Date   

Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

John,

I have also heard/read that coal was what brought Columbia to Pittsburg. According to Bert Ward's MOUNT DIABLO COAL MINE RAILROADS, coal was being commercially taken from Mt. Diablo as early as the 1850s.

The earliest was the Union mine at Somersville was one about 10 related or neighboring operations that shipped coal to Pittsburg on the Pittsburg Railroad. Operations were largely wound down by 1907, but the mines and the railroad limped along until 1916.

Black Diamond Coal and Railroad Company began operation around 1859 in the Nortonsville area. The company also shipped to Pittsburg, but was wound down in 1902 and the railroad was removed around 1911.

The final operation began around 1861, but really didn't take off until a number of years later. In 1878 the investors opened the Empire Coal Mine and Railroad Co., which ran between several mines/shafts at Stewartsville and Antioch. This operation closed down in 1897.

Railroad Historian Dan McKellips claimed the mines supplied bunker coal to Sacramento and San Joaquin river boats and it was also used on the SP ferry Contra Costa. Some was sold for industrial use in Stockton. Neither he or Ward mention coal being sold to the Columbia works.

Hope this of use.

Yours Aye,


Garth


On 2/27/17 5:42 PM, John Barry northbaylines@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
Garth,

Thanks for that pointer.  I have from another source that Columbia received pig iron from the mills in Utah.   The jury is still out on coal needs prior to the end of the war.  The mill was sited in Pittsburg due to it's proximity to the local coal deposits.  As they petered out and the local coal hauling road shut down and pulled up the tracks from the right of way some form of fuel had to replace the local coal.  I have no direct evidence of coal shipments or a gas pipeline but the plant's history page shows that they started with a 150 ton open hearth furnace in 1910.

Columbia steel Pittsburg history
1910-1920
The first Pittsburg steel facility opened in 1910 as a 60-man foundry under the name of Columbia Steel. Consisting of one building and a single 150-ton open hearth, the plant furnished steel castings for the dredging, lumber and shipping industries.

In the 1920’s, the plant expanded to include the West’s first nail mill, and later, the first hot dip tin mill west of the Mississippi.
1930-1940
During the 1930’s and 1940s, facilities and equipment were added to help supply major public works projects – the most notable being the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge – and to meet the demand for steel products during WWII.

Post-war expansion includes modern continuous sheet and tin mills, the West’s first continuous rod mill, cold rolling mills, electrolytic tinning, cleaning, continuous coating and annealing lines.

I can confirm that they did provide steel to the war effort but got behind on some of the orders due to the priority system.  This was noted in a history report in the national archives that referenced an Oakland manufacturer of practice bombs that had to re-order from eastern mills when Pittsburg could not make an immediate delivery mid-war.  That order was for a quantity of thin sheet that would be used for bomb blanks.  Orders for Oakland and San Francisco industries would be nearly on-layout moves for me, and that delivery was scheduled via rail.

It would be interesting to confirm the availability of gas.

John Barry




From: "Garth Groff sarahsan@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 
John and Friends,
This doesn't answer the question about coal for Columbia Steel, but here is some information about the plant from my old SN On-line site: http://www.wplives.org/sn/steel.html . Most of their can production was cold rolled, but they also worked steel for other uses. I have seen photos of a hot ladle from their works. It is likely that soaking pits and remelt furnaces were gas fired, as was the case of some other California remelt plants (Bethlehem Steel in Downey being one example).
Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 2/27/17 2:48 PM, 'Dave Nelson' Lake_Muskoka@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
I’m skeptical about Colombia Steel needing coal.

The plant did not need coal to produce coke because (AFAIK) there were no blast finances there and I’m inclined to think they did not need boiler coal either as natural gas was readily available as a fuel for any reheat jobs they had.

By and large the Colombia Steel plant produced sheet steel for the tin can industry. This product was the highest profit margin for any steel mill and it is produced by rolling cutting, and final finishing of material from steel coils. What I don’t recall right now is whether this was done by cold rolling or whether the source material was heated first. I’m inclined to guess it was cold rolled.

Colombia Steel did get a lot of steel coil, DRGW/WP/SN and they shipped their product to can making factories all over central California and perhaps beyond.

Dave Nelson

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 11:12 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

Columbia Steel at Pittsburg, CA got most of it's coal from Utah. Originating on the D&RGW, it went via WP to either Sacramento thence the Sacramento Northern or Stockton for ATSF delivery. Rio Grande had a tremendous fleet of gons (6048 in Jan 45) for hauling that coal and almost no hoppers (72, including a few covered HMRs).

Prior to the future, almost all the coal shipped from mines in the western US most likely came in a gon rather than a hopper unless it originated on the GN. They alone of the western roads had a majority of hoppers (9827) over gondolas(1711). Not that hoppers were unknown, the western lines owned 28,801 but they also owned 71,164 gondolas, 2.4 to 1, better than 3 to one outside the GN.

John Barry

On 2/26/17 8:19 PM, Tom VanWormer robsmom@... [STMFC] wrote:

Jim,
The Southern Pacific in the 1890s was shipping coal from Australia, Japan and British Columbia.
Tom VanWormer
Documenting the 1890s

jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC] wrote:

Hi,

How far would coal be shipped in hoppers? Especially as
it relates to the West Coast. I'm talking about regular
everyday coal for steam - such as to a railroad or to a
cement plant (or any other large industry such as a steel
mill or power plant).
And what was truly in control of the sourcing of coal?
Of course it was price per ton - but, for instance, how
much closer would the coal mine have to be before
the shipping costs based upon ton miles started to be
more important than how many RRs were involved in
the shipment or other factors?

