Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar


Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar

Photo from the Wisconsin Historical Society:

https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Image/IM89059

Assuming the description is correct, I guess if you don’t have a coal dock and you only need a small amount of coal you ask for a boxcar instead of a hopper.

Those sure look like large chunks of coal, though.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Dennis Storzek
 

On Thu, May 6, 2021 at 10:18 AM, Bob Chaparro wrote:
I guess if you don’t have a coal dock and you only need a small amount of coal you ask for a boxcar instead of a hopper.
Well, Saskatoon is a major city, so I suppose this large lump is going to a commercial user, but most coal consumed in the little towns on the Canadian prairies and northern Great Plains was shipped in boxcars. The elevators and farm supply places that sold it stored it under cover so it didn't freeze solid, and nobody had a dump pit anyway. Most steam era photos of elevators in the area show the distinctive coal storage buildings; I can think of examples that were still standing in eastern Iowa and Waukesha Wisc. in the late sixties.

Labor was cheap, at least before WWII. I remember an article in The SOO, the magazine of the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society, titled North Dakota Memories, where the author and his brother had the "concession" to unload coal at the local elevator after school, for a dime a ton... but if they held the car too long, the dollar a day demurrage was deducted out of what they earned. He made the comment that they liked when a car came on Thursday, as the weekend gave them two extra free days to get the job done.

Dennis Storzek


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Bob and List Members,
 
Given how big the coal chunks are, they might have trouble passing thru a hopper door, thus the boxcar
 
Claus Schlund
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:18 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar

Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar

Photo from the Wisconsin Historical Society:

https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Image/IM89059

Assuming the description is correct, I guess if you don’t have a coal dock and you only need a small amount of coal you ask for a boxcar instead of a hopper.

Those sure look like large chunks of coal, though.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


William Reed
 

It was a common practice on the D&RGW NG and SG to deliver coal to vendors in a box car. This way they could keep their inventory dry and out of the elements. I think this would be the case with this photo. Really love it. 

William
aka drgwk37


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 6, 2021 2:42 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar
 
Hi Bob and List Members,
 
Given how big the coal chunks are, they might have trouble passing thru a hopper door, thus the boxcar
 
Claus Schlund
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:18 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar

Photo: Unloading Coal From A Boxcar

Photo from the Wisconsin Historical Society:

https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Image/IM89059

Assuming the description is correct, I guess if you don’t have a coal dock and you only need a small amount of coal you ask for a boxcar instead of a hopper.

Those sure look like large chunks of coal, though.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Philip Dove
 

I beleive the large lumps of coal have been made into a rough wall so that smaller coal can be shovelled into the gap in the middle. the large lumps would have been moved by hand, they are too big for a shovel. If you look closely you can see smaller 2 or 3" lumps on the guys shovel. In December 2000 i saw similar size trucks in China loaded in this style. The biggest piece of coal I saw that day ( or any other) was about 4'long and approaching 12" square in section. A wall had been built of large lumps of coal then inside the wall were put smaller bits. Keeping coal in larger bits as long as possible is considered desirable, I think it somehow stops the coal losing calorific value. A concern when loading ships with coal from railway cars on Tyneside, England was always to stop the coal breaking into small bits or dust.  Building a wall of coal on the back of a truck is not a very safe way of carrying the coal as bits frequently fall off.

Virus-free. www.avast.com


np328
 

   I'll be presenting on the subject at Collinsville and do not care to give too much away however will say the following: 
1) The consignee has always been allowed to specify what type of car they want the shipment made in. I have copies of letter internal to my railroads traffic department regarding where shipments were refused because they came in the wrong car.  
2) Commenting on the original comment "small amount of coal", a 1x12 can be placed in a boxcar on edge and several grades of coal shipped, all within one car. With gons or hoppers, sheets of plywood might be used to separate grades of coal ordered. 
3)  A boxcar gave protection from the weather. Coal is always slacking or put another way, generating heat as a byproduct of oxygenation. "Losing its calorific value" as David wrote prior and even with gasoline this happens as there are products today to help store gas in lawnmowers, snowblowers. (That slacking was how many railroad wooden coal towers burnt. The coal fines became compacted at the bottom of the bins and in some cases, spontaneously starting burning when sufficient heat was generated.) 
    In a lessor manner, if snow fell on the coal it could be melted in initial contact with the coal, then refreeze as more snow covered the coal and the BTUs needed to melt to ice now formed then overcame the meager BTUs the slacking produced. Another internal telegram sent by a very angry roundhouse foreman related how several men with long metal spikes were needed for a full shift to break the frozen coal away from a hoppers discharge chutes after this had happened at a roundhouse powerplant.   
4) Theft prevention, the equivalent of a modern gas filling station drive away.  
                                                                                                                                                                                            Jim Dick - Roseville, MN