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Trans loading coal from hoppers to barges

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Trans loading coal from hoppers to barges
Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Saturday, February 23, 2019 4:13 PM

So I recently saw an old aerial photo (1930s-50s) that showed a coal yard on the Kanawha River in West Virginia, where a short line brought in coal in hoppers to be loaded onto barges. It looks like the coal was organized into large piles and then loaded into barges using conveyors. My question is how was the coal moved from the hoppers to the piles, and then from the piles to the conveyors? I don’t think there was a car dumper, so would the coal have just been dumped on the ground and moved by bulldozer? Sorry I can’t post the picture. 

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, February 23, 2019 6:34 PM

Hi,

Maybe this is similar to the photo you saw?

 Coal_load-Nemacolin_Mine by Edmund, on Flickr

This tipple looks like the coal can be dumped directly into hoppers or possibly directly on the ground where it can be pushed into "stockpiles" for later loading into barges or railroad cars. Possibly, there was a way to also dump the hoppers into a short conveyor to distribute the coal into the waiting barges in the river, seen just beyond the tree-line.

In my area of the Great Lakes, shipping by water only occurs during the shipping season when the lakes are not frozen, thus the stockpiles, which involves extra handling, but assures a constant flow of "product"— coal or iron ore (taconite in later years) could be trans-loaded during the winter months to keep the mills running.

Prior to more modern handling methods when hydraulic loaders and longer conveyors came to be, much of the coal could be pushed with front blades (dozers) rather than handled by large front-end loaders of present day. 

If river traffic were interrupted and barges couldn't be filled the mine would have to shut down unless there was someplace to stock the excess coal before it could be loaded after river traffic resumed.

 This site is one of many showing some interesting photos of coal country:

https://wvhistoryonview.org/?search_field=all_fields&q=

Hope that helps, Ed

 

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Posted by j. c. on Saturday, February 23, 2019 7:16 PM

not having ability to post photos , but having worked in mining industry the simpelest way would be a car dumper , but not having that the loaded hoppers would be positioned over a pit that might have a grizels in it dumping onto a conver that would go to the top of a stack tube  to be dumped on the ground , to load into bardge by conver the stack tube would have what is refered to as "recovery conver" that would move coal to bardge . thats the simple explation.

found a link to photo that would be somthing like  

www.loc.gov/pictures/item/al1098.photos.046457p/resource/
 what it would look like the difference would be where mine building is would just be the car dump  then the load out conver would go out to the dock .

 

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 23, 2019 8:47 PM

Union Pacific 428
so would the coal have just been dumped on the ground and moved by bulldozer?

Could have been done with front end loaders loading a conveyor.  

I did a search to try and find what you found, on the Kanawha River, most of what I found is modern day stuff.

If you can give any clues, like where you found the picture, etc., it would help with a search to find what you found.

Mike.

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Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Saturday, February 23, 2019 9:16 PM

mbinsewi

 

 
Union Pacific 428
so would the coal have just been dumped on the ground and moved by bulldozer?

 

Could have been done with front end loaders loading a conveyor.  

I did a search to try and find what you found, on the Kanawha River, most of what I found is modern day stuff.

If you can give any clues, like where you found the picture, etc., it would help with a search to find what you found.

Mike.

 

 

If you type ”Campbell’s creek railroad” into google image, the sixth or so picture is the aerial photo I mentioned. While you can’t specifically see conveyor lines in that photo, there are others showing conveyor lines loading river barges in the area. 

I‘m tossing around the idea of a freelanced shortline delivering coal to barges. I know there were a couple actual shortlines that did this on the Kanawha. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 23, 2019 9:34 PM

OK, I think I see the picture I think your talking about.  Click on the picture, when it's in it's own box, click on it again, and it takes you to a web site:

https://www.wvncrails.org/campbells-creek-railroad.html

Is that the picture?  If it is scroll down, and read about the railroad and it's coal loading facilities, and it shows a couple more pictures.

You can't tell how they got the coal out of the strings of hoppers, they had to have gone over a trestle type car dump, and then the coal piled from there.

Keep searching for info on the railroad, maybe you'll find more info.

This is, of course, If I found the right picture.  Not sure.  I don't want to post the picture from the web site, as I'm not sure about any copyright the web site might have.

Mike.

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Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Sunday, February 24, 2019 1:54 PM

Yes that’s the picture. How exactly does a trestle style car dump work? That’s not the ones where they are turned upside down is it? 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 24, 2019 2:14 PM

A trestle type car dump is a trestle tha cars are pulled or pushed up onto, it's a structure, like a bridge or a trestle, and the bottom gates are opend on the cars, the coal falls to the ground below.

Heres the picture,  but wait, look at the tracks in the center of the yard, look closely, and you'll see two cranes, probably clam buckets, on each side of the track. One is a little closer to the river.

Now it's hard to tell if they are loading, or off-loading?

Now I'm not sure.

Maybe others can chime in.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Mike.

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Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Sunday, February 24, 2019 4:53 PM

According to the website the picture was from, they are off loading from the hoppers to barges. Would the cranes have just scooped out of the hoppers, or moved coal to the piles once it was on the ground?

