Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

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Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:35 pm

I have been trying to find information on two former New York Central rotary plows that may or may not have been conveyed to Penn Central and/or Conrail.

NY Central had two rotaries. One was X-659, built by Leslie in 1889 and acquired when Central took-over the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburgh in 1891. The second was X-660, built by Alco in 1926 for NYC.

I understood that X-660 became PC 60021 and NYC X-559 became PC 64599.

My question is, Conrail rostered two rotaries with these numbers. One source says these are the same plows. That Conrail acquired 60021 from PC and later renumbered it 64599. They do not look like quite the same plows to me but it's hard to really tell. I pasted some links below.

60021 (click)

64599 (click)

I was wondering if anyone might have information on these plows?
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:34 pm

This is a wild guess,went to CSX??
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:02 pm

Supposedly Conrail scrapped one of the rotaries in the 1980s. (Some people say Conrail only had one.)

Reportedly 64599, the plow built in 1889, lasted until 2000 and wound up with CSX. That the Western NY NRHS Chapter acquired it in that year from CSX. Conrail was supposed to have last used it in 1993-94. At least that's what some people say. Trouble is they don't say how they know it.
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:07 pm

I'm thinking sometime in the past when NYC existed,both rotaries were rebuilt into diesel powered rotaries,
they have a bit of "home grown" look to them ;) Not sure if they had Prime movers installed or "borrowed" a engine
(a B unit??) to power them up?
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:45 pm

I think X-659 was rebuilt in the early 1950s with a diesel engine (I don't know where they got it), and the rotating snow wheel was electric-powered.

I seem to recall a feature-length TRAINS' article about rotary plows, published about twenty years ago, they explained why the older NYC rotary outlived the much newer X-660. I *think* it was because X-660 wound up with a broken frame.
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby scharnhorst » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:11 pm

Conrail 64599 is up in storage some where in Buffalo, NY I'm not 100% sure but I want to say on the Buffalo Southern?????


Short History
Conrail 64599 was built in 1889 by the NYC and assigned number X-659 it ran on Steam Power till It was rebuilt in 1951 and converted to electric drive by the NYC and required a Locomotive to provide the electric Power. It was assigned and stored in Syracuse, NY for most of it's life.

On a side note the trucks used under this unit were listed as the oldest ones still in active service in North America out side of any museums and or Tourist operations until it was retired by CSX in 2001.

There are No other listings for any other Rotary Snow Plows having been assigned to Conrail.

All information is on Page 38 in "Conrail Color Guide to Freight Equipment" Vol:1 1976-1987 by Larry DeYoung published by Morning Sun Books

other info on 64599 can be found here: http://crcyc.railfan.net/mow/snow/mwsnow.html
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:35 pm

scharnhorst wrote:Conrail 64599 is up in storage some where in Buffalo, NY...There are No other listings for any other Rotary Snow Plows having been assigned to Conrail.


I think Conrail 64599 is owned by the Western New York Chapter of the NRHS and is (or was) stored in Hamburg NY. LINK

If Conrail only rostered one rotary, 64599, what is this? Conrail 60021 photo link

60021's fan housing and the fan itself look smaller than in the photo of 64599. They do resemble the fan in the builder's photo I saw of X-660. But 60021 and 64599 could be the same rotary as stated in many places.

I just wonder what happened to NYC X-660. NYC X-659 was built by Leslie in 1889 for Rome Watertown & Ogdensburgh (as their 28, I think). Central acquired it in 1891 when they took in RW&O. Central people who worked in upstate New York say X-659 was assigned to Watertown until sometime in the 1960s when it was moved to Dewitt. One gentleman worked with X-659 in 1966 when the Syracuse area got a fifty-inch snow storm. They used it in clearing the Dewitt yard. Or tried to. There was too much junk buried in the snow, like brake shoes, air hoses, and they finally gave up.

NYC X-660 was built by American Locomotive (using Leslie patents) in 1926 for NYC RR. ETTs show X-660 was used in upstate New York as well through the 1960s.

You would expect the much newer X-660 to have outlived X-659, but it apparently didn't.
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Re: Conrail Rotary Snow Plows

Postby RSD15 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:17 pm

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