For instance - where would coal for such purposes
have been shipped from - going to locations in Central
or Northern California?
I know there was coal in Utah that was being shipped
to Southern California. Other sources/locations?

Extra credit - what 'influence' did the railroad that the
industry was on have on the source of the coal in
received? For instance if you have a cement plant
in Northern California being served by the ATSF ...
where did the coal it received -probably- come from?

Steam/transition era answers only - please. I'm not
asking "what is happening today?" or "what happened
in the 70's or 80's?".
- Jim B.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

np328
 

Tim O' mentioned about wondering how much coal came in the Twin Ports.   

On Post 65627, I answer this question (how many tons came into the Twin Ports, to some degree) and provide source data. For those not inclined to look, the NP Rwy ordered 750,000 tons of coal for their own use. I know from some other letters, they from time to time supplied the CM&StP (later CMStP&P) with coal, this being around 1910+/-.  However I would think at later dates the CMStP&P might have used other sources, and 1926, the CMStP&P did exercise trackage rights over the NP (Twin Ports-Twin Cities) and started hauling their own trains, so while I have some 1926 records on CMStP&P, I only have them for that year and hesitate to project further.

The DM&N and the D&IR (later the DM&IR) both got coal off the Great Lakes for their own needs .The steel mill in the Duluth / Superior area was US Steel, the plant closed in the 60s. And the DM&IR was on of the nations last to run steam. (US Steel bought the Ford dock in Duluth for coal) .

From the paperwork I have read (and posted about - Post 83190) coal was THE largest commodity out of the Twin Ports.  There was much domestic coal going south to the Twin Cities and again, our Reverend Doug (Harding) has the M&StL Watertown waybill listings and you can find plenty of coal shipments that started from Duluth/Superior (after water). 

 From other letters, the traffic salesmen for the NP lament that the coal companies tell the NP that they are getting "their share" of the traffic and so I would imagine GN, Omaha, Soo, and Milwaukee Road all got equal parts of that pie, their tonnage mirroring the NPs. So to answer Tim O', I would say - quite a lot, and almost up to the end of this lists time frame.  

            Dave Nelson writes about coal being dirt. I am not a chemist however, of those mail order fireman's books, most of them reference Carbon as the key ingredient when they list grades of coal, with Anthracite being listed as "almost pure carbon". I petition that carbon could be a more correct term. Lignite I do recall as having much organic matter and dirt seems most appropriate.

            Dr. Bob (Heninger) posted about GN hoppers and gons.

Of the gons vs hoppers, I had posted on that, with numbers on the NP car make up on post 145704 and up until 1950, gons did outnumber hoppers by vast ratios, the hoppers being mostly ballast cars. (In 1929, on the NP, there were 5,759 gons and 98 hoppers.) The numbers in April 1950 on the NP 3,814 gons and 4,509 hoppers. I would agree with Bob on the GS nature, it did make these cars roam far and wide.

Also thanks to Charles Hostetler for his presentation (last Chicagoland?) on pig iron, for me that is a load that goes hand in hand with gons.

            Dennis S, Not sure what you meant with - "an anecdote".  Just asking about clarification. There was some 1925(?) Railway Age article that read something like "NP saves over a million dollars a year in (finding a way to use online) lignite". I will see if I can dig it up, scan it and have the Sherriff approve it. (Jeez, I hate wading through piles of railroad paper junk, most notably when they are my own piles of railroad junk.) 

George Courtney and Tony talk of brokered coal. There were yard tracks at Laurel, MT, Mandan, ND, on the NP and some also on the Soo Line in ND, where coal trickled out of mines nearby and was held till a broker found a buyer. Then it was off to the races.  

Of other coal postings - see postings 111293, 65630, and 65627.

One last comment – somewhere in my past notes I have a comment by Richard Hendrickson circa 2009 – “not coal cars again”, however I cannot seem to find it.  Has anyone compiled a roster of Richard’s wisdom, yet?  I looked through old posts of his, wow…. Glad to have known the man for the time I did.                                             Jim Dick – St. Paul


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Tony Thompson
 

Dave Nelson wrote:

 

The key point below is the absence of any mention of smelting iron ore. You need coke to do that. The mention of the Open Hearth Furnace is saying they took pig iron and by melting it and adding a bit of this and that changed the iron into a complex compound – steel. Obviously melting the iron requires a lot heat but that could be from any fuel. I’d put my money on natural gas for most of the 20th century (with the chance they used coal before the 1930’s) because there are natural gas wells in the area, including some just on the other side of the Sacramento River opposite Pittsburg.


    It's a common misconception that smelting iron from ore requires fuel. The only fuel used is at start-up, when the materials have to be gotten hot. Once the reaction between carbon (in the form of coke) and iron oxide (main part of the ore) begins, it is EXOTHERMIC and no fuel i consumed at all. The oxygen combines with the carbon, leaving iron behind, which is molten. During a furnace campaign, only very minor amounts of fuel, if any, are consumed to make up for heat losses in the furnace.
     Melting iron pigs for further processing is another story. It does require fuel, which certainly need not be coke.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

cliffprather
 

Except for the Kaiser Steel plant at Fontana and coke for foundries, I don't think that there was much demand for coal in Southern California during the stream era after the uses of fuel oil was developed. Cement plants used oil until cost of its cost jumped in the last third of the 20th century. Power plants used oil until they switched to natural gas. I believe that the export of coal to other countries through Sothern California was not important until the latter part of 20th century.


