• M/W

Blasting Through the Snow in a CN Jordan Spreader

Written by Stephen C. Host
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Winter hit hard in Ontario, Canada, in January 2024 and CN answered the call to clear snow off the railway lines in Ontario’s Cottage Country.

After more than 30 inches of snow fell on the Parry Sound-Muskoka region, CN sent up its 1973-built Jordan Spreader to clear the Newmarket Subdivision. Operated by a pair of maintenance of-way-crew members with a locomotive crew in the rear, a spreader like the one pictured can efficiently clear hundreds of miles of railway in a single day as needed.

Invented in Canada by Oswald F. Jordan, who worked for the Canada Southern Railway (later New York Central), the Jordan Spreader was first built in 1890 at the railroad’s St. Thomas, Ontario shops, later spun off into its own company, the O. F. Jordan Company. Later modifications allowed the spreader to be used for maintenance-of-way activities such as ballasting and ditching operations.

Harsco Rail owns the Jordan Spreader designs, and a modern variant of the spreader can still be special ordered in the 21st century.

CN Newmarket Subdivision. OpenRailwayMap.org
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