Re: Cinders


Mike Fortney
 

And then, a quick anecdote as told by the last surviving electric-era motorman on the Illinois Terminal. As a newly hired brakeman during WWII, he was charged with keeping the coal bin in his caboose (conductors rode up front on IT freights) stocked with product from a local mine. He claims that "burning one scoop of Capital Mine coal in the stove produced three or four scoops of ash", so he'd search the yard for a hopper of "that good, clean-burning Kentucky coal" to borrow from instead.

Being an interurban electric freight hauler, the IT had about a dozen local and regional power plants on their system. In its formative years, the IT maintained a fleet of dedicated center- and side-dump gons (some all-steel for "hot" loads) for extensive use of the cinders as fill and ballast for yards, sidings, and branch lines.

Mike Fortney

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