A note on routing Utah coal to Kaiser Steel at Fontana.  Coal that was shipped via UP (LA&SL) from Utah was interchanged to the Santa Fe at Barstow for deliver to Kaiser.


Clifford Prather


Re: Steam Era Freight Cars Reference Manual, Vol. 3 and FOFC re-prints

Bill Welch
 

I think hearing reviews from consumers are arguably more helpful in this kind of situation since for the publisher it is hard to be objective about your product or publications. I echo what Bob and Tony have said. I will add that especially in the "Focus on Freight Cars" series in each volume Ted really drills down in both the Introductions and photo captions to provide technical details. For example some of the cars feature relatively rare brake housings and brake wheels and he always seems to know what they are. Every time I reread one the volumes I see something I missed before.

Bill Welch


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Dave Nelson
 

The key point below is the absence of any mention of smelting iron ore. You need coke to do that. The mention of the Open Hearth Furnace is saying they took pig iron and by melting it and adding a bit of this and that changed the iron into a complex compound – steel. Obviously melting the iron requires a lot heat but that could be from any fuel. I’d put my money on natural gas for most of the 20th century (with the chance they used coal before the 1930’s) because there are natural gas wells in the area, including some just on the other side of the Sacramento River opposite Pittsburg.



Dave Nelson



From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 2:43 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?








Garth,



Thanks for that pointer. I have from another source that Columbia received pig iron from the mills in Utah. The jury is still out on coal needs prior to the end of the war. The mill was sited in Pittsburg due to it's proximity to the local coal deposits. As they petered out and the local coal hauling road shut down and pulled up the tracks from the right of way some form of fuel had to replace the local coal. I have no direct evidence of coal shipments or a gas pipeline but the plant's history page shows that they started with a 150 ton open hearth furnace in 1910.



http://www.ussposco.com/about_us.php

Columbia steel Pittsburg history

1910-1920

The first Pittsburg steel facility opened in 1910 as a 60-man foundry under the name of Columbia Steel. Consisting of one building and a single 150-ton open hearth, the plant furnished steel castings for the dredging, lumber and shipping industries.

In the 1920’s, the plant expanded to include the West’s first nail mill, and later, the first hot dip tin mill west of the Mississippi.

1930-1940

During the 1930’s and 1940s, facilities and equipment were added to help supply major public works projects – the most notable being the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge – and to meet the demand for steel products during WWII.

Post-war expansion includes modern continuous sheet and tin mills, the West’s first continuous rod mill, cold rolling mills, electrolytic tinning, cleaning, continuous coating and annealing lines.





I can confirm that they did provide steel to the war effort but got behind on some of the orders due to the priority system. This was noted in a history report in the national archives that referenced an Oakland manufacturer of practice bombs that had to re-order from eastern mills when Pittsburg could not make an immediate delivery mid-war. That order was for a quantity of thin sheet that would be used for bomb blanks. Orders for Oakland and San Francisco industries would be nearly on-layout moves for me, and that delivery was scheduled via rail.



It would be interesting to confirm the availability of gas.



John Barry







_____

From: "Garth Groff sarahsan@embarqmail.com [STMFC]" <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?





John and Friends,

This doesn't answer the question about coal for Columbia Steel, but here is some information about the plant from my old SN On-line site: http://www.wplives.org/sn/steel.html . Most of their can production was cold rolled, but they also worked steel for other uses. I have seen photos of a hot ladle from their works. It is likely that soaking pits and remelt furnaces were gas fired, as was the case of some other California remelt plants (Bethlehem Steel in Downey being one example).

Yours Aye,



Garth Groff



On 2/27/17 2:48 PM, 'Dave Nelson' Lake_Muskoka@att.net [STMFC] wrote:



I’m skeptical about Colombia Steel needing coal.

The plant did not need coal to produce coke because (AFAIK) there were no blast finances there and I’m inclined to think they did not need boiler coal either as natural gas was readily available as a fuel for any reheat jobs they had.

By and large the Colombia Steel plant produced sheet steel for the tin can industry. This product was the highest profit margin for any steel mill and it is produced by rolling cutting, and final finishing of material from steel coils. What I don’t recall right now is whether this was done by cold rolling or whether the source material was heated first. I’m inclined to guess it was cold rolled.

Colombia Steel did get a lot of steel coil, DRGW/WP/SN and they shipped their product to can making factories all over central California and perhaps beyond.

Dave Nelson

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 11:12 AM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

Columbia Steel at Pittsburg, CA got most of it's coal from Utah. Originating on the D&RGW, it went via WP to either Sacramento thence the Sacramento Northern or Stockton for ATSF delivery. Rio Grande had a tremendous fleet of gons (6048 in Jan 45) for hauling that coal and almost no hoppers (72, including a few covered HMRs).

Prior to the future, almost all the coal shipped from mines in the western US most likely came in a gon rather than a hopper unless it originated on the GN. They alone of the western roads had a majority of hoppers (9827) over gondolas(1711). Not that hoppers were unknown, the western lines owned 28,801 but they also owned 71,164 gondolas, 2.4 to 1, better than 3 to one outside the GN.

