Snowplough tram in Zurich

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Welly

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Thought I would share this YT video of a snowplough fitted tram at work in snowy Zurich.

 
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Welly

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^^
Do any UK tramways have such a system or just stop running in the snow?
I think standard road snowploughs are used in the UK when required as we don't normally have enough snow to justify plough fitted trams.
 

LOL The Irony

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^^

I think standard road snowploughs are used in the UK when required as we don't normally have enough snow to justify plough fitted trams.
And I assume if it's really bad, they'll fit snowploughs to their Unimogs or other service vehicles.
 

dm1

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Fun facts:

1. This was filmed after about 40cm of snow fell.

2. That was enough to basically paralyse the public transport network for two days. Instead of describing what wasn't running (basically everything), they switched to describing what was running.

3. To be fair though, the main problem was less the snow itself and more tree branches (and entire trees) breaking off and damaging OLE and pantograph (see picture). Before everything shut down completely there were trams getting stuck basically all over the city because of this. There hasn't been such heavy snowfall in Zürich since 2006, so the trees were not accustomed to such weather. According to a press release from the local authority, about 20% of them received serious damage and many streets have piles of branches waiting to be collected to this day.

3. There are two of these trams . The other one managed to derail itself just outside the tram tunnel at Schwamendingerplatz (that has an interesting history!) and get stuck, keeping said tram tunnel shut while they re-railed it (you'd think the tram tunnel wouldn't be affected by snow! :D)

4. The Forchbahn (another interesting system in its own right - is it a tram, is it a train?) excelled itself and was the first line to resume something resembling a regular service. They had their own snow plough as well as lots of staff volunteering to clear platforms.

5. Away from the tram system, the entire street sweeper fleet (mostly CityCats) had snow ploughs fitted as well as grit tanks and was used to clear and grit pavements etc

6. On the other side of the city to the Forchbahn, the Glattalbahn tram system has several tram-only viaducts. Since this part of the system opened in 2008 (after the last big snowfall!), it seems nobody really though through how to clear the snow off them. They therefore also remained shut for a while (I'm not even sure how they cleared them in the end, it might even have been by hand).
 

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Welly

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Thank you for that interesting and well detailed post! I had not realised that Zurich do not normally get that much snow.
 
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