Re: Ratios (also C&O coal in the midwest &, now NewEngland & Florida)

tim gilbert <tgilbert@...>

Armand Premo wrote:

<< Virginian hoppers were extremely rare in this part of
Tim Gilbert added:

Most of the "Pocahontas Coal" destined for New England was routed
Hampton Roads where it was loaded onto colliers.
Tim Gilbert
Richard Dermody asked:


I know this was still the era of "cheap labor", but was it so cheap as
justify unloading hoppers to colliers and then reloading colliers to
for the relatively short distance from the Virginias to New England?

Would be interested in seeing the numbers.

In the early 1920's, the majority of both anthracite and bituminous
arrived in New England via Tidewater. By 1941, however, all of the
anthracite and a third of the bituminous arrived in New England via
all-rail; the improvements in rail service undertaken in the 1920's and
the scheduling and yard handling improvements of freight (as well as a
surplus of coal cars) made all-rail shipment from the anthracite fields
in NE PA and bituminous fields in Western PA and Northern WV more

The U-Boat threat and diversion of coastal shipping into war time
service, however, created a problem of how New England would get their
coal. Included in an article on pages 994-1000 of the May 22, 1943 issue
of RAILWAY AGE was the following:

"The important task of hauling coal to New England was placed upon the
railways when colliers could no longer do the job. The crux of this
story is found in the following brief and simple figures:

1942 Tons 1941 Tons
Via Hampton Roads 8,227,406 12,960,451
Via N Atlantic Ports 3,567,510 468,947
All-Rail 11,406,835 7,035,985
TOTAL 23,201,751 20,464,483"

The change in the routing in terms of percentages were:

1942 1941
Via Hampton Roads 35.4% 63.3%
Via N Atlantic Ports 15.4% 2.3%
All-Rail 49.2% 34.4%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0%

First of all, not all of New England coal receipts were reloaded into
hoppers; indeed, perhaps the largest consumer, Eastern Fuel & Gas in
Everett MA, had their own unloading facilities where Mystic SS Colliers
unloaded their Pocahontas Coal.

The problem in going completely to all-rail in 1942 was that the longer
round trip would have created more of a shortage of hoppers. As a stop
gap, hoppers from the Pocahontas fields were rerouted to the Jersey Side
of the Hudson, where the coal was dumped into barges which, in turn
sneaked up the coast using inland waterways such as Long Island Sound
and the Cape Cod Canal.

The estimated 1943 coal receipts in New England according to the article

Via Hampton Roads 8,500,000 31.5%
Via N Atlantic Ports 4,500,000 16.7%
All-Rail 14,000,000 51.9%
TOTAL 27,000,000 100.0%

During the War, the US Maritime Commission had built the "Seam" Class of
Colliers. This class was turned over to private hands, and Pocahontas
coal continue to flow via Hampton Roads. Indeed, there are still some
waterside power plants which receive their coal via tidewater - the
generating station in Beverly MA is one example.

Hope this helps, Tim Gilbert

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