John Barry

On 2/26/17 8:19 PM, Tom VanWormer robsmom@pcisys.net [STMFC] wrote:

Jim,
The Southern Pacific in the 1890s was shipping coal from Australia, Japan and British Columbia.
Tom VanWormer
Documenting the 1890s

jimbetz jimbetz@jimbetz.com [STMFC] wrote:

Hi,

How far would coal be shipped in hoppers? Especially as
it relates to the West Coast. I'm talking about regular
everyday coal for steam - such as to a railroad or to a
cement plant (or any other large industry such as a steel
mill or power plant).
And what was truly in control of the sourcing of coal?
Of course it was price per ton - but, for instance, how
much closer would the coal mine have to be before
the shipping costs based upon ton miles started to be
more important than how many RRs were involved in
the shipment or other factors?

For instance - where would coal for such purposes
have been shipped from - going to locations in Central
or Northern California?
I know there was coal in Utah that was being shipped
to Southern California. Other sources/locations?

Extra credit - what 'influence' did the railroad that the
industry was on have on the source of the coal in
received? For instance if you have a cement plant
in Northern California being served by the ATSF ...
where did the coal it received -probably- come from?

Steam/transition era answers only - please. I'm not
asking "what is happening today?" or "what happened
in the 70's or 80's?".
- Jim B.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Jared Harper
 

The Santa Fe owned most of the coal fields in Kansas.  The Alma branch that I model was built in 1880 as the Manhattan, Alma and Burlingame Railway in cooperation with the Union Pacific.  The Union Pacific in Kansas needed coal and the Santa Fe owned it.  It wasn't long before the Santa Fe regretted  the deal as there wasn't enough fuel for their needs let alone the coal needs of the Santa Fe AND the UP.  The Santa Fe then engaged in all kinds of skulduggery to get the UP to pull out of the deal.    By the late 1890's it was moot; the coal in the Flint Hills area was playing out and the nation was in a depression.  The  M.A.&B. went into receivorship and later emerged as the Santa Fe's Alma branch.

Jared Harper
Athens, GA


---In STMFC@..., <sandbear75@...> wrote :

There are plenty of examples of a railroad or mining company buying coal bearing land just to reduce the price for the company. It didn't matter how far away it was if they could mine it cheaper themselves. My favorite example is the Phelps Dodge Company, who owned copper mines in Arizona. They were being eaten alive by shipping coal for their smelters. The cheap solution? Their railroad, the El Paso and Southwestern built a line from El Paso up to Dawson, New Mexico. Building a line across the state just to haul their own coal was cheaper than paying the SP to ship it to them. The outcome of that was that the Rock Island built from Oklahoma to Santa Rosa, where the EP & SW veered off to the northwest. Now the EP & SW had a bridge route all the way to Tucson. There was nothing to stop them from building the rest of the way to California. The SP was so threatened by this that they bought the whole railroad at top dollar. An incredible cost just to limit the competition. And the whole thing started because of the cost of coal.
Allen Montgomery
P.S. They still haul coal up to Morenci, Arizona in low gondolas. The grade from Clifton to the mine is too steep to use hoppers or bathtubs.


On Monday, February 27, 2017 1:04 AM, "Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:


 
I get it that the coal suppliers (mines/etc.) priced by the BTU.

    Yes, but also by composition: percentage ash, content of sulfur and other undesirables, coking potential, etc. Coal is definitely not just coal.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history








Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Tony Thompson
 

George Courtney wrote:

 

I'm not that knowledgable, but isn't one factor getting a contract?  A foundry in Chicago might want to buy coal from a mine in eastern Kentucky.  But that mine has a contact with a steel mill in Gary that takes all the coal it can mine.

So the foundry finds a supplier in West Virginia.  But then a newly opened mine in S.W. Virginia underprices the West Virginia mine. The L&N asks for a tariff to compete with the C&O's tariff in West Virginia. Like a contractor a mine will take a million dollar bid over ten hundred thousand dollar bids. Thus the coal contract itself is another factor beyond BTU and distance?  Again I don't clam expertise just adding to the discussion.

     This could certainly be true, but a lot of coal was moved by brokers. I knew a relative of such a broker when I lived in Pittsburgh. He bought from a number of mines and sold coal all over Ohio and Indiana. 

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

John Barry
 

Garth,

Thanks for that pointer.  I have from another source that Columbia received pig iron from the mills in Utah.   The jury is still out on coal needs prior to the end of the war.  The mill was sited in Pittsburg due to it's proximity to the local coal deposits.  As they petered out and the local coal hauling road shut down and pulled up the tracks from the right of way some form of fuel had to replace the local coal.  I have no direct evidence of coal shipments or a gas pipeline but the plant's history page shows that they started with a 150 ton open hearth furnace in 1910.

Columbia steel Pittsburg history
1910-1920
The first Pittsburg steel facility opened in 1910 as a 60-man foundry under the name of Columbia Steel. Consisting of one building and a single 150-ton open hearth, the plant furnished steel castings for the dredging, lumber and shipping industries.

In the 1920’s, the plant expanded to include the West’s first nail mill, and later, the first hot dip tin mill west of the Mississippi.
1930-1940
During the 1930’s and 1940s, facilities and equipment were added to help supply major public works projects – the most notable being the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge – and to meet the demand for steel products during WWII.

