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European Railroad Discussion > snow clearing on the continent these days??

Date: 02/26/17 12:16
snow clearing on the continent these days??
Author: leonz


I was wondering out loud how much snow there is in England and the continent these days?
Are they clearing it with the locomotive plows or have they brought out the larger plows and
Beilhack rotaries?


Date: 02/27/17 02:35
Re: snow clearing on the continent these days??
Author: spflow


I thnk the first point to make is that most of Western Europe, especially the UK, has a milder and less extreme climate than much of North America, in spite of of our very northern latitudes. Ths is  a result of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream which come up across the Atlantic from the south west. I guess the climate is a bit like Seattle or Vancouver at sea level, but even milder!

One reason why we are so concerned about climate change is that as the arctic sea ice melts this will shut down, and then paradoxically we end up with a much colder climate. Snowfall in the UK is only problematic at present because of its rarity, and hence unexpected nature, causing the usual commments about how mountainous places like Norway or Switzerland seem to manage so much better than us. This is because they routinely experience significant snowfalls each winter and have available equipment like rotary ploughs.

In the UK it is only in the north of England and in Scotland where snow is a regular problem, and the only ploughs we have are quite often converted out of old steam loco tenders, and propelled by a diesel loco. We do not have to my knowledge any rotary ploughs. A much bigger probem is experineced on the extensive third rail electric system in South East Engand, where even small falls of snow and ice can cause terrible problems that are managed by running de-icing trains.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/17 08:29 by spflow.

Date: 02/27/17 06:42
Re: snow clearing on the continent these days??
Author: leonz


Thanks for your update. One of the reasons I asked is because
Scotrail has a Beilhack rotary snow clearer and I wondered if anyone
has seen it clearing snow on the Scotrail network.


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