As part of the Society for Industrial Archeology Fall Tour 2007, we got to see the guts of a sanding tower as used in the railroad industry. This sanding tower was a work in progress, and was being restored by the Nevada Northern Railroad in Ely, NV.
Sanding towers were used to dispense sand to locomotives. The sand was poured into the locomotive and then dispensed on the railroad track just in front of the wheels should the locomotive have to climb a steep grade.
This sanding tower used steam power to turn a winch that moved sand upwards.
The sand dumped into a chute that led to the locomotive.
Inside the sanding tower, you can see the winch and the lift buckets for moving sand.
The winch is shown here:
I hope you enjoyed my post. I have some neat stuff to post over the next few days, and I hope you’ll check back often!