Jim Betz wrote:
Two points: first, it depends on a number of factors as to route, etc.. Second, steam coal to a power plant, or premium locomotive coal, is very different from coal for fuel at a cement plant. Broadly speaking, these are all different. Coal may easily come from different places to satisfy different needs.
You would just look up the tariff. Tariffs were all over the map, and were most certainly NOT, repeat NOT, scalable by distance. They were tariffs between points. There were often discrepancies, and then special rules were put it to try and avoid ways to end-run the tariff. Complex subject, I'll expand if anyone really wants to know.
Western Colorado, Eastern Utah coal was decent quality. So was Black Diamond coal from Washington. Coal certainly came from farther away when there were strikes in one of the mining areas.
Again, just look at the tariffs. No simple answer.