Steam-powered snow-blower

The full power of the Gotthardbahn’s steam-powered Xrot m No. 100 Rotary snow blower was used to tackle the great masses of snow. The jet of ejected snow could be directed up to 90m sideways and up to 18m in the air.

Heavy snowfalls and avalanches frequently held up rail traffic. The first vehicles with steam-powered high-speed bucket wheels to scatter snow drifts appeared around 1871. From 1890, self-propelled and pushed snow blowers become widespread in most countries with frequent snow. In January 1895, exceptionally heavy snowfalls closed the Gotthard railway for five days. The railway company felt compelled to order a steam-powered snow blower immediately. The SLM factory was unable to accept the order due to pressure of work. However, the Henschel engineering works in Kassel was able to deliver a non-self-propelled steam snow blower by January 1896.

Technical data
Original   RRotary Xrot m No. 100 belonging to the GB
Year of construction   1895-96
Manufacturer   Henschel & Sohn, Kassel
Weight   87 t
Fan blower height   3 m