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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

Coudersport & Port Allegany Snow Plow

Plow restored.

This 1890s plow operated on the little Coudersport & Port Allegany Railroad in northeastern Pennsylvania. In use, it would have been pushed by a steam locomotive into the drifts.

Plowing.Its centrally-located plow flange was designed to throw snow equally to both sides on a single-track line. At times, the plow would require workers to get out with shovels to assist. The crew member in the cab of the plow had to maintain close communication with the engineer in the locomotive behind, who could not see what was ahead.

Built by the Russell Snow Plow Co., it was purchased in 1980 from the Wellsville, Addison & Galeton RR. For some years, it was stored in the Museum's outside restoration yard. The Museum's restoration department and volunteers set about an extended job of completely rebuilding it to its 1895 appearance. As with all of our restoration jobs, detailed research was performed.

This is how the plow looked before restoration:

Plow pre-restoration.


Working with Restoration Manager Al Martin, volunteer Paul Wilcox built a small model to depict the sturdy inner construction, and an entire team worked with currently-available materials to fathfully depict the original, major parts of which had deteriorated from age.


The plow was one of the first projects undertaken in the Museum's restoration shop, which allowed work to take place away from the elements.



Seen here is the plow, taken down to its undercarriage, with its flanger, which removed snow at grade crossings, being rebuilt. This project was far from a simple cosmetic restoration!

A video of contemporary use of such a plow (pushed by diesels) may be seen here.

Restoration Programs
  Learn about how our program restores historic rail equipment to professional standards here.  
Volunteer Opportunities.
  Learn how you can work on projects like this and other programs to promote railroad history here.  
Our Railroad Equipment Roster.
  See our extensive roster of significant and historic rolling stock here.  
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