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Thread: Coal delivery to a local industries power house

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    Default Coal delivery to a local industries power house

    Hey all,

    Iíve googled around this morning and one or two previous times to get a basic sense of how coal would have been delivered in the early 1940s by rail to an industry burning it in their power house. Mainly I come up with EPA and crumbling infrastructure articles.
    Iím guessing that a few coal hoppers could roll onto the industries siding and dump coal from an elevated track into a bin of some sort that was attached to the powerhouse. But this is only a guess. Any info or links to info on the subject would be most appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Chad

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    Chad,

    Your time period allows for a lot of variation. Basically any way you want to model it would likely be plausible in the 1940s.

    I can give you a few examples from right here in Pittsburgh.

    Two small power plants in the city limits were served by the PRR. Each had a dumping shed that was at street level. Inside a pit would collect the coal and take it up via bucket hoist into a silo that would then feed the boilers. After some research on the PRR operations it would appear the silo held a day or two worth of coal.

    Another example is called the "cloud factory". This facility was just a boiler for hot water and steam heat in a co-op fashion for several university's in the city. This had an elevated trestle accessing the inside of the boiler building. There was a siding where cars were spotted up grade of the switch for the boiler. The boiler crews then rolled loads down grade and into the building. Like the power plants mentioned above the same idea was used at this location with a silo would hold the coal and allow a day or two of coal to be kept on hand. ( The cloud factory got its name from local students from the constant steam clouds coming from the facility.)

    I have come across photos of elevated dumping tracks at smaller plants all across the region. So it really comes down to topography of the site, how much coal the plant would use, and lastly available storage space. The urban facilities had little or no ground storage space, but even in the 1940s larger plants had stock piles onsite.


    Bob
    Last edited by Bessemer Bob; 20th Jan 2021 at 09:31 PM.
    Modeling Steel in N scale

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    Thanks @Bessemer Bob for the time you put into your response and for the great information. I’ve never even heard of a coal silo. I suppose the word “silo” makes me think of flat ground in the Midwest. Excellent information as I’m partial to the PRR and other Pennsylvania lines that ran through Northern NJ on the way to NY. Would be great to see old film footage on the subject. I’ve only found old British films on YT that fit my era.

    Thanks man!
    Chad

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    Might try different search words at Library of Congress:

    http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=trestle%20coal

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