A snow coach
is a specialized passenger transport vehicle, designed to operate over snow or ice, similar to alarge, multi-passenger snowcat
that is equipped with bus style seating. These vehicles may have multiple sets of very large low pressure tires or they may have tracks. A snow coach may seat 10, 20 or more passengers and are often used for sightseeing tours or for over snow transportation.
An early example of a snow coach was the Snow Bus, built by Bombardier
Canada. It was equipped with front skis and rear tracks and typically could seat 12 passengers. Alternatively, the front skis could be removed and replaced with front wheels. There are documented uses of the Bombardier Snow Bus being used as a school bus, for mail delivery and as emergency vehicles, but they were also used for tours and transportation in snowbound areas.
In the early 1960s Thiokol
produced the 601 series snowcats
which were often configured to carry 10 passengers. While not a tour bus type snow coach, these found utility with the United States Air Force as well as private industry.
Snowcoaches are a popular mode of transportation for tourists in areas such as Yellowstone Park in the USA
and the Columbia Icefield
situated in Jasper National Park
Snowcoaches can be outfitted with either a rubber track or a ski system (replacing tires). Often called by the brand name, Mattracks
, these rubber track systems can travel over thinner snow depths and even bare road patches without tearing up... Read More