MEC "sled" plows

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MEC "sled" plows

Postby Richard Glueck » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:51 pm

Maine Central used to run a style of plow made of wood, but unlike a manned plow. These were found all around the system but I don't think any have survived. The plow had a steel wedge in front, then a rectangular body, which I believe was filled with sand or another type of weight. The plow itself stood lower than a locomotive boiler. ANyone recognize what I'm describing or could point to a set of decent photos or better still, drawings?
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby Mikejf » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:11 pm

Found one. Not exact because it looks like it could have been manned. Several Railroads ran this type of plow in the early years, including most of the Two Foot Narrow Gauge Railroads in Maine. I have a book with a photo of one of the standard gauge plows stuck and about 25 or 30 guys shovelling the snow above it to make a hole to get it out.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby Richard Glueck » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:54 pm

That sure looks like it. From this angle, it appears to be taller than what I was thinking about. Where is this one located and did you get any measurements?
Thank you for posting the photo.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby Mikejf » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:13 pm

Go here http://www.northeast.railfan.net/plow4.html and scroll though the pictures. I didn't take the picture so I have no dimensions to go along with the photo.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby oibu » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:19 pm

I'm going to guess that THIS is in fact what you are looking for/talking about?

http://www.railroad.net/articles/railfanning/worktrains2/media/LWF0012.jpg

The picture previously posted appears to be a ca. early 1900s Russell, not the same beast as the one in the link above which MEC (and B&A, and numerous othe nortehrn new enaglnd RR's ) had.

Based on text and a drawing in one of Bill Gove's NH logging RR books that idnicated plows o fthis design were built by the Portland Co. for a couple of the NH logging railroads, and that the maine 2-footers bought much equipment from the Portland Co., I would hazard the guess that these were built by the Portland Company, which was located next to the GT yard on the Portland waterfront and in it's day, late 1800s-early 1900s, built many cars and locomotives for northern New Engalnd's railroads. I dont; know when they started building plows of this design, but I'd guess they didn't build any after about 1910. Incredibly, photos exist (such as the one I linked above, which even without the caption stating "1965", we know must be later than ca. 1960 because the large block "MEC" lettering did not ecist prior to that timeframe) that show them still around in the 1960s on the MEC. I believe at least one o fthe 2 ft gauge plows exists at one of the museums?
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby MEC407 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:37 pm

I believe this little narrow gauge plow can still be seen at the museum in Portland:

http://naphotos.nerail.org/showpic/?200 ... 311438.jpg
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby Richard Glueck » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:31 pm

Those are exactly what I am talking about! The MEC plow is specific, but the two-footer sure looks like the bigger brute in design. I don't get into Portland too often to measure the old girl. Does anyone know if drawings exist? The MEC one appears to be steel. Sucha simple design, too.Thank you all for helping me with this hunt!
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby oibu » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:01 pm

The original construction of these plows was definitely wood... wood frame, wood sheathing. The one in the pic I linked does appear to be resheathed. Knowing the MEC, it could be plywood! ALthough the blade itself I agree looks liek steel. But that is not "original".

I woul have to imagine the 2-footer version was much smaller than the standard gauge, but probably more or less just a shrnk-down version of the same design.

I don;t know of any drawings specific to the MEC plows, but the plan on p60 of Bill Gove's "Logging RR's of the Saco River Valley" of the plow built for the Bartlett & Albany RR appears very close if not identical. I have no idea if it might have any additional info, but Arcadia Publishing has a book about the Portland Company. I haven't personally seen it though. There are some other pics of this style of plow on the web, also in books such as the Morning Sun "Northern NEw Engalnd Color Guide to Freight and passenger equipment", the Angier/Cleaves 'Bangor & Aroostook- the Maine Railroad", etc.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby oibu » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:05 pm

I should haev added that the Bartlett & Albany plwo in the plan in Gove's book is shown as having a carbody overall height of 8' (not height above railhead) and overall length of 22' from blade to rear of body.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby thutchinson » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:31 pm

I'm new to the forum and late to this post. Up until a couple years ago, I think there used to be a plow like this sitting right in the Whitefield NH yard. It was on the MEC line that continued towards Dalton.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby Dick H » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:58 pm

The plow in Whitefield yard was acquired by the Conway Scenic Railroad over a
year ago. It was essentially landlocked, as it has friction bearings and would
not be accepted for interchange by the freight railroads. The Conway Scenic
did make a run with it through the notch last winter. This was a good addition
to the CSRR, as the wooden plow on the property is likely unusable without
major repairs and will likely end up as a display piece.

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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby b&m 1566 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:13 am

As stated the plow that was sitting in Whitefield is now in N. Conway. The plow you mentioned isn't the same kind of plow in the picture. The Conway Scenic's plow is all steel and requires an operator to control all the moving parts.
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Re: MEC "sled" plows

Postby Mikejf » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:46 pm

OK. Finally took a few minutes and located a picture of an MEC sled plow. Looks identical to the much smaller two foot gauge ones that were common in the state around the same time.
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