used?

Just send me with a broom and pike pole and I'll clean the parts that matter without all the noise, air pollution and expense.

No need to close a track. If a train needs the track, I'll step away.

Is there an evironmentally friendly antifreeze which can be sprayed in the flangeways of the frogs and switch points?
A thick solution could help prevent later accumulation.

Those Jet Blowers are quite the unit.....though I've never used one to clear snow.....I have had the opportunity to play around with them for "testing" purposes..... :D

The unit pictured below had a Detroit 4-53 driving a hydraulic pump. This provided locomotion (hydraulic motors) as well as direction control of the jet blast.
There was also a hydraulic starter for the jet engine.

You would simply wind up the Detroit to build good pressure and then engage the hydraulic starter and spin up the jet turbine.
Once you had good RPM's you hit the ignitor to light the jet engine and quickly disengage the starter.
The ignitor was kind of like a pilot light on your furnace that was simply fed by a small bottle of acetylene.

The sound is pretty awesome.....the cab is well insulated with 1" thick glass.

Outfitted with a Westinghouse J34 engine.....providing a 600 mph jet blast at 1000 degrees

You could run it on Jet-A fuel or Kerosene or No.1 Diesel via the huge dual tanks in front of the cab.






Bluenose Railfan
Thanks to everyone who replied!

I've been keeping my camera close by in case I see it again. It's not very likely gonna happen this winter unless it gets a lot colder. I'm not complaining...:D

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