Re: Coal Loaded in Boxcars

railsnw1 <railsnw@...>

Thanks for the reply Robert. One of the coal yards was Independent
Ice & Fuel and a photo probably from the 1920's can be found here,9549 The unloading track didn't
have a trestle and coal was just dumped on the ground and carted off
in wheelbarrows. So shovelling out of a boxcar would be more work but
labor was cheap.

Richard Wilkens

--- In, "gn3397" <heninger@...> wrote:

--- In, "railsnw1" <railsnw@> wrote:

So I've been doing research on car movements on the Yakima Valley
Transportation Co. in Washington State. The largest inbound
on the YVT was coal to about half a dozen coal retailers in
the surounding communities. Predominately the coal came from Bear
Creek, MT, Kleenburn & Kirby, WY, and from Ronald & Roslyn, WA.
the shipments were in drop bottom gondolas but some are showing
loads in boxcars.

So how common was it to ship coal in boxcars?


Richard Wilkens
Very common, at least in my chosen modeling era and location. I
will be
modeling a GN branchline in ND circa 1949, and almost every small
had a "coal shed" sitting next to the grain elevators. These were
low sheds with several rail height doors facing the tracks, and
height doors on the opposite side of the building, which was where
customer would pull up their truck and buy the coal. The coal would
shipped in older boxcars and would be unloaded by hand into the
shed, a
task which was usually subcontracted to teenaged boys. The boxcars
equipped with "coal doors", which were nothing more than worn out
damaged grain doors, to retain the coal. As discussed earlier, much
the coal sold in MN and ND in my timeframe was transported to
Duluth by
freighter. Much of the lignite coal mined in ND was also shipped in
boxcars, and the tipples had special chutes that were able to load
either boxcars or hoppers. Seems strange to see strings of boxcars
under a coal tipple, but the photos don't lie.According to my
even if the coal came in a gon, it was still unloaded by manpower
and a
shovel. There was a GN Historical Society Reference sheet published
this topic in 1989. It was entitled "The Andrew Kolb coal shed".
this helps. The sheet has a scale drawing of the shed, which is
typical of their appearance.

Robert D. Heninger
Stanley, ND

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