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Steam & Excursion > Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID


Date: 11/13/20 17:41
Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: ln844south

Folks,

     The question was brought up about how the loaded coal cars were spottted at the top of the ramp and how they were let back down. Speculation has pushing them up with idler cars and gravity back down or a winch and pulley system.
    Any of our "Steam" experts know for sure? May be a combination depending on the road.

Steve Panzik
Chiloquin, Or



Date: 11/14/20 05:42
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: Bob3985

Steve, the photos I have seen of that type of system used the winch and cable pulley setup to move the coal cars up for unloading.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 11/14/20 07:45
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: LarryDoyle

All of your speculations about coaling trestles are correct, and used, except not to let 'em down by gravity alone.

If there was space for a long ramp with a not too bad grade a locomotive could shove the cars directly to the top of the bins, but using a "handle" of a few cars to avoid the fire hazard of running the live fire over the bins.  A steeper grade would require more cars for a handle, to keep the engine off the grade.  Very steep grades required, as you suggested, a winch.  This could be electric, gas, or steam powered.  If steam powered here may be a structure or shed at the end of track or underneath the dock to house the boiler and engine.  If a winch was used the ties near the top of the trestle would have rollers or chaffing plates to protect the ties from being worn by the cable.  The cable may be hooked directly to the cars being pulled up the ramp, or the cable may have been used to pull a 'barney"  The barney may have ridden on wheels directly the running rails and coupled to the cars to pull them onto the trestle, or may have been on narrow gauge rails which dropped below grade at the lower end of the trestle and used to shove the cars up the grande.

Conventional slope bottom hopper cars were rarely used on coaling trestles because there is no way to regulate the amount of coal dispensed once the doors are opened, and the bins could not each accomodate that volume of coal.  Usually, these trestles were a series of small bins of about 4 or 5 tons capacity each, and one larger bin of, say, 25 tons.  When an engine pulled up to the trestle to load the tender it would spot at a small bin and a chain pulled to dump it.  There was no regulator on the small bins - when you pulled the chain of a 5 ton bin - you got 5 tons of coal!  If you needed another 5 tons you repeated this process at the next bin.  Finally, you pulled next to the large bin to top off and "dress" the tender, as only this bin had a regulator door.

The cars used were, as I said, not usually hoppers, but drop bottom gondolas were popular as their bottom doors can be regulated.  Solid bottom gondolas could also be use, hand shoveling the coal over the sideboards into the bins.  Labor was cheap.  Also, box cars and stock cars were often used for shipping coal, and old photos of coaling trestles will show these types of cars spotted on the trestles!

The labor savings advantages of coaling tipples are obvious, but some coaling trestles lasted into the 1950's!

-LD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/20 11:41 by LarryDoyle.



Date: 11/14/20 12:06
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: ln844south

Thanks Larry and Bob for the explainations. I will pass it on. This is one subject that don't seem to get much coverage. Another, and I had one, was th coal stove with the cone around the belley for drying sand. Not many of those survived. Mine came out off the Frisco in Mobile, Al, 
As for my thoughs of a car dropping back down by itself. Naturally you would need a man to ride the brake.

Steve PAnzik
Chiloquin, Or



Date: 11/14/20 12:09
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: LarryDoyle

ln844south Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As for my thoughs of a car dropping back down by
> itself. Naturally you would need a man to ride the
> brake.
>

That would be very unsafe on those steep grades.



Date: 11/14/20 16:23
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: Evan_Werkema




Date: 11/20/20 14:59
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: LarryDoyle

Here's a very long, very low 10 bin coaling trestle with a gentle enough ramp that a locomotive could climb the grade to shove cars onto the dock.  Located on Duluth & Northern Minnesota RR, later purchased by Duluth & Northeastern RR, at Hornby, MN.  Thoroughly modern, it has electric lights!

-LD

 




Date: 11/20/20 15:20
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: wabash2800

One railroader passed on a story to me from a previous generation of some cars getting away and rolling down the coaling trestle at North Liberty, Indiana (Wabash RR). Of the few I have seen track diagrams for, it appears the track that went up the trestle was never lined directly with the main for that reason.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com


Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Date: 11/21/20 15:01
Re: Timber coaling towers example UP at Nampa, ID
Author: LarryDoyle

wabash2800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One railroader passed on a story to me from a
> previous generation of some cars getting away and
> rolling down the coaling trestle at North Liberty,
> Indiana (Wabash RR). Of the few I have seen track
> diagrams for, it appears the track that went up
> the trestle was never lined directly with the main
> for that reason.
>
I'd expect to find that there was a split point derail there with ties buried in sand, for the same reason.  Unless there was a shoving style Barney.

-LD



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