Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?


Another great resource is "American Commodity Flow" by Ullman. It was printed in 1951 and is a compilation and interpretation of the 1% waybill study.

It doesn't have every state covered (but luck for me, Connecticut was one of the in-depth studies). However, it has a map showing both inbound and outbound totals for many states.

The only place where it separates coal from Products of Mines is PA. Anthracite shipped by rail from PA in 1950 to:
CA - 12,000 tons
TX - 4,000  tons
MN - 18,000 tons
IA - 4,000 tons
MO - 13,000 tons

All the rest of PA coal, bituminous and anthracite, stayed east of the Mississippi. Interestingly, no PA coal is listed as being shipped to KY, MS, GA, NC, or SC. The total is a ridiculous 87,684,400 tons of coal mined in PA in 1950 - while coal was on the decline.

Otherwise it lumps coal in with Products of Mines, which includes petroleum and other metals and minerals. For example, there's probably a fair amount of salt in the Products of Mines from Utah.

Wyoming mines covered most of the west of the Mississippi region , plus WI, IN and MI. For the west coast region Wyoming shipped Products from Mines in 1950 to:
WA - 700,000 tons
OR - 100,000 tons
CA - 100,000 tons
The western states not served by WY were AZ, NM, NV, OK, NE, and LA.

Utah mines covered a more centralized territory with a few outliers:
CA - 1,100,000 tons
OR - 250,000 tons
WA - 750,000 tons
ID - 900,000 tons
CO - 700,000 tons
50,000 tons each to NV, MT, SD, TX, PA, and 100,000 tons to Indiana.

It does have two quite interesting maps that show the movement of coal through the Great Lakes (loaded primarily in Ohio and distributed around the lakes from there), and another one that shows the movement of coal via water on the eastern seaboard from West Virginia and all moving north. This would have been all bituminous, and in 1948 CT received 60% of bituminous via this water route, not by rail for example. 

Randy Hammill
True Line Trains  |
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954  |

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