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SPMW 208

Audio Tour


SPMW 208

Rotary Snow Plow

Listen to a short audio clip about the SPMW 208

0:00 / (length available when played)




You can watch a short video about the history of the rotary snowplow: Sacramento abc10 snowplow video.

(after the video starts you may wish to use the YouTube "Full-screen" option to enlarge the video if you are using a mobile device.)

BuilderAmerican Locomotive Co. - Brooks Works
BuiltSeptember 1927
TypeLeslie Patent Rotary Snowplow
Serial number67429
Original cost$16,641
Operating weight263,800 lbs
Acquisition Donated by Union Pacific

SPMW 208 Photo
SP 208 Plowing the main at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola on March 5, 2008

More information about the SPMW 208 HERE

Audio Transcript:
The American Locomotive Company built SPMW 208 as a steam powered rotary snowplow in 1927 for the Southern Pacific.

Starting in the 1950’s, Southern Pacific began converting its steam-powered rotaries to electrically powered units by installing a large electric motor in the carbody and providing power using an old streamlined style freight locomotive that was permanently assigned to each plow. This power unit was known as a “snail”. Unable to move itself, each plow/snail combination would be pushed by several locomotives to clear deep snow from the tracks.

SPMW 208 was the last steam unit converted to diesel in 1970.

SPMW 208 (numbered 7208 at the time) was one of the rotary snowplows involved in the rescue of the trapped City of San Francisco passenger train in January 1952.

It was leased by the WP in February 1973 for use on the High Line out of Keddie, and was returned to SP shortly thereafter. It was the last rotary to work on the Western Pacific Railroad.

The plow is fully operational here at the museum.