Re: Red Devil Coal Loader

Douglas Harding

Here’s a link to a discussion regarding the Red Devil Coal Loader, which includes the following information:

Ross and White Company of Chicago was one of the engineering and construction companies that designed and sold locomotive coaling and ash handling plants (Roberts and Schaefer, and Ogle Const. Co. were others--all located in Chicago).

R&W sold the "Red Devil Engine Coaler", which was a heavier and more permanent version of the typical retail coal dealer's conveyor hoist (and R&W's competition had their own versions of the Red Devil). It was suited for modernizing smaller terminals where the massive 150-500 ton concrete coal docks were overkill, due to only a few locos being coaled daily.

At the high end, the Red Devil had a pull-down coal chute ("gate" as they were called) like the larger coal docks. The lower end was in a shallow concrete bin located under a slightly raised track, so that a coal car could dump directly onto the lower end of the conveyor. Pulling down the coal chute activated the drive motor and started the flow of coal up the conveyor into the tender. A simple, neat rig. Most of these replaced locomotive cranes with clamshells, or hand loading of tenders. Western Maryland Scenic Rwy. has rigged up something very similar at their Ridgely Yard.


Doug Harding


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