Coal Dispersal

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Doing a tiny bit of research on coal dispersal, I find this from Louisville
& Nashville Railroad The Old Reliable by Castner, Flanary and Dorin. I've
met Castner before and he's quite creditable.

Referencing a photo of CV Division local #64 in Big Stone Gap, VA, in '54 on
pg 159, "The south end of the CV handled coal routed via the N&W/Norton as
well as coal for markets in the Carolinas via the Clinchfield and ACL/SAL
connections at CRR's south end."

Referring to Corbin, KY, "After washing, coal was reloaded into the same
hoppers and shipped north each night the Cincinnati gateway. From
Cincy, either the NYC or Pennsy forwarded the trains on to US Steel's Gary,
Indiana mills."

"For most of the L&N's history, 'King Coal' moved predominantly northward
from yards at Corbin, Hazard, Loyall and Ravenna to Cincinnati and
Louisville gateways. There, connecting roads...B&O, NYC, Monon, and
Pennsy...handled the coal on to midwestern or northeastern consignees. A
fair amount of coal also went north to the Great Lakes on the C&O via its
Northern Division through Columbus,OH." Apparently, significant demands for
coal in the South developed after our time period. BTW, L&N moved 38 million
tons of coal in '48 making it a major force in coal traffic.

There is an interesting photo in Chesapeake & Ohio in the Coal Fields by
Tomas Dixon, Jr. on pg 50. It shows C&O engine 2759 "with an eastbound of
empty Virginian hoppers at Catlettsburg, KY in '53. The train is headed for
West Gilbert, at the extreme end of the Logan branch, where connection was
made with the Virginian Railway."

Referring again to the same book, pg 13, "The area around Beckley was
honeycombed with railroads and coal mines and the C&O and Virginian
overlapped in many areas. Several mines were served by both RRs." "The next
RR facility to the west was at Gauley Bridge which assembled coal from C&O's
Gauley Subdivision as well as coal delivered by the NYC off its K&M lines
for transportation east."

There is a rather amusing photo on pg 218 in The Last of Steam by Collias.
It shows Santa Fe lettered 2-10-4 5012 leading 101 N&W hoppers through Siam,
OH, on the Pennsy. And, proving that the Santa Fe engines believed in
fairness, the page also shows Santa Fe 5034 pulling what appears to be C&O
empty hoppers through the same locale. These examples, of course, are among
those ATSF 2-10-4s leased by the Pennsy during 1956.

It is clear from just a little bit of looking, that the RRs north of the
coal hauling gateways of Cincinnati and Columbus would see many hoppers of
various coal hauling RRs including N&W, C&O and L&N. I believe that much of
this coal went to the steel industry in the upper midwest. It is also clear
that in the '40s and '50s individual homes depended on coal for heating. So,
I would suggest that anyone modeling RRs in the midwest...particularly those
in a north/south direction... should expect to see hopper drags from the
coal hauling RRs and, in our time period, smaller numbers of cars in

As far as the coal haulers go, I think we'll find that it depends on the
location. I'm reasonably certain that I've seen evidence of L&N hoppers
rolling on other coal hauler tracks somewhere.

Mike Brock

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