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  1. #1
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    Pneumatic Artillery for Avalanche Control on US Railroads

    I work as a consultant for companies that ship by railroad in the US. I noticed this article on the Union Pacific web site when I logged in this morning.


    https://www.up.com/aboutup/community...her-2-2-21.htm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsGTWXeOIuU

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to M8owner For This Useful Post:

    SG500 (5th February 2021), sksvlad (24th August 2021), ydnum303 (4th February 2021)

  3. #2
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    About 5-6 years ago someone contacted me after seeing a sign on a mountain bike trail in Colorado warning of possible duds, with a bizarre picture of a round. I'd never seen one, and spent a week or so hunting on the internet before I tracked this company down. Speaking with the owner I attempted to purchase a round, he instead sold me most of his personal collection, about 6-8 pieces including the current round, many of his developmental items, a Swiss round and an Italian round. Many of the pieces are very simple, in some cases just a rock blasting cast booster (pentolite) with fins and a nose. He identified that they had had a lot of difficulty with the development of the fuze, and at one time apparently a park ranger was killed in a mishap.

    I'll try and take a picture or two of the pieces this weekend. Some of them may have already been used on a thread, I don't remember.
    All dug or live ordnance shown in my posts is under EOD control and has been or will be dealt with accordingly by EOD personnel

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    When you think about all of the effort that has gone into fuse design in the last 100 years, it seems kind of strange they would have trouble finding a simple, low cost and safe design to copy. My candidate for best fuse design to copy would be the Russian M-50 mortar fuse of WWII vintage. Does anyone else have a good candidate fuse design that should be considered "best of its class" for this type of application?

  5. #4
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    If I recall correctly, they studied a German mortar fuze. Their push was to keep it extremely simple and as light as possible for range and carry weight. If I had time I could probably search through old emails, but that could take a long while. Here are some pictures instead. The last two were described as Swiss and Italian.


    IMG_2491.jpg IMG_2492.jpg IMG_2494.jpg IMG_2499.jpg IMG_2495.jpg IMG_2496.jpg IMG_2493.jpg IMG_2500.jpg IMG_2501.jpg
    All dug or live ordnance shown in my posts is under EOD control and has been or will be dealt with accordingly by EOD personnel

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  7. #5
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    They look like professional grade fireworks. I wonder how much each round costs the railroad? I will bet they sell for $1000 each - most of that to cover the liability insurance.

  8. #6
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    why bother to invent anti-avalanche projectiles when you already have everything you need
    (I assume M323 shell)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/us/20alta.html
    Last edited by MINENAZ16; 4th February 2021 at 09:22 PM.
    Any Live or Dug ordnance shown by me has been disposed of by EOD personnel .

  9. #7
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    The article states that the supply of surplus 105mm shells is dwindling.

    I guess the avalanche control teams want a guaranteed source of projectiles, hence the new guns.
    Last edited by glevum; 5th February 2021 at 04:16 PM.

 

 

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