Coal in the Pacific Northwest -- some FACTS


Dave Nelson
 

A few FACTS from the 1950 edition of the Minerals Yearbook, published
annually by the Federal Depoartment of the Interior.

In 1949 there were a total of 8559 Bituminous coal mines in the United
States, of which a grand total of 31 were located in Washington, 1 in Idaho,
and 0 in Oregon (hereafter refered to as NW States).

Total coal production in the US exceeded 480,000,000 tons, of which only
902,265 tons were produced in the NW States mentioned above (that's 0.19% of
the total). Of this 902k tons, the Northern Pacific was asked to move 476k
tons and the Great Northern 107k tons. The rest was shipped by truck or
burned at the mine. No idea who bought this coal. Please note the average
tonnage / railcar for bit coal in 1949 was around 52 tons, so it isn't very
hard to estimate how many cars were used to move the above coal, in total,
or as a daily average (i.e., not many).

The average DAILY producion of coal in Washington state was 3.89 tons.

Of the 14,424 coal cutting machines in use in the United States in 1949, 46
were located in Washington and 0 elsewhere in the NW States.

The price of coal in Washington state averaged $6.78 / ton. Nationally it
was $4.85 /ton

Lignite was not mined in the NW States (the nearest state of production was
Montana),

The United States imported 314980 tons of Bit coal in 1949. Of that 12,068
tons were imported into Washington (perhaps from Canada but it does not say)
and 37,929 tons were exported from Washington via its ports.

FWIW, the Western Pacific moved 391k tons of bit coal in 1950. I'm led to
understand a majority of that went to Washington state. The WP earned $2.55
/ ton for that movement. Taking into account the price of bit coal in
Washiington it appears that any mine shipping via the WP would likely have a
price at or below $4.32 / ton; Unfortunmately I don't have 1950 pricing...
But for 1949 there were mines in Utah selling their coal for less that $4.32
/ ton... Not too many... but there was also a large amount of Eastern Utah
coal sold at $4.41 which is pretty darn close to the target number.
==============
Everyone can now draw some new conclusions on the matter... Whatever the
original topic... Or it's offshoots... might have been.

Dave Nelson


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Hmmm. Dave's data shows that NP moved about 25 loads of Washington coal per day. Kind of like the guy who was the last guy killed by bullet in WW2. Probably not many killed at that time and, therefore, not a significant event...unless you happen to be the guy killed. 25 loads of coal in one day ain't much...unless the NP happened to deliver 52 tons of it to your front yard by mistake.

Mike Brock


Tim O'Connor
 

Dave, you've got to watch those decimal points...

Tim O'Connor

The average DAILY producion of coal in Washington state was 3.89 tons.


Tim O'Connor
 

Mike

Yes, I previously noted that WA coal production indicated
about 50 50-ton carloads a day... (based on production) and
NP evidently moved about 1/2 of the coal. Much of this coal was
no doubt for steam power in Washington, Idaho and probably Montana.
Rich Meyer produced decals for the PCR gondolas because he saw them
in Minot ND. GN had two coal districts -- west and east -- and the
coal division point was Williston ND. There were two coal chutes at
Williston, one for each type of coal.

Tim O'Connor

At 12/28/2009 02:38 PM Monday, you wrote:
Hmmm. Dave's data shows that NP moved about 25 loads of Washington coal per
day. Kind of like the guy who was the last guy killed by bullet in WW2.
Probably not many killed at that time and, therefore, not a significant
event...unless you happen to be the guy killed. 25 loads of coal in one day
ain't much...unless the NP happened to deliver 52 tons of it to your front
yard by mistake.

Mike Brock


bob_karig <karig@...>
 

I've just uploaded a map of the coal bearing areas of the United States into a folder by that name. The map is from the Energy Information Administration. It shows the sources of coal by type throughout the fifty states.

Bob Karig


Dave Nelson
 

Actually everything I wrote was correct. I just forgot to include the
phrase "per miner" after the word coal. It's a bit more than half the US
average, so not only are these small mines, they're low productivity mines
as well.

Anyway, the other fact I omitted to mention that fully half of Washington's
coal came from a single mine and whatever it was named it was located in
Kittitas county. Google maps tells me Kittitas county is near Stampede
Pass, on the east side of the Cascades. Unlike most of Washington's mines
it operated for most workdays of the year.

Dave Nelson

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Tim
O'Connor

Dave, you've got to watch those decimal points...

Tim O'Connor

The average DAILY producion of coal in Washington state was 3.89 tons.