This is the story of Canadian National branch lines that need cleared of snow and the big orange plow and early diesels CN has doing the job. In the winter of 1987 we ventured to Canada to capture some incredible railroad action. Stratford, Ontario is our base as we enjoy some plow runs on the branch lines that Canadian National (CN) owned. These lines only saw sporadic freight runs, thus when the winds blew the snow around, the railroad quickly became covered to the point a snow plow extra had to be dispatched to clear the line. The amount of snow is not the problem, it is the wind, causing drifting, which fills the cuts and valleys. Powering the orange CN plow is a pair of Canadian National first generation F7s. We’ll see how the plow is operated, and even get a short ride inside as they plow a siding. First, we catch a run to Wingham, Ontario. On this run we record one of our signature video shots, as we get pummeled by the flying snow. This scene landed on a TV blooper show a few years ago.
After the thrill of plowing the Wingham line, the next day a freight run is made to Wingham, and the crew granted our request by running the F7s instead of the usual GP9. A couple of days later the plow is called again to clear the entire line north to Owen Sound, and finally another trip to Wingham, where the plow derails clearing a siding. This video has some incredible snow-fighting scenes, as the plow roars into the snow-covered areas to make the snow fly. this is some unusual railroad action!