Author Topic: Coal Tipple Fundamentals  (Read 7386 times)

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Mark5

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Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« on: January 10, 2007, 10:33:56 AM »
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I've been trying to re-formulate my model railroad trackplan to incorporate a staging area. I have come up with one plan that may work (I need to do a more detailed mock-up), but the addition of staging places pressure on space in the area where I plan to have the "Cinderella" coal mine tipple. ;D So this forced me to take a closer look at how much space I'll need for the mine.

I have the Walthers New River Mine kit, which is actually based on a western prototype, but looks to me just like many of the southern WV mines I was accustomed to as a kid in the 1960s/70s. I have to confess that I'm a bit ignorant on the particulars of how the tracks are arranged at mines, so I was looking at the New River box (funny that it is modeled after a western proto, and they call it "New River" - the cover should have C&O hoppers cued up, not BN!) and it shows three tracks under the main "sorter" but no track under the slack loader. Well, I tried to learn my ABC's, and the ABC's teach me that slack is really small sized coal:

http://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/abcsofcoal.html

So it seems to me that with this mine I'll need at least 4 tracks. The article on coal loading suggests pretty heavily that the slack loader is located over a track:  ;)
 


http://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/abcsofcoalloaders.html

Am I getting this right?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 01:33:19 PM by NandW »

wm3798

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 12:45:08 PM »
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The more I learn about coal, the more complex the operating scenario becomes!  Dopey me!  I thought it was empties in and loads out, repeat!  Now I can spot particular cars on particular track and then forward them to particular end-users!

So, who would get slack, who would get pea, egg and lump?  Obviously they have different applications.
What would go to the steel industry, frinstance... or a power plant, or get exported?

ARGGH!!

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

3rdrail

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007, 01:15:42 PM »
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It's even more complicated than that Lee. The size of coal used depended as much on the machinery to handle the coal at the other end as its end use. After all, most steam coal ended up in the fireboxes of boilers. Generally, the mineral content of the coal at a mine would dictate the market for that coal. It is unlikely the same mine would ship both steam coal and metallurgical coal.

Coal was often loaded as "mine-run" coal and shipped to blending plants for sorting by size and mineral content. A mining company could sell high sulphur coal from one mine by blending a little into low sulphur coal from another, for example.

SAH

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 01:36:33 PM »
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The more I learn about coal, the more complex the operating scenario becomes!  Dopey me!  I thought it was empties in and loads out, repeat!  Now I can spot particular cars on particular track and then forward them to particular end-users!

So, who would get slack, who would get pea, egg and lump?  Obviously they have different applications.
What would go to the steel industry, frinstance... or a power plant, or get exported?

ARGGH!!

Lee

Learning about the industries served by railroads is almost as much fun as learning about the RR industry itself.  Throw in car routings and things really start to get interesting.  Inquiring minds want to know.  Fortunately the discovery process can be loads of fun.

Sorry guys but I can't help with coal mine operations.  Not many in Northen Ohio.  None to be exact.  Lots of steel mills though.  Coking coal is usually of the bituminous variety, high in carbon content, low in ash and sulphur.  Western PA and WV plus SE OH were (are?) good sources.  Ash content has both a fixed component (within the coal) and free forming component (external impurities).  Free forming components can be removed through the screening process (in the coal prep plant NandW pasted into his post).  Coking coal is usually a blend of different coal types, ordered by the mill to get maximum yield from the type of coking process the mill employs.  I recall it being pretty fine as if it had been pulverized to some degree.  I'm not sure where the coal was pulverized or blended.  It came into the mill in hoppers and was unloaded and conveyed to the coal bunker above the coke battery.  Power plants among others use pulverized coal too.

Steve

wm3798

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 02:50:58 PM »
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Okay, so my on-line tipples could be "mine run" coal, forwarded to a processing plant off-line, and thence to its destination.  My on-line user (the power plant at WestVaco) would get steam coal, or pulverized from an off-line source.

So, I'll set up my car cards so that the only coal going to Westvaco will come in from the Laurel Valley (Somerset, PA).  All the coal coming from WM sources on the Thomas Sub will go through Bayard, where
I could "sort" the various grades of coal into trains headed for particular destinations.  Mmmm.  That could make things a mite more interesting...  WM Coal went west to Pittsburgh, east to Allentown/Bethlehem, and of course to Port Covington for export.

Better beef up that hopper fleet a little more!!

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 03:05:08 PM »
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Lee
I wouldn't have ALL the coal coming from the LRV, some from other places too might give you an interesting excuse to have a foreign hopper show up once in a while.

