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A rotary snowplow is utilized for clearing heavy snowfall from railroad tracks, this piece of equipment typically has a net-weight of 125 to 150 tons. Mounted on the front of the rotary snowplow is the rotary snowplow housing, including rotary blades arranged radially around a driveshaft. This driveshaft is driven by an internal diesel engine and drivetrain system. The radially mounted rotary blades, when viewed from the front, give the appearance of an airplane propeller the diameter of which can exceed 9-feet. The rotating blades can “cut” through snow depths of over 15-feet and using centrifugal force, blow the snow out of a chute – located at the top left or top right - of the rotary snowplow housing, and throw that snow 150 to 300 feet away from the railroad tracks. Typically, rotary snowplows have two key attributes. First, a rotary snowplow is a powerful piece of snow-fighting equipment and is called into service when other methods of removing snowfall from the railroad tracks fail. Secondly, a rotary snowplow is not self-propelled.
Snowzilla is my Lego vision/version of a powerful rotary snowplow. A total of 1,019 Lego elements were used to create build Snowzilla. I utilized 29 Lego elements to create the nameplate, 150 Lego elements were used to build the railroad tracks, and I utilized 840 Lego elements to construct Snowzilla. Snowzilla was constructed utilizing four sub-assemblies. The first sub-assembly involved constructing the chassis underside, including installing two-wheel sets, each wheel set is mounted on its own bogie. The second sub-assembly is the rotary snowplow housing, including blades and driveshaft. The third sub-assembly involved creating and installing the rotary snowplow’s “diesel” engine that powers the rotary blades, fuel tanks, rotary blade drivetrain and transmission on the topside of the chassis. The diesel engine I envision is an 8-cylinder diesel engine capable of generating 2,200 shaft-horsepower at 900 revolutions-per-minute. The fourth sub-assembly involved creating and building Snowzilla’s car walls, car access doors, and engineer’s cab.
A “pusher” locomotive is typically required to couple with the rotary snowplow and provide the power to “push” (move it forward) or “pull” it (move it in reverse). The “pusher” locomotives controls are connected to the engineer’s cab of the rotary snowplow utilizing an electronic connectivity method called “distributed power.” Distributed power means that the “pusher” locomotive’s controls are wirelessly connected to a control panel in the rotary snowplow engineer’s cab, thus allowing the engineer to efficiently monitor and run both pieces of equipment. The “pusher” locomotive, typically a diesel locomotive, moves the rotary snowplow down the tracks at a speed of 4 to 15 miles-per-hour, depending on the snow conditions (depth, wet versus dry).

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