toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
spike, indeed! :)
On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 4:21 PM, Garth Groff sarahsan@...
Users of coal need certain thermal properties, whether for
industrial or power plants, steam boilers, or smelting. This often
this means that coal is blended to get the exact properties needed.
When I was in the Coast Guard I managed to get a Conrail
vice-president and myself a tour of the N&W loading facilities
at Norfolk. I was astounded to learn that each hopper car's load was
graded by thermal level, sulfur content, granular size, and probably
ash type. When a ship arrived, cuts of various types were pulled and
dumped into each hold to blend the coal to the buyer's
specifications. So maybe those NYC hoppers were on their way to
"spike" some lower grade mid-western bituminous or lignite (Iowa
used to produce a lot of low-thermal "brown" lignite).
Curious, what are the chances of a Q car ending up
on the east coast? Was the midwest bituminous a
competitor of the east coast bituminous thus resulting
in local service (localized regionally as opposed to
national distribution) only so the Q cars would not
cross the Mississippi? How is it that NYC cars ended
up in Iowa? Empties to be loaded with that bituminous
or loaded with east coast bituminous or, God forbid,
SPF - Elmira Branch - coal conduit