Post-war expansion includes modern continuous sheet and tin mills, the West’s first continuous rod mill, cold rolling mills, electrolytic tinning, cleaning, continuous coating and annealing lines.

I can confirm that they did provide steel to the war effort but got behind on some of the orders due to the priority system.  This was noted in a history report in the national archives that referenced an Oakland manufacturer of practice bombs that had to re-order from eastern mills when Pittsburg could not make an immediate delivery mid-war.  That order was for a quantity of thin sheet that would be used for bomb blanks.  Orders for Oakland and San Francisco industries would be nearly on-layout moves for me, and that delivery was scheduled via rail.

It would be interesting to confirm the availability of gas.

John Barry




From: "Garth Groff sarahsan@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 
John and Friends,
This doesn't answer the question about coal for Columbia Steel, but here is some information about the plant from my old SN On-line site: http://www.wplives.org/sn/steel.html . Most of their can production was cold rolled, but they also worked steel for other uses. I have seen photos of a hot ladle from their works. It is likely that soaking pits and remelt furnaces were gas fired, as was the case of some other California remelt plants (Bethlehem Steel in Downey being one example).
Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 2/27/17 2:48 PM, 'Dave Nelson' Lake_Muskoka@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
I’m skeptical about Colombia Steel needing coal.

The plant did not need coal to produce coke because (AFAIK) there were no blast finances there and I’m inclined to think they did not need boiler coal either as natural gas was readily available as a fuel for any reheat jobs they had.

By and large the Colombia Steel plant produced sheet steel for the tin can industry. This product was the highest profit margin for any steel mill and it is produced by rolling cutting, and final finishing of material from steel coils. What I don’t recall right now is whether this was done by cold rolling or whether the source material was heated first. I’m inclined to guess it was cold rolled.

Colombia Steel did get a lot of steel coil, DRGW/WP/SN and they shipped their product to can making factories all over central California and perhaps beyond.

Dave Nelson

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 11:12 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

Columbia Steel at Pittsburg, CA got most of it's coal from Utah. Originating on the D&RGW, it went via WP to either Sacramento thence the Sacramento Northern or Stockton for ATSF delivery. Rio Grande had a tremendous fleet of gons (6048 in Jan 45) for hauling that coal and almost no hoppers (72, including a few covered HMRs).

Prior to the future, almost all the coal shipped from mines in the western US most likely came in a gon rather than a hopper unless it originated on the GN. They alone of the western roads had a majority of hoppers (9827) over gondolas(1711). Not that hoppers were unknown, the western lines owned 28,801 but they also owned 71,164 gondolas, 2.4 to 1, better than 3 to one outside the GN.

John Barry

On 2/26/17 8:19 PM, Tom VanWormer robsmom@... [STMFC] wrote:

Jim,
The Southern Pacific in the 1890s was shipping coal from Australia, Japan and British Columbia.
Tom VanWormer
Documenting the 1890s

jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC] wrote:

Hi,

How far would coal be shipped in hoppers? Especially as
it relates to the West Coast. I'm talking about regular
everyday coal for steam - such as to a railroad or to a
cement plant (or any other large industry such as a steel
mill or power plant).
And what was truly in control of the sourcing of coal?
Of course it was price per ton - but, for instance, how
much closer would the coal mine have to be before
the shipping costs based upon ton miles started to be
more important than how many RRs were involved in
the shipment or other factors?

For instance - where would coal for such purposes
have been shipped from - going to locations in Central
or Northern California?
I know there was coal in Utah that was being shipped
to Southern California. Other sources/locations?

Extra credit - what 'influence' did the railroad that the
industry was on have on the source of the coal in
received? For instance if you have a cement plant
in Northern California being served by the ATSF ...
where did the coal it received -probably- come from?

Steam/transition era answers only - please. I'm not
asking "what is happening today?" or "what happened
in the 70's or 80's?".
- Jim B.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

George Courtney
 

I'm not that knowledgable, but isn't one factor getting a contract?  A foundry in Chicago might want to buy coal from a mine in eastern Kentucky.  But that mine has a contact with a steel mill in Gary that takes all the coal it can mine.
So the foundry finds a supplier in West Virginia.  But then a newly opened mine in S.W. Virginia underprices the West Virginia mine. The L&N asks for a tariff to compete with the C&O's tariff in West Virginia. Like a contractor a mine will take a million dollar bid over ten hundred thousand dollar bids. Thus the coal contract itself is another factor beyond BTU and distance?  Again I don't clam expertise just adding to the discussion.

George Courtney


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Aley, Jeff A
 

Oops.  I didn’t see that Charles had already replied.  My email software puts “RE: [STMFC] Shipping Coal” into a separate thread from “RE: [STMFC] Re: Shipping Coal”.

 

Mea culpa.

 

-Jeff

 

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 2:07 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 

 

This looks like a job for Super [Charles] Hostetler!

 

Seriously, what you probably want is to look at the ICC 1% Waybill analysis for state-to-state distribution of coal.  It should very clearly show which states supplied coal to California.

 

Charles probably has the data at his fingertips.  (Who knows, it may already be in his blog).

