Home New York City Transit Profiling a high-powered snow thrower

Profiling a high-powered snow thrower

by Benjamin Kabak

On Wednesday night, as I praised the MTA for better handling inclement weather than they had in the past, I ran a photo of the MTA’s high-powered snow blower. Described in a December release as “similar to a household snow thrower, just a lot bigger,” this particular thrower helped keep the Broad Channel crossing and the IND Rockaway Line free from snow.

Little did I realize just how alluring stories about big machinery can be. Yesterday, Pete Donohue of the Daily News profiled the MTA’s snow thrower as well. The machine is massive. It features a six-foot cylindrical brush that gobbles out snow, feeds it into a chute and launches it through a tube eight feet above ground. Transit says the machine can throw snow 200 feet and can clear 3000 tons of snow an hour.

These snow throwers are but a part of the MTA’s anti-snow fleet. The agency also has de-icer cars, jet blowers and ballast regulators that keep the tracks free from snow and ensure that snow drifts do not interfere with train operations. As other subway systems throughout the country — DC’s WMATA, in particular — struggle to maintain any semblance of service during large snow storms, the MTA has equipment ready to ensure that our 24-hour subway system can run above and below ground with few problems.

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Sara Nordmann February 12, 2010 - 1:33 pm

I was interested in the picture you posted before, but I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation with nerdy questions about it. I did see a de-icer car yesterday, though.

AK February 12, 2010 - 4:32 pm

Nerdy questions are what we SAS-readers live for 🙂

herenthere February 12, 2010 - 3:48 pm

Where would the snow be thrown though?

Tom Zig February 13, 2010 - 8:17 pm

I’ve always wondered how the MTA clears the train tracks. But yeah I’ve got the same question, where does it go? I imagine they just throw it into a giant container like car.


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