It is pretty fascinating. And disappointing when it all got boring with the unit trains like it is today.

asciibaron

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 03:10:06 PM »
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So, who would get slack, who would get pea, egg and lump?  Obviously they have different applications.
What would go to the steel industry, frinstance... or a power plant, or get exported?


that would depend on the grade of coal - check out this site:

http://www.hosam.com/ind/coal.html

-steve
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asciibaron

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2007, 03:13:17 PM »
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Okay, so my on-line tipples could be "mine run" coal, forwarded to a processing plant off-line, and thence to its destination.  My on-line user (the power plant at WestVaco) would get steam coal, or pulverized from an off-line source.


you do know there was a large mine within a 1 mile of the Westvaco facility at Luke, right?
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

inkaneer

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2007, 05:09:52 PM »
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Sometimes the end user of coal also owned the mine.  Good example is Republic, USS, Bethlehem and J&L Steel Companies who owned their own mines and mined "coking coal" or metallurgical coal to make coke for a blast furnace.  Usually the coal would be of a set uniform size range dependant on the end user's needs.  Usually this would be a minimum size.  Anything smaller would be sold to a secondary market.  The coal could be sized at the mine and shipped direct to the coal plant.  General coal producers like Consolidated Coal Company would employ a prep plant where mine run coal would be washed and sorted for size.  Here such terms as egg, pea, lump, etc. described the size of the coal.  The Montour RR was an almost exclusive coal hauler in Western PA and hauled coal from various mines to a prep plant.  From there it was hauled off line to customers using hoppers from various RR's.  The Montour's hoppers stayed mostly on their own rails although sometimes would appear in interchange traffic such as in a direct shipment from the mine to a customer.

In todays world a small shipment of coal [as in a carload] is almost unheard off and the usual is unit trains in dedicated service between the mine and a power plant.  In Western PA metallurical coal for making coke is still mined but is usually hauled by river barge as the mines are upstream of the coke plants. Most non metallurgical coal is mined by the long wall plow method and is ground to almost a powder which is why most coal trains are limited to about 45 mph.  Above that and the coal gets blown out of the cars.  Also the cars are loaded with most of the coal in a heap above the top of the car in the front of the car and sloped downward toward the back so that the load in the rear of the car is lower than the top of the car.   Not sure the reason for this.  Maybe the rear of the car is used to catch any coal that might get blown off the front or could be just the loader.  Anyway I see a lot of unit trains loaded that way coming out of the Monongahela River Valley.  There is a mine in Greene County called the Bailey Mine that has four flood loaders and is literally sucking coal out of the ground. 

cv_acr

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2007, 06:07:16 PM »
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Okay, so my on-line tipples could be "mine run" coal, forwarded to a processing plant off-line, and thence to its destination.  My on-line user (the power plant at WestVaco) would get steam coal, or pulverized from an off-line source.


you do know there was a large mine within a 1 mile of the Westvaco facility at Luke, right?

Not to say that they didn't, but that doesn't necessarily mean they acquired their coal from there.

Chris333

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2007, 06:25:18 PM »
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I have this book:
http://www.goldenspike.us/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=9162&CLSN_1119=11684723881119c7a05135b6c4bbb286
about the Interstate Railroad. It goes into detail about the layout of each mine along the line. Pretty good book.

asciibaron

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Breaker Boys
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2007, 07:34:34 PM »
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many of my family have worked the coal mines of PA/WV/OH and sadly, several started their 50+ year careers sorting coal...



breaker breaker good buddy...

http://capt.clint.home.mindspring.com/breakers.html

finally - need a prototype to model?

http://www.coalcampusa.com/

-steve
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How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

wm3798

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Re: Coal Tipple Fundamentals
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2007, 07:47:05 PM »
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This is fascinating.  I'll probably "selectively compress" the detail of my coal operations, but yes, Ed, I do have some N&W and PC hoppers that will have occasion to wander onto the layout.  I am familiar with the mining operation out there near Luke, it's on the old George's Creek and Cumberland.  Coal is also still moved over the old WM to the power plant at Mt. Storm in WV.  I would have loved to include that on my layout, but alas I have my train room, not John's.

I will see if I can bring some of these elements to the club layout operations, too.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net


John

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Re: Breaker Boys
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2007, 08:39:31 PM »
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many of my family have worked the coal mines of PA/WV/OH and sadly, several started their 50+ year careers sorting coal...



breaker breaker good buddy...

http://capt.clint.home.mindspring.com/breakers.html

finally - need a prototype to model?

http://www.coalcampusa.com/

-steve

Those are young kids ..