All in a Day's Work

Portraying the various types of work and special challenges that occur along the rails of the Alaska Railroad



Punching through a sluff in Indian River canyon: In the mid-80's, we started experimenting with using the large ballast regulators for mainline snow removal. The advent of larger engines, larger plows/wings and the ability to shift on the fly made the regulators a much cheaper alternative than running the Snowfleet. Often times a Snowfleet wouldn't be called anyway because of the cost, locomotive availability and the fact that trains were not being impacted. The problem of course is that even though trains can make it through +-6 inches of snow over the rail with little problem, Track Inspectors and repair crews have a lot tougher time getting around. Although the regulators do have their limitations, they are very flexible and can be used on a consistent basis which greatly increases MOW forces productivity.