Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Dennis Storzek

Jim Dick said,

"BTUs per ton that is what gives. And what no one has stated so far. That Kentucky Chestnut coal has quite substantial BTU’s compared to the “brown dirt” lignite that the NP mined. It I only that the NP could mine with non-union labor with strip mining techniques that made even that coal useful. The lignite had about 1/3 of the BTU content, however was about 1/4 the price of better grades of coal"

Just an anecdote. Back in the steam days the Soo Line bought real bituminous coal for locomotive fuel, but North Dakota lignite for the depot stoves. The late Les Kruta, in his "North Dakota Memories" series in The SOO, mentions that typically every depot had a bucket or two of "locomotive coal", borrowed off the tenders, squirreled away for use on really cold nights when the stove needed all the help it could get.

Dennis Storzek

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