Re: bonsallscalecarshops D&RGW Gondolas

Tim O'Connor


There certainly was westbound coal over Donner in the steam era (ref: video) but where exactly
it originated from, well, I don't know and as a modeler, it's not that important to know. ;-)

Thanks for all that coal info, and also thanks for the info on pig iron and steel... I suspected the pig iron
loads were for Pittsburg.


On 2/10/2019 6:10 PM, Mark Hemphill via Groups.Io wrote:
Tim:  I'm not sure ANY Colorado coal went over Donner Pass until the 1970s, only Utah coal (and possibly some Wyoming coal). Colorado's North Fork Branch mines, Aspen Branch mines, and Grand Junction-area mines were very small and until the 1970s supplied local markets with a couple of exceptions. The exceptions were Utah Fuel's Somerset Mine on the North Fork, which was captive to Geneva, and MidContinent Coal & Coke's Coal Basin mine on the Aspen Branch, which began supplying met coal to Geneva and Kaiser in the 1960s. In the 1970s, two new large mines, West Elk and Converse, were opened on the North Fork to supply utility coal into midwestern markets. When the export market was desperate such as during strikes in Australia, the North Fork mines along with the major Utah mines could profitably export coal into Japan and South Korea. This moved mostly to Metropolitan Stevedore at the Port of Los Angeles, but sometimes via the Port of Richmond, and even more uncommon, the Port of Stockton. The industrial coal consumed in California came out of Utah mines; it would have been impossible for the Colorado mines to leapfrog over the Utah mines into the industrial market in California on a regular basis. Coal consumed on SP points came over Donner and over Tehachapi eastward, such as to Creal, whereas coal consumed on UP and Santa Fe points went via the LA&SL. I would hope that at least once, westward coal on a Santa Fe train passed eastward coal on an SP train between Bakersfield and Mojave. It was quite common to see coal loads passing on the D&RGW between Glenwood and Grand Junction, Colorado.

Mark Hemphill
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

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