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Posted by davidmurray on Sunday, February 24, 2019 5:48 PM

I can't see any clam shell bucket completely emptying any car, a trestle unloader empries the car quickly and completely.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, February 24, 2019 7:05 PM

mbinsewi
Could have been done with front end loaders loading a conveyor. 

OP mentioned 1930 to 1950. Choices in front end loaders were pretty slim then. Look up the Hough Wheel Loader. They didn't really gain widespread use until well after the War.

https://contractormag.co.nz/classic-machines/hough/

Clam-shell bucket, steel bucket conveyor, steam shovel, drag-line, Front blade crawler* all good. 

*this was new technology

Conveyor technology wasn't what it is today, either. Length was quite limited as the materials for rubberized canvas was very poor. Many conveyors were chain-drive and the mechanical designs at that time didn't allow for much length. 

 

http://www.miningartifacts.org/Mining-Photo-Index.html

 

Scroll past the text here for some great photos:

http://www.miningartifacts.org/West-Virginia-Mines.html

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 24, 2019 8:43 PM

gmpullman
OP mentioned 1930 to 1950. Choices in front end loaders were pretty slim then.

I was kind of stretching the time line.  

The article also goes on to say that in 1903, new tipples at the river were need for improving barge loading operations.

That leads me to believe that cuts of cars, went from the staging tracks, (in the first picture) to the tipple, where the coal was unloaded on to the barge.

Maybe the coal was brought in and stock piled at the staging tracks, then from there to the tipples.  

That would seem pretty ineficient, but if the cuts of cars were pushed out to a tipple, why the piles of coal, and the clam shells, or draglines, or whatever the cranes were ?

Maybe it's time to play the "modelers license" card.  Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by Union Pacific 428 on Monday, February 25, 2019 10:41 AM

mbinsewi

 

Maybe it's time to play the "modelers license" card.  Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

 

 

Definately playing that card here. I’m thinking of a freelanced RR based on the operations in the area. The photo had lots of good info though.

Thanks everyone for your input.  

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Posted by fgwebbjr on Friday, April 16, 2021 5:42 AM

I jus started modelling the CCRR. The pre-1930's barge tipple appeared like this: https://search.library.wisc.edu/digital/AK5K5CAIDVDWVY9C/full/ABIQPGKQIKHXVQ8G. Other angles on the tipple show a large opening that would allow access by hopper car. Todd Hanson's book on Campbell's Creek also has some photos of the much more elaborate tipple that replaced it, which appeared use a series of conveyors.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 2:34 AM

Reading this thread prompted me to do a little research, and while it's not exactly transloading, it does involve coal and hoppers, and a lake boat.

In 1916, the Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo Railroad, based in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, commissioned a lake boat, Maitland 1, built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Mighigan.

For the next 16 years, the Maitland 1 made a round trip every 14 hours from Port Maitland, Ontario, on Lake Erie, to Ashtabula, Ohio, carrying 32 empty hoppers south, and back to Port Maitland with 32 hoppers loaded with coal.

While I'm not modelling the laker nor the harbour at Port Maitland, I'll at least be able to run a 12 car train of TH&B hoppers from my version of Port Maitland to a staging track which represents Hamilton.

I've modified several Stewart (now Bowser) channel-side hoppers to represent those used by the TH&B, which had a capacity of 65 tons.  Here's a couple pictures of the hoppers...

This probably doesn't add much to the original conversation, but I wanted to express my appreciation to Union Pacific 428 for starting the thread and to all who contributed, as it lit a little fire under me.  Thank you all.

Wayne

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 12:12 PM

Two that I am familiar with are Meramac, just south of St Louis and Cora Dock in Southern Illinois.

Both use conveyors to get the coal from the car dump to the barge.  At Meramac they use the same dumper as the power plant.  Just some trains are or the barge and some for the coal fired power plant.   At Cora Dock its all barge.  

Pretty much all the rail to barge operations I've dealt with on rivers wok that way.  car dumper to conveyor to barge with an option of going to a pile.  The only thing the front end loaders do is trim the pile or push the coal back to the "reclaimer" that moves the coal from the pile to the conveyor to the barge

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, April 24, 2021 9:03 AM

I have a related question. Would coal hopper cars be weighed individually or would it just be assumed that a fully loaded hopper would carry the amount of coal it was rated for?

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Posted by dehusman on Saturday, April 24, 2021 10:01 AM

John-NYBW
Would coal hopper cars be weighed individually or would it just be assumed that a fully loaded hopper would carry the amount of coal it was rated for?

Depends on era.  In older era's (pre-unit train, pre-1960's) each car would be weighed individually at the mine.

In modern eras, the coal may be weighed as it is loaded into the cars (they don't weigh the car, they weigh the coal).  Another common arrangement is a weight agreement.  If the coal is supplied by unit train where they are using the same type of cars, they may weigh a selection of cars and establish an average weight for they type of car.  Then every car is assumed to have that weight of coal in it.  Saves having to weigh cars. Every several years they do another test to verify the weights.

There may also be coupled weigh in motion scales built into the mine tracks where the cars are pulled over the scales at walking speeds (as the coal train departs for example) and each car is weighed as it passes over the scales.  It is totally transparent to the operation.

The barge company may weigh the coal as it goes into the barge, but that doesn't have anything to do with the rail operations.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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