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 4:39 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 

 

Hi,

How far would coal be shipped in hoppers? Especially as
it relates to the West Coast. I'm talking about regular
everyday coal for steam - such as to a railroad or to a
cement plant (or any other large industry such as a steel
mill or power plant).
And what was truly in control of the sourcing of coal?
Of course it was price per ton - but, for instance, how
much closer would the coal mine have to be before
the shipping costs based upon ton miles started to be
more important than how many RRs were involved in
the shipment or other factors?

For instance - where would coal for such purposes
have been shipped from - going to locations in Central
or Northern California?
I know there was coal in Utah that was being shipped
to Southern California. Other sources/locations?

Extra credit - what 'influence' did the railroad that the
industry was on have on the source of the coal in
received? For instance if you have a cement plant
in Northern California being served by the ATSF ...
where did the coal it received -probably- come from?

Steam/transition era answers only - please. I'm not
asking "what is happening today?" or "what happened
in the 70's or 80's?".
- Jim B.


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Aley, Jeff A
 

This looks like a job for Super [Charles] Hostetler!

 

Seriously, what you probably want is to look at the ICC 1% Waybill analysis for state-to-state distribution of coal.  It should very clearly show which states supplied coal to California.

 

Charles probably has the data at his fingertips.  (Who knows, it may already be in his blog).

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 4:39 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 

 

Hi,

How far would coal be shipped in hoppers? Especially as
it relates to the West Coast. I'm talking about regular
everyday coal for steam - such as to a railroad or to a
cement plant (or any other large industry such as a steel
mill or power plant).
And what was truly in control of the sourcing of coal?
Of course it was price per ton - but, for instance, how
much closer would the coal mine have to be before
the shipping costs based upon ton miles started to be
more important than how many RRs were involved in
the shipment or other factors?

For instance - where would coal for such purposes
have been shipped from - going to locations in Central
or Northern California?
I know there was coal in Utah that was being shipped
to Southern California. Other sources/locations?

Extra credit - what 'influence' did the railroad that the
industry was on have on the source of the coal in
received? For instance if you have a cement plant
in Northern California being served by the ATSF ...
where did the coal it received -probably- come from?

Steam/transition era answers only - please. I'm not
asking "what is happening today?" or "what happened
in the 70's or 80's?".
- Jim B.


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Tim O'Connor
 


And there's that photo in C&NW In Color Volume 1, p. 97 - a 1953 photo of a Reading hopper
(bearing the famous anthracite red/black logo) on the dock in Manitowoc Wisconsin! :-)

Tim O'Connor



In the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th the west end of the Lackawanna railroad was Green Bay, Wisconsin. DL&W president Sam Sloan was also president or an officer of nearly 30 other railroads, including the Kewanee, Green Bay & Western and other grangers as Sloan tried to develop new markets. Sloan, Iowa, was named for him. Anthracite from Lackawanna-owned mines near Scranton traveled via lake boats from Buffalo and reloaded into local-road railcars in Green Bay.

             ....Mike Del Vecchio


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

MDelvec952
 


In the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th the west end of the Lackawanna railroad was Green Bay, Wisconsin. DL&W president Sam Sloan was also president or an officer of nearly 30 other railroads, including the Kewanee, Green Bay & Western and other grangers as Sloan tried to develop new markets. Sloan, Iowa, was named for him. Anthracite from Lackawanna-owned mines near Scranton traveled via lake boats from Buffalo and reloaded into local-road railcars in Green Bay.

             ....Mike Del Vecchio



Coal was brought into Duluth-Superior on lake boats, and reloaded into
railroad cars. And there was a steel mill in the same vicinity. I don't
know how much coal was brought into the area in the STMFC era.

Tim O'Connor



-----Original Message-----
From: Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]
To: STMFC
Sent: Mon, Feb 27, 2017 3:43 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 

Coal was brought into Duluth-Superior on lake boats, and reloaded into
railroad cars. And there was a steel mill in the same vicinity. I don't
know how much coal was brought into the area in the STMFC era.

Tim O'Connor

>Actually, only partially true, at least as far as the statements about the GN. In 1950, the GN owned almost 3000 GS gondolas, and just less than 700 50 ton twin hoppers, AAR class HM. The vast majority of the thousands of AAR class HM hoppers the GN owned were 70 ton ore cars. Given their low cubic capacity, I doubt the ore hoppers were ever used in significant numbers for hauling coal.
>
>The ore hoppers, (or jennies, if you prefer), however, were used in the seasonal sugar beet rushes, mostly because they were available at the time, as sugar beet harvest coincides with the end of the lake boat ore shipping season. Another reason they were used is the short duration of the sugar beet harvest. Called "campaigns", these lasted about 6-8 weeks, and were short hauls from the beet dumps to the sugar beet refineries. The GN AFEs related to the purchase of the 300 Hart ballast hoppers in 1953 mention the seasonal beet campaigns, but beet traffic alone did not justify investing in specialized cars. GN beet trains would have ore cars, hoppers, GS gondolas, and the longitudinal hoppers, AAR class HK. (The Atlas Hart ballast hopper).
>
>Lest you think of GS gondolas as a western phenomenon, there is documentation of these cars going all over the United States, as befitting their general service classification.
>
>Regards,
>Bob Heninger
>Minot, ND


Re: Great Northern Car Counts

John Barry
 

Gary, Bob,

Thank you for your clarification r.e. the GN hopper count.  Yes, it does include all the H class cars listed in the ORER.  When I constructed my index of the Jan 45 ORER, I broke out the XMs and XAs by length, but have road totals for the other classes of cars: V, S, G, F, H, T, R, L, Ballast (MWB) and Log.  Some roads included their ballast cars in the H or G classes and for them, those class totals are inflated.  I'm sure there are a few errors in the 948 roads entered with a grand total of 2,235,954 cars listed in North America.  Well, one less, I did include TOCX, True's Oil Company and the single tank car they owned when they were not listed in that particular edition.  A number of other small private owners are not listed in that edition, so the total is off a bit, but by an insignificant amount.  

