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 Post subject: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:38 am
Posts: 969
Location: Philadelphia
A friend and I and were talking about this PA-based company the other day. Is there a good corporate history out there somewhere?

For twenty extra bonus points, might anyone know, or perhaps have a good guess, on how many single track plows were built vs. doubletrack plows?

Thanks!

Joshua K. Blay


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 466
The Ridgeway museum actually has a little big of the Russell Archive, but not much.

Like O.F. Jordan, Russell built a number of other MoW cars, as well as operated a freight car repair and cleaning operation.

When Russell went under in the early 1950's, Jordan went on building very similar wedge plows, but not many of them were built.

Unfortunately, Russell did not assign serial numbers to the builders plates, so tracking their history is a bit tedious.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 787
Location: Warren, PA
I don't live far from there, and until recently, wasn't entirely sure exactly where the plant site was. While 'everybody' in Ridgway (no e, by the way) knows there was the Russell plant there, finding local references and a factual history is surprisingly hard. You'd think they'd have one preserved in the town as well, but they don't, despite the fact the town has two wonderful little passenger stations in very good condition and respect the rail heritage.

There is now a preserved double-track Russell plow in Meadville, PA that has a Wellsboro & Corning / Conrail / DL&W heritage. I'm not sure how common the double-track plows were either but that's the only one I've seen preserved.

https://fcvrrhs.org/snowplow-dl&w.html

These also have to have some kind of record for being among the oldest pieces of equipment railroads own that they still use at times.

My personal favorite is the ex-Coudersport & Port Allegheny wood one preserved at Strasburg. I came across it as a derelict wreck ready for the torch in Galeton, PA about 1974, and the fact that it was preserved and is now a restored museum piece astounds me. This is reportedly the oldest one still surviving, the wood body and portholes would bear this out...
https://www.endeavornews.com/articles/c ... -original/
RMPA's records 'might' have what you're looking for as part of the historical research of the significance of the plow.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1896
Location: Strasburg, PA
The C&PA plow has an interesting feature that I have never seen elsewhere. Its front truck has four journal boxes per axle, two on the outside in the usual places, and two more inboard of the wheels. It is an arch bar truck with four sets of arch bars.

Our plow across the street has a conventional arch bar truck under the front end (with no springs of course). Did i mention that she rides a little rough?

Per Kurt Bell, ours was built after 1902, and is an ex-Buffalo & Susquehanna car. It came to SRC in 1966 and has been plowing snow here ever since. YouTube

Attachment:
small #475 and snow plowing 2-12-10 025.jpg
small #475 and snow plowing 2-12-10 025.jpg [ 218.55 KiB | Viewed 1664 times ]
...and off the track more times than I can count. Photo by RL Musser

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 25
There was a narrow gauge one from Michigan at Pine Creek. Does it still exist?

brian b


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 612
Location: Wall, NJ
> There was a narrow gauge one from Michigan at Pine Creek. Does it still exist?

Shoot, this is one of those sad endings. The center sill and trucks exist, maybe the flanger, not sure. I had tried via two avenues to save the plow (or its parts) but neither worked. The management of NJMT preferred to cut it up rather than let someone have it. Sad. Unforgiveable. No reason for it. This is the "if I can’t have it, no one will" mentality that we have see at other dead or dying museums.

What else will NJMT cut up rather than let others provide a home for? It was broken up in 2019. This was just wrong. But then, no one gives damn.

J.R. May


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Quincy Mining Co snow plow remains sm.JPG
Quincy Mining Co snow plow remains sm.JPG [ 198.57 KiB | Viewed 1577 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1077
What is NJMT?


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 612
Location: Wall, NJ
> What is NJMT?

New Jersey Museum of Transportation, Inc, the owner of the Pine Creek RR. NJMT leased the plow and Quincy #6 from the Quincy Mining Co in 1975. The #6 returned to Michigan a few years back and has been cosmetically restored by the QMHA.

The plow could have been reproduced or rebuilt (whatever you favorite word is for such an effort) using the remains as a pattern.

Really need to keep an eye on NJMT as they have had plenty of issues. You can search the RYPN interchange for various postings. What else will be lost due to their mismangement?


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:44 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:51 pm
Posts: 25
Location: USA PA 16508
Hello,

Approximately 15 years ago there was an auction of Russell plow blueprints/records/etc in Corry PA and they were selling primarily to one individual, but they haven't surfaced since. He paid top dollar for every lot and departed without mentioning his plans for them.

Susan Yosten
Erie, PA


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 787
Location: Warren, PA
We had one assigned to the Warren, PA area during the Penn Central/Conrail years, as the line from here to Erie crosses the notorious 'snow belt' just south of Erie where it still sets snow records. This particular one also had the misfortune of derailing at speed on ice buildup during a plow move in the subsequent Conrail era, at the crossing in Pittsfield, PA, and ended up on its end in Brokenstraw creek and made the newspaper. Obviously a wild ride over the bank for the crew. Never saw it again.

The story of this equipment is so good, with all the stories told and continue to the present day, that I'm really surprised nobody has done the definitive work on them yet. It's a tough job that's still looking for a champion.

Considering the number of these already in museums I have to believe that somebody has done enough work already for the basic production stats. One of my other favorites is the one at the MTM roundhouse museum in St. Paul - ex NP 30, because a head-on view shows the blade edge severely beaten in and repeatedly repaired from hitting who-knows-what at speed. It has a builders plate on it with the number R 1291, so I'm questioning the statement about serial numbers never being applied. I'll have to check my closeup shots of the local one as I know I photographed the plate on that 40+ years ago.

WNYP (Corry PA-Jamestown-Olean, NY) has two, I 'think' both are at Olean, NY, and one obviously still has the Russell builder plate on it (WNYP 4420) from photos. Crossing the same snowbelt, and you may not need one, but when you need one, you really need one.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2329
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Railroad Museum of New England's Maine Central #70 (Green Mountain #104) came with Russell builder's plates, which we removed for safekeeping, and had aluminum copies made. There were no serial numbers on them; there was a casting or pattern number on the back, as I recall. That plow was built 1937, according to the consolidated stencil.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 466
The "R-1291" is the casting number, and appears on every Russell plate.

The other interesting thing is Russell catalogs pop up now and then (I have one), but I have never once seen one from the post-wood construction era pop up.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:34 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:41 am
Posts: 196
Location: Stockton, New Jersey
I have a Russell Car & Snow-Plow Co. builder's plate in my collection. It is an 8-1/4" x 18" rectangular cast iron plate. It does not have the R-1291 casting number on it but it does have - Serial No. E-64 cast in the plate. Maybe this is a different version plate, here is the full wording and I would love to know what it is from:

Russell Car & Snow-Plow Co., Manufacturers, Ridgway, Penna., Wendell & Mac Duff Co., Eastern Sales Agts., Serial No. E 64, New York.

I have had the plate in my collection for years! Any insight is most appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 216
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
There must be quite a few Russell plows around. I know of one in Franklin, NH, two in North Dakota, one that was in McHenry, but was moved to Minnesota, and one still in service on the RRVW, also at least one in WV. etc. I'm sure there are lots of others. They are neat though.
Ned


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Car & Snow Plow Company History/Stats
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:30 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1077
There are a few Russell plows left in Canada.

Fort Steele, BC MF&M #052 1957?
Central BC Ry & Forest Museum PGE #6001 C/N 301 1902
" " CN #55436 1950
Orangedale, NS CN #55432 1950
Port Aux Basques N&L TT #3452 1944?


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