Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Aley, Jeff A


Should a factory be located near the raw materials, near the customers, or near a source of transportation?

In the case of cement, the plant tended to be near the raw materials.
In the case of soda ash, the plant tended to be near the customers.
In the case of beef, the plant tended to be near the transportation (but the "branch houses" were near the customers).



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of mike brock
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 9:00 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Getting back to cement travel...and actually, the travel of relatively heavy
and cheap non finished materials such as cement, cement ingredients, coal,
sand, ballast etc., I am curious about the transportation of both the
ingredients and the final product. I understand the advantages of locating
near major ingredients. The steel industry, for example, didn't choose Key
West or Kansas as a site for a major plant...although one might, I guess,
argue that both ingredients and final product would travel by water if Key
West were chosen...the cheapest form of transportation if speed was not
essential. Anyhow, back to Big Wyoming [ as the sign says when you cross
from CO to WY ], back in our time UP was moving significant amounts of soda
ash from Westvaco to Council Bluffs and KC. That is 835 miles to Council
Bluffs and one assumes it did not stop there. Note that one of the trains in
the 1956 UP frt conductor's book consists of about 50 cars loaded with
ballast traveling from Buford, WY, to Petersen, UT....439 miles. Moving that
much weight that far seems a bit expensive. So, just how far could stuff
like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the

Incidentally, we are considering a "clinic session" during Prototype Rails
in Cocoa Beach regarding the coal industry to specifically include coal

Mike Brock

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