Plow train line

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To the best of my knowledge, this is not correct for a CNR snow plow. But as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, I really like the look of plows with a train line air hose running up and over the top of the plow and entering the cupola. It must be a hold-over from my days modelling the Boston and Maine Railroad.

This afternoon, I added this detail to my Ambroid plow kit:
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I fabricated a bracket from some flat brass bar and installed a BTS train line valve, to which I added the short air hose and glad hand. I bent the mounting pin by 90 degrees so it faced up, and trimmed it just after the bend. I also fabricated a pipe and pipe support for the roof over the plow.

I then found some small brass hex nuts in my collection of tiny fasteners. I glued one to the end of the BTS valve mounting pin, and glued the other to the end of the pipe on the roof.

Finally, I connected these two subassemblies with a piece of appropriately-sized wire – still in its insulation, and trimmed to length so that I could introduce a bit of sag into it at appropriate points.

Some black-grey on the rubber parts, and flat black on the pipes and other hardware, and I was done with the front. I’ll dry brush some Neo-Lube over the pipe, valve and glad-hand during the weathering process to give them an oily/greasy metallic look.

While this is not an accurate detail (as far as I know), I think it does a better job of telling the story of a plow in transit than a small train line air hose sticking out of the plow front itself. Given that I model August, an in-transit plow is the only kind one would see on my railway.

Meanwhile, I know this arrangement is accurate to plows from other roads. Maybe my shop forces stole the idea as a way to keep snow, ice and debris from bashing up the train line. In any case, I’m pleased with how this detail turned out – and it’s my railway, right?

While working on train lines, I also added the appropriate hardware to the back of the plow. This was a much easier operation: I simply drilled a hole, glued the BTS part in place, and added a bit of paint.

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4 thoughts on “Plow train line

  1. Trevor: Having not thought about plows that much, would the train line and from coupler be removed for plowing?

    • Hi Bruce:
      Good question. I suspect the answer was up to each railway – and possibly the lowing conditions.
      I’ve seen plows covered in snow with their couplers in place.
      My guess is the air line – exposed as I have done it – might have been removed before plowing if heavy drifting was anticipated.
      Steve Lucas posted some good info in the comments on an earlier post about how the air line’s valve would be located inside the plow body on CN plows – in part so it wouldn’t throw things into emergency if the line got ripped off.
      Cheers!

      • I’m not sure the particulars regarding the removal of the glad hand and hose prior to plowing, but my guess is that the valve is more likely to get frozen shut when plowing. In this picture of a BN Snow Dozer (former GN) you can see both the angle cock and the glad hand. These specially built plows have the train line right next to the center sill, so I would image that is a strong/hard point on plows.
        How are you going to justify having a plow on the layout in August? Most plows would be stored near a RIP track during non winter use. Maybe the plow broke down on the branch during a big storm, and it was a low priority to bring it back to the RIP shops for major repairs?

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