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Unloading/loading coke

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  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Riga, Latvia
  • 90 posts
Unloading/loading coke
Posted by Edmunds on Sunday, September 25, 2011 1:52 PM

Hi all,

I'm finalizing track on the new layout and I'm now into the corner of the coke plant. I have partially built the structures, so I have something to play with. Of course, not all fits as on paper Smile, so I'm trying to move things around.

The coke plant is from Faller. The main building with a shed for coal storage and a coal lift coming through the roof to imaginary ovens in the main building. I also have a big shed for storing either coal or coke and a truck loader for either coal or coke. I had planned two railroad spurs and road access to the plant.

Now, it would make perfect sense to send coal in by rail and coke out by rail and road. I have a harbor scene elsewhere on the layout, which could serve barges bringing in/out coal and coke. Perfect.

The problem is, Faller set is not really meant for railroad traffic, so it does not contain any structures to get the coal out and coke into the railroad cars. I'm not afraid of some kit-bashing or even scratch-building, but the question is what to build.

There is a small road train with the set, which I could make operational with FCS or just pretend it is, so I can move coal/coke from one place to another, but that does not solve the unloading/loading problem.

What would be possible prototype solutions? What is the most space-saving solution? Anyone familiar with a prototype operation? Some useful links?

 

Thank you,

 

/Edmunds

 

Edmunds in Latvia http://www.edmundsworld.net HO Transition Era modular layout being built with Faller Car System, DCCar, German Style Signalling, Computer Control and Automation

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
  • 3,290 posts
Posted by gandydancer19 on Monday, September 26, 2011 2:34 PM

Since coke is handled in hopper type cars just like coal, I would think that anything that handles coal could be put in to handle coke. 

A rotary dumper would save the most space for unloading as it just tips each car upside down.  Sometimes they were housed in large sheds or buildings, so in that case you wouldn't actually have a rotary dumper because you couldn't see it.  Just push the car through the big doors.  In one end and out the other.  Or maybe just push a string in, and then pull the string back out. 

For loading the cars, just use an overhead hopper and conveyor combination.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,455 posts
Posted by mlehman on Monday, September 26, 2011 6:58 PM

Edmunds,

Looking at the two pictures, I see a skeletal structure on the left side that is a sort of greenish-gray. That appears to be used to load railroad cars or trucks, as it has a bucket that rides up on the sloping lift track that will tip forward and pour its contents. I'd say that the kit already has provision for what you need, all you need is to run a spur track underneath it.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 175 posts
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, March 19, 2021 10:38 PM

MR published a layout plan for a corner layout (could be stand alone or a module on a larger layout - maybe as the end of a branch or as mill railroad interchanging with your line)

https://www.trains.com/mrr/how-to/track-plan-database/llg-specialty-coke-co/

Looks like a good deal for someone with liimited space or as a starter project for someone new to the hobby. In terms of rolling stock all you need is a switcher - if its a company railroad maybe it's a use for that tank engine you bought as a newbie or an old first generation diesel they bought second or third hand from a bigger road - and some hoppers (Bowser even sells PPR prototype hoppers with coal racks for your outbound traffic. Inbound traffic would use normal hoppers)

https://www.bowser-trains.com/history/h22history.html

Given the service they're in I'd heavily weather them and add some dents and dings. Maybe the same treatment for that first generation unit, although I've seen some treated as management's pet and others like they've just been recovered from the Mariana's Trench.Here's Koppers Coke Alco S2 from 1975

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2016

Not shiny like a new penny, but not neglected either - just the dirtiness ofa hard working machine

If you don't want PRR cars - Get the undecorated ones (I think they sell one in black as well as what the PRR called "Freight Car Color") and decal away to your heart's content (You could make them private owner hoppers by decaling them for your coke company. Just remember to add the "X" after the reporting marks. Several decal makers will even make decals to order for you.)

 

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,979 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 19, 2021 11:08 PM

Here's an Australian video that might be of interest respecting some of the details of coke and its handling...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZMxW5UKRFA

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,586 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, March 20, 2021 3:34 AM

Edmunds
I'm not afraid of some kit-bashing or even scratch-building, but the question is what to build.

If you need to get the coke to railway cars, a covered conveyor system was common at the steel plant where I worked.  The conveyor could take the coke to elevated bins, under which open hoppers could be spotted for loading, or you could have a semi-automated system that would load the cars directly as they moved at low speed past the spot where the conveyor discharged the coke.  If you don't wish to model the operation in detail, a lot of it could occur inside a building.

Empty hoppers are spotted inside the building, the covered conveyor takes the coke to the building for loading, then loaded cars are taken to the barge.

Wayne

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,037 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Saturday, March 20, 2021 7:26 AM

Coke is lighter then coal since all the solvents abnd coal tar are driven off in thr process.  Dedicated hopper cars for coke generally have extensions to the top of the car sides to maximize the weight carried.  US coke plants are nearly all large bateries of slot ovens loaded from a larry car that travels the length of the battery loaded from an overhead storage bin.

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,586 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, March 20, 2021 1:07 PM

I use coke breeze (the "fines" from coke-making) as loose loads in my locomotive tenders...

...and also use it "loose" as loads for hoppers...

The partially-shown car at right is loaded with Black Beauty blasting medium.  I first learned of it at work, where I noticed small piles of it alongside the tracks.  Curious, I 'phoned the on-duty yardmaster, and learned that it was an alternative material for traction sand, used in all of the plant switchers. 
I expressed an interest in it as Anthracite for hopper loads on my layout, and his response was, "Meet me at door 33, in about five minutes...bring a container."
We drove to the fuel and sand station, about two minutes away, and I got enough to fill about 50 2-bay hoppers.

I later learned that it's available in a range of sizes, and it's also dust-free, unlike the coke breeze, which always creates a small cloud of dust when poured into hoppers or back into the bucket where it's stored.

As has been mentioned, coke is lighter than coal, and the two Bowser cars shown below have extended sides to accommodate more coke...

Wayne

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 819 posts
Posted by mvlandsw on Saturday, March 20, 2021 10:34 PM

Everything metal around a coke plant should be rusty or corroded. That square stack is the quenching tower. Red hot coke is moved from the ovens, positioned under the tower, and drenched with water to cool it. The water picks up lots of acid from the coke, turns to steam, rises up the stack into the air, cools and condenses and falls back onto the plant and surrounding areas as acid rain.

The Union Railroad had a truck that they kept at the US Steel coke plant at Clairton, Pa. It rusted out---through the roof.

Mark Vinski

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,037 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Monday, March 22, 2021 7:59 AM

I have to gently dispute the comment about rust.  Every coke plant I have been in was black. Coal and Coke are black as is coal tar.not shiny black but dull black more like the old Floquil grimy black. New they are painted black.  Beehive ovens are predominately refractory but there aren't very many of those around any more.  They had no polution abatement equipment and got EPA'D out of business. Probably good since the byproducts of coke plants include over 20 carcinogenic compounds.

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