Snow plough, North Eastern Railway
Snow plough, North Eastern Railway, No DE900566, 1891.
Built on an old locomotive tender frame, this wooden giant was the North Eastern Railway's answer to the threat of snow blocking its lines. During and after inclement weather the snowplough would be pushed by two steam engines and when it came across a snowdrift it would charge straight through, clearing the rails for traffic.
As today, parts of the railway were isolated and exposed, and snow on the line presented a serious hazard to vehicles and passengers.
The first NER snowplough was built in 1887 and, despite an accident in 1888 where a plough train upended a locomotive at Annitsford, 23 more were made. All 24 were made of wood except the final two, which were metal.