Back Track Archive

Latest model in TTC rail snow plow

TP-10 rail snow plow, 1946. 12/13/16 6:00 PM

BACK TRACK: 60 years ago …
Latest model in TTC rail snow plows

In 1946, following a severe blizzard two years earlier, the TTC introduced two rails snow plows (TP-10 and TP-11) to its maintenance fleet. Built by National Steel Car in Hamilton, and assembled in Hillcrest Shops, the plows were driven by four, 65-horsepower, 600-volt motors. Each weighed 71,000 pounds and they we’re operated by a three-person crew.

Today, the Transit Control Centre has a comprehensive severe weather monitoring and action protocol to ensure the transit system is ready for the worst in any season. Here are a few key initiatives that are activated during severe weather during the winter season:
> Storm trains are dispatched to apply an anti-icing agent to the third rail to keep snow and ice buildup off of the rail in the open cut areas.  Storm trains will also run overnight to observe the operation of switches and signals in the open-cut areas and ensure start of service is problem-free.
> Switch heaters are powered on to keep snow and ice off of switches in the open cuts and yards, minimizing the likelihood of failures due to ice build-up.
> When ambient temperatures dip below minus -16 C, trains are stored in tunnels overnight to minimize service impacts in the a.m. rush if snow and ice creates problems in the yards. Indoor storage also keeps doors clear of ice and snow.
> The TTC also works closely with the city to ensure highly travelled bus and streetcar routes are plowed, and to tow cars and trucks that are blocking streetcar rails.
> Storm cars with special sliders attached to the ends of the trolley pole travel across the streetcar system to keeps ice off of the overhead lines. The vehicles also clear tracks and switches from heavy snow and ice.

Winter officially arrives on Wed., Dec. 21.

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