In short, coal is basically dirt with a whole lot of stuff mixed in. It is
not a mineral.
I'd like to add that the distance involved varies considerably by the nature
of the coal. Coking coal will ship much further than boiler coal.
Also, do not overlook the HUGE effect the ICC has, which picked markets for
producers and controlled rates to keep those producers within those markets.
Also, don't overlook rail - water - rail shipments. For most of the steam
era it was a savings to deliver boiler coal to a Great Lakes or Atlantic
Coast loading point for water transfer when the avoided rail distance was
greater than ~100-150 miles.
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?
I get it that the coal suppliers (mines/etc.) priced by the BTU.
Yes, but also by composition: percentage ash, content of sulfur and
other undesirables, coking potential, etc. Coal is definitely not just coal.
Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history