John Barry



From: "'gary laakso' vasa0vasa@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 3:09 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Great Northern Car Counts

 
That referenced total number of hoppers on the Great Northern includes iron ore cars.   The 1947 Annual Report listed 8,006 ore cars and 3,421 coal cars and the number of coal cars  included gondolas.  GN had few open top hopper cars, only 2 classes by WW II: Standard Steel Car 2 bay cars in the 73200-73699 series and the Canton Car (rebuilds?) of 1929 in the 73000-73199 series.   It was 22 years later that additional hoppers were ordered in the 78000-78299 series, 70 ton Rodger-Hart, primarily for ballast service.
 
Gary Laakso
South of Mike Brock
 
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 2:46 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?
 
 
John Barry wrote:


 
Prior to the future, almost all the coal shipped from mines in the western US most likely came in a gon rather than a hopper unless it originated on the GN.  They alone of the western roads had a majority of hoppers (9827) over gondolas(1711).  Not that hoppers were unknown, the western lines owned 28,801 but they also owned 71,164 gondolas, 2.4 to 1, better than 3 to one outside the GN.
 
   Very true John.Moreover, many of the cars listed as hoppers in the ORER for western roads were ballast cars.
 
Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history
 
 
 
 



Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

John and Friends,

This doesn't answer the question about coal for Columbia Steel, but here is some information about the plant from my old SN On-line site: http://www.wplives.org/sn/steel.html . Most of their can production was cold rolled, but they also worked steel for other uses. I have seen photos of a hot ladle from their works. It is likely that soaking pits and remelt furnaces were gas fired, as was the case of some other California remelt plants (Bethlehem Steel in Downey being one example).

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


On 2/27/17 2:48 PM, 'Dave Nelson' Lake_Muskoka@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

I’m skeptical about Colombia Steel needing coal.

The plant did not need coal to produce coke because (AFAIK) there were no blast finances there and I’m inclined to think they did not need boiler coal either as natural gas was readily available as a fuel for any reheat jobs they had.

By and large the Colombia Steel plant produced sheet steel for the tin can industry. This product was the highest profit margin for any steel mill and it is produced by rolling cutting, and final finishing of material from steel coils. What I don’t recall right now is whether this was done by cold rolling or whether the source material was heated first. I’m inclined to guess it was cold rolled.

Colombia Steel did get a lot of steel coil, DRGW/WP/SN and they shipped their product to can making factories all over central California and perhaps beyond.

Dave Nelson

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 11:12 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

Columbia Steel at Pittsburg, CA got most of it's coal from Utah. Originating on the D&RGW, it went via WP to either Sacramento thence the Sacramento Northern or Stockton for ATSF delivery. Rio Grande had a tremendous fleet of gons (6048 in Jan 45) for hauling that coal and almost no hoppers (72, including a few covered HMRs).

Prior to the future, almost all the coal shipped from mines in the western US most likely came in a gon rather than a hopper unless it originated on the GN. They alone of the western roads had a majority of hoppers (9827) over gondolas(1711). Not that hoppers were unknown, the western lines owned 28,801 but they also owned 71,164 gondolas, 2.4 to 1, better than 3 to one outside the GN.

John Barry

On 2/26/17 8:19 PM, Tom VanWormer robsmom@... [STMFC] wrote:

Jim,
The Southern Pacific in the 1890s was shipping coal from Australia, Japan and British Columbia.
Tom VanWormer
Documenting the 1890s

jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC] wrote:

Hi,

How far would coal be shipped in hoppers? Especially as
it relates to the West Coast. I'm talking about regular
everyday coal for steam - such as to a railroad or to a
cement plant (or any other large industry such as a steel
mill or power plant).
And what was truly in control of the sourcing of coal?
Of course it was price per ton - but, for instance, how
much closer would the coal mine have to be before
the shipping costs based upon ton miles started to be
more important than how many RRs were involved in
the shipment or other factors?

For instance - where would coal for such purposes
have been shipped from - going to locations in Central
or Northern California?
I know there was coal in Utah that was being shipped
to Southern California. Other sources/locations?

Extra credit - what 'influence' did the railroad that the
industry was on have on the source of the coal in
received? For instance if you have a cement plant
in Northern California being served by the ATSF ...
where did the coal it received -probably- come from?

Steam/transition era answers only - please. I'm not
asking "what is happening today?" or "what happened
in the 70's or 80's?".
- Jim B.





Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Tim O'Connor
 

Coal was brought into Duluth-Superior on lake boats, and reloaded into
railroad cars. And there was a steel mill in the same vicinity. I don't
know how much coal was brought into the area in the STMFC era.

