McCloud River Railroad
Equipment Roster
Snowplows

McCloud snow removal equipment in the McCloud yards. From the T.E. "Eddy" Glover collection.

Snow is an annual event in the country the McCloud railroads served. The railroad chose to shut down rather than plow snow through the first several winters, but by about 1902 the company could no longer afford to do so.

Snow removal equipment employed by the McCloud companies included bucker plows, flangers, Jordan spreaders, and rotary snowplows. The bucker plow is a strongly built wedge plow forced through snow accumulations; it can either be a plow affixed to the front of a locomotive or part of a separate car. The flanger will drop plow blades down between the rails to remove snow, which if left unplowed can compact into ice that derails trains. The flanger blades had to be raised and lowered to clear switches, grade crossings, and other objects between the rails, and as built the flanger blades had to be raised and lowered by hand. The cars included a doghouse where the blade operator rode. In later years, hydraulic controls replaced the operator. The Jordan spreader featured a large wedge plow with flanger attachments and wings used to push snow away from the edge of the tracks; the wings could also be used to push dirt away from the tracks and create drainage ditches. The rotary snowplow consists of a large ciculating blade that chews through drifts, blowing the snow up to 200 feet away from the tracks. The railroad owned no rotary plows, as those could be leased from the Southern Pacific on an as-needed basis.

Underlined numbers are clickable links to a photo page of that car.

700- Wooden bucker plow, purchased circa 1902 from Southern Pacific. Re-numbered late 1906/early 1907 to #1701.

701- Flanger, purchased or built circa 1902. Re-numbered late 1906/early 1907 to #1703.

1701- Wooden bucker plow, re-numbered late 1906/early 1907 from #700. Rebuilt in 1911 with a new depreciation schedule. Plow widened in 1932. Retired 1964 and donated to proposed railroad museum to be located south of Dunsmuir; plow survives today on the grounds of the Railroad Park Resort.

1703- Flanger, re-numbered late 1906/early 1907 from #701. Roster books show this flanger retired in 1909, with a new flanger of the same number built in the company shops that same year; it is likely that this was a capital rebuild of the car. Scrapped circa 1964.

1751 (1937), 1753- Bucker/flanger plows, built 1939 in the McCloud shops. #1753 rebuilt with hydraulic controls by McCloud River around 1986. Both plows sold to McCloud Railway Company in 1992. #1753 wrecked near Milepost B-38 in winter of 1992/1993. #1751 rebuilt with hyrdraulic controls in the summer of 1993 and renumbered #1937 in the process. #1937 remains in service on the railroad today.

1767- Bucker plow, built 1914 in the McCloud car shop. Rebuilt 1932 to widen the plow. Plow damaged during the winter of 1968/1969 and retired 1970, but remained stored in McCloud. Deeded circa 1987 to Great Western Railway Musum; so Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad in late 2005/early 2006. Remains stored in McCloud, but is in rapidly deteriorating condition.

1773- Flanger, built 1923 in the company shops. Donated in 1964 to proposed railroad museum to be located near Dunsmuir, CA. Collection later incorporated into the Railroad Park Resort. Plow is on display on the resort grounds.

1775- Bucker/flanger, built 1925 in the company shops as a double ended snowplow, then converted 1929 to a bucker/flanger. Plow assigned to the lumber company crews in Pondosa for most of its operating life. Scrapped circa 1964.

1783- Bucker/flanger, built 1928 in the company shops. Plow assigned primarily to lumber company crews in White Horse. Destroyed by fire in the Burney yards circa 1964.

1787- Bucker/flanger, built 1930 in the company shops. Similar to the #1775/#1783, but had an extension on end end that raised the height of the plow. Donated in 1964 to proposed railroad museum to be located near Dunsmuir, CA; however, shortly after museum became the Railroad Park Resort, a flash flood destroyed this plow. The frame reportedly now serves as part of the foundation underneath the kitchen area of the resort's dining facility.

1850- Jordan spreader, model 2-2000, serial number 1129. Purchased new 12/1952. Sold to McCloud Railway 1992. Remains in McCloud today.

????- Jordan spreader, former Southern Pacific, conveyed from the Union Pacific to the McCloud Railway in late 2004/early 2005. Spreader has been stored at Ash Creek Junction since arriving on the railroad.

Photographs of the leased Southern Pacific rotary snowplows can be found on the Rotary Snowplows page in the Miscellaneous section of this website.