When the Sno-Train was originally designed in 1955 and accepted by the Army in 1956, it did not have a snow-plow, the v-shaped steel component directly under the front window. Shortly after the Sno-Train was in Greenland, the Army decided that it needed a device to keep the snow from building up around the components underneath.

Sno-Train without snow plow in Houghton, Michigan. Image: R.L. Book

The resulting modification was a v-shaped steel plow to push the snow buildup away from the machine. In late 1960, the snow plow was scrapped and rebuilt. The differences in construction between the original and rebuilt snow plow help historians date photographs and further enhance the timeline for the Sno-Train. Most of the ungroomed terrain the Sno-Train traveled was snow or muskeg. In 1960, the Army realized that the snow-plow caused problems in heavy brush areas. During an Army operation in 1960, the snow plow would break trees off at the 3 foot and lower height, causing excessive tire popping hazards. As you could imagine, changing a 2,322 pound tire and rim is not the easiest of operations.

from the Roy McPhail fonds, Dawson City Museum
Sno-Train at Carl “Pete” Pederson’s salvage yard. Image: Mike Haskins
Sno-Train at the Yukon Transportation Museum. Image: Arnold Haynes.