Tim O'Connor

Actually, only partially true, at least as far as the statements about the GN. In 1950, the GN owned almost 3000 GS gondolas, and just less than 700 50 ton twin hoppers, AAR class HM. The vast majority of the thousands of AAR class HM hoppers the GN owned were 70 ton ore cars. Given their low cubic capacity, I doubt the ore hoppers were ever used in significant numbers for hauling coal.

The ore hoppers, (or jennies, if you prefer), however, were used in the seasonal sugar beet rushes, mostly because they were available at the time, as sugar beet harvest coincides with the end of the lake boat ore shipping season. Another reason they were used is the short duration of the sugar beet harvest. Called "campaigns", these lasted about 6-8 weeks, and were short hauls from the beet dumps to the sugar beet refineries. The GN AFEs related to the purchase of the 300 Hart ballast hoppers in 1953 mention the seasonal beet campaigns, but beet traffic alone did not justify investing in specialized cars. GN beet trains would have ore cars, hoppers, GS gondolas, and the longitudinal hoppers, AAR class HK. (The Atlas Hart ballast hopper).

Lest you think of GS gondolas as a western phenomenon, there is documentation of these cars going all over the United States, as befitting their general service classification.

Regards,
Bob Heninger
Minot, ND


Re: Steam Era Freight Cars Reference Manual, Vol. 3 and FOFC re-prints

Tony Thompson
 

Bob Heninger wrote:

 
Focus on Freight Cars is simply a collection of volumes of freight car photos that were in a collection that Ted was given access to. Although the collection of negatives belonged to a man named Michael Urac, I don't believe he was the photographer. The photos were all taken in Southern California, the Los Angeles area, IIRC, in the mid to late 1930s. At any rate, the photos are all clear, well exposed shots showing to good advantage the details of the cars. There is no discernible rhyme or reason for what got photographed, but as I understand the photographer took the pictures with the intent of building models. So they are very much the type of photos I wish I could go trackside today and obtain. Most of the cars are clean, no doubt to show the lettering to good advantage. Although the paint schemes have sometimes changed by my modeling era, oftentimes the details of the cars have not, so I find these books very useful.

      Good summary, Bob. As it happens, I recently wrote a blog post about these books, and I entirely share your positive view of them. If you want to read the blog post, it's at the following link


In contradistinction, the Reference Manuals are much more comprehensive in scope, although they are not exhaustive in their coverage. The boxcar and tank car volumes cover the most numerous types of cars for the largest railroads in the US and Canada. These volumes provide an economical and comprehensive overview of the freight car types they cover, for a good portion of the steam era. They are excellent reference sources.


      Again, I think Bob has it right. The tank car Reference Manual, Volume 2, is extremely useful, with a wide variety of car pictured. It's like having a terrific photo collection of your own. They are basically Xerox images, but as Bob says, comprehensive and certainly useful.
       I'm glad Bob posted about these books. I expected Ted to do so, as he's reading the list, but Bob's summary is right on target.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Great Northern Car Counts

gary laakso
 

That referenced total number of hoppers on the Great Northern includes iron ore cars.   The 1947 Annual Report listed 8,006 ore cars and 3,421 coal cars and the number of coal cars  included gondolas.  GN had few open top hopper cars, only 2 classes by WW II: Standard Steel Car 2 bay cars in the 73200-73699 series and the Canton Car (rebuilds?) of 1929 in the 73000-73199 series.   It was 22 years later that additional hoppers were ordered in the 78000-78299 series, 70 ton Rodger-Hart, primarily for ballast service.

 

Gary Laakso

South of Mike Brock

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 2:46 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Shipping Coal - How Far?

 

 

John Barry wrote:



 

Prior to the future, almost all the coal shipped from mines in the western US most likely came in a gon rather than a hopper unless it originated on the GN.  They alone of the western roads had a majority of hoppers (9827) over gondolas(1711).  Not that hoppers were unknown, the western lines owned 28,801 but they also owned 71,164 gondolas, 2.4 to 1, better than 3 to one outside the GN.

 

   Very true John.Moreover, many of the cars listed as hoppers in the ORER for western roads were ballast cars.

 

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...

Publishers of books on railroad history

 

 

 

 


Re: Shipping Coal - How Far?

Robert Heninger
 

Actually, only partially true, at least as far as the statements about the GN. In 1950, the GN owned almost 3000 GS gondolas, and just less than 700 50 ton twin hoppers, AAR class HM. The vast majority of the thousands of AAR class HM hoppers the GN owned were 70 ton ore cars. Given their low cubic capacity, I doubt the ore hoppers were ever used in significant numbers for hauling coal.


The ore hoppers, (or jennies, if you prefer), however, were used in the seasonal sugar beet rushes, mostly because they were available at the time, as sugar beet harvest coincides with the end of the lake boat ore shipping season. Another reason they were used is the short duration of the sugar beet harvest. Called "campaigns", these lasted about 6-8 weeks, and were short hauls from the beet dumps to the sugar beet refineries. The GN AFEs related to the purchase of the 300 Hart ballast hoppers in 1953 mention the seasonal beet campaigns, but beet traffic alone did not justify investing in specialized cars. GN beet trains would have ore cars, hoppers, GS gondolas, and the longitudinal hoppers, AAR class HK. (The Atlas Hart ballast hopper).


Lest you think of GS gondolas as a western phenomenon, there is documentation of these cars going all over the United States, as befitting their general service classification.


Regards,

Bob Heninger

Minot, ND

35661 - 35680 of 183521