Re: Illinois Coal industry

Allen Rueter

From the WRHS, Coal on the Wabash by Mark Vaughn, from Illinois State Mine
Inspector's Annual Report
Millions of tons Originated:
1900: IC 5322, CBQ 1799, C&EI 1789, Wab 1586, NYC 1287
1910: IC 7488, CBQ 5096, NYC 3812, C&EI 3812, Wab 2906
1940: IC 8993, CBQ 6104, C&IM 5120, MP 4343, NYC 4159,...Wab 1342
1950: IC 11533, C&IM 7384, CBQ 7003, MP 5312, NYC 3876, ..., Wab 0.767
1960: IC 8390, CBQ 4850, MP 4599, NYC 4351, C&IM 3877,...., Wab 0

In 1947, Wabash received 13788 loads of mostly coal from the C&O at Toledo,
11571 from WLE, and 12133 from C&IM at Taylorville.

Allen Rueter
StLouis MO

From: Ray Breyer <>
Sent: Thu, January 27, 2011 3:37:13 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Illinois Coal industry, was: IC "Chiselled Side" Offset

Tim O'Connor wrote:
IC owned more than 19,000 open hoppers in 1950, and a few
thousand gondolas too. This was about 40% of IC's freight
car fleet. IC operated in Kentucky and Tennessee, and
interchanged with many other coal haulers. IC's core
business has always been coal, just like the L&N.
Hi Tim,

Let's put the IC into sharper focus. In 1950, the IC owned the seventh largest
fleet of open hoppers in North America, with 28,625 cars (12,678 of them being
these short taper offsets). They had the 11th largest gondola fleet with 8582
cars, which were about evenly split between composite and all steel GS gons
(with a few mill gons thrown in for fun). That's a grand total of over 37,000
coal carrying freight cars, not including the few hundred cars on the C&IW or on
long term lease to the C&IM.

The IC operated in 14 states, and was a dominant road in over half of them. The
road serviced hundreds of coal mines in IL, KY and TN, and at one time even
served mines in IA, WI and IN. Coal from IC hoppers served most of the
Commonwealth Edison powerplants in the Midwest, along with C&IM hoppers (the
C&IM leased hoppers short term from the IC during peak seasons, as well as from
the NYC). IC coal went EVERYWHERE, and especially on the N-S spine: engine coal
in Canada, steel mills and power plants on the Great Lakes, and export coal in
New Orleans.

Illinois has the third largest proven coal reserves in the USA, and in 1950 was
churning out more coal than West Virginia (check the USGS Bureau of Mines report
for 1950, available online). During the 1950s the world's largest strip mine was
in Illinois (on the P&E).

By any metric, the IC was a MAJOR coal player, and in many areas was the

Unfortunately, we're running in the "odd little men playing choo-choo" syndrome
here. The hobby is biased towards the coasts where the scenery is "pretty",
rather than towards the rust belt where all of the action is. Even those few
hearty souls who DO model the Midwest don't concentrate on the production
centers or major mining operations, but on bridge traffic routes where reefers
dominate. So nobody in the hobby even KNOWS about this traffic, let alone about
the IC. If it wasn't for their Orange and Chocolate streamliners, nobody would
even be modeling that road (although what I think is the world's largest home
layout is all IC. HOW big is Bob Perrin's empire again?)

So I'm not holding my breath waiting for anything close to resembling IC hoppers
to come out of the mass market manufacturers, so long as all they stare at are
mountain railroads. I'll be happy with my Atlas and Accurail stand ins, with a
few of Chad Boas' Red Caboose conversion kits thrown in for fun (thanks for
those Chad!). I had three of Sunshine's IC twins at one time, but sold them;
even Frank isn't about to build many of them for his freight car fleet, since he
thinks he needs more than 30 of them. He MAY have one piece hoppers cast with
cast-on grabs done if he can find someone to do the molds, but they're a few
years away.

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

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