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Eastern Coal Loader Operations?

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Eastern Coal Loader Operations?
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 6:03 PM
When a train loads at an Eastern coal loader (flood loading), does it use a reverse loop to return to the main as in Western operations? Or are the loaders on sidings along the main? Or do they just back up to the main after loading and re-configure the power?

I know, lots of questions, but I have no clue how Eastern flood loaders load coal. I would think balloon tracks would be out of the question in most instances, due to restrictions in the mountains as opposed to the West. Thanks in advance!
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 7:59 PM
R.W.,
You might ask Norfolk Southern at www.nscorp.com. I've found that they're very good about answering questions from the public. I had asked them about their locomotive roster and they were most informative.

Norfolk Southern delivers a lot of coal at its Lambert Point Docks in Norfolk, as well as to the various power plants that Virginia Power operates in that area.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Central Ohio
  • 29 posts
Posted by Dallas Morlan on Thursday, January 15, 2004 12:57 AM
Many of the eastern coal facilities are sidings or rail yards at the end of spur tracks. This link http://www.dot.state.oh.us/aerial/Quads/QuadsGIF100dpi/Harrisville.GIF will show the "Harrisville" quadrangle. An online map provided by the Ohio Department of Transportation. It shows an area of eastern Ohio that includes several coal loading facilities. Once the map loads you should be able to zoom in. In the upper left (Northwest corner) note the Text Georgetown Coal Preparation Plant and just below it multiple tracks. This location was one of the largest coal preparation plants and unit train loading facilities in Ohio for about 50 years. Consol Coal http://www.consolenergy.com/default.asp is the operating company. The tracks leading to the right (East) are labeled CONRAIL while those leading South are labeled Norfolk and Western. Note at the lower right corner the basic map is from 1960 and was "photo revised" in 1985. Most of the photo revision is hatching showing areas surface mined during the interim period. Several smaller coal "Tipples" were also operating in the area during the 1960 - 1985 period. Follow the N&W tracks from Consol south and east to one location at "Duncanwood" and a smaller tipple with sidings. Further to the south and east is the "Glencastle Mine" and "Tipple" on another branch of the N&W.

Since this map was scanned at low resolution for the internet it is not as clear as a hard copy would be. Original maps of this "7.5 minute" topographic map series and more information on them is available from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/geosurvey/pub/usgstopo.htm I hope this information is helpful.
First N Scale layout in the planning stage. Prototype http://www.ohiocentral.com/
  • Member since
    June 2001
  • From: Holly, MI
  • 1,269 posts
Posted by ClinchValleySD40 on Thursday, January 15, 2004 2:01 PM
Very very seldom would they use a balloon track to turn the whole train. Space in the mountains is very limited. Mostly it's shove the empties through, then drag them forward under the loader.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 15, 2004 7:33 PM
Norfolk Southern is very helpful, indeed! An answer came very quick.

From a NS operations manager: "MOST OF THE OLDER MINES USE SIDINGS, WHILE THE NEWER OPERATIONS USE LOOPS ENABLING LONGER TRAINS ACCOMODATING PRIVATE EQUIPMENT, MOST OF WHICH ARE LONGER THAN SYSTEM
EQUIPMENT, OR 130 CAR SYSTEM EQUIPMENT TRAINS AT CHEAPER RR RATES."

Thanks for the responses!
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: WV
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by coalminer3 on Friday, January 16, 2004 8:22 AM
Get hold of a copy of the Keystone Coal Manual; you don't necessarily want to buy it as it's pricy; the book has information on mines, mining operation, equipment, coal seams, etc. for all areas of the country. This will give you a sense of the way things are done in the geographical area in which you are interested. The NS reply is dead on! We see all kinds of different loadouts here. Also, the last sentence is real important in that reply; we're going to want to control costs as much as possible.

work safe

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