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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Longwall Coal Mining


Date: 08/18/04 07:58
Longwall Coal Mining
Author: longview

When Longwall Coal Mining occurs underneath a railroad right of way causing substantial damage to the road bed...causing slow orders...
hundreds of carloads of ballast...hundreds of lost man hours in maintenance of way work...maintenance of way equipment such as tampers and ballast regulators...24 hour flagging protection for the movement of trains...and the constant fear of having the right of way drop underneath a passing train, who foots the bill for the damage the coal company has created? The railroad? The railroads insurance carrier? The coal company? The coal company insurance carrier? Other?

VW



Date: 08/18/04 08:50
Re: Longwall Coal Mining
Author: robby

The Surface Mining Control And Reclamation Act places full responsibility for subsidence on the coal companies. They are responsible not only for surface damage to structures but also for groundwater problems (ie dry wells, etc). They are required to carry insurance. Many do not or let payments lapse and then fade into levels of corporate structure or file Chapter 13 when faced with major claims. Many insurance companies also offer homeowners subsidence riders for standard homeowner policies since a standard policy will not cover subsidence at all. It's usually less than $100 / year. Many banks in KY will not close loans on a home if the owners does not have a subsidence rider attached to their policy, much like flood insurance if a home is located in a flood plain.

The problem is not just associated with longwall mining, subsidence can also occur from collapsed conventional mines or an older mine where a company has come back in and performed retreat mining by pulling pillars. Responsibility can be hard to prove in court in these cases, especially where multiple seams at different elevations have been mined under the affected area. Which seam collaped and was it due to a new mine under an old mine? If so, the former company could be long gone. It's an age old problem in the Appalachian coalfield.

Has this happened recently? I remember when CSX dropped many loaded hoppers into a sinkhole in NWV near Morgantown but I believe that turned out to be a natural cavern that gave way after heavy rains. CSX left the hoppers in place and filled in with rock. This was on the Short Line maybe..............

Robby



Date: 08/18/04 16:25
Re: Longwall Coal Mining
Author: HB90MACH

remeber the Twin shaft disaster incident on the susquehanna river along the Lehigh VAlley lines with a mine cave in? January 22 1959 i do believe. A clear example of what you are talking about. You can still clearly see it too.



Date: 08/18/04 19:44
Re: Longwall Coal Mining
Author: RJMarx

Wasn't that the Wilkes Barre disaster of 1959 where a mining crew accidentally poked into the bottom of the Susquehanna River flooding most of the anthracite workings in that area?



Date: 08/19/04 14:09
Re: Longwall Coal Mining
Author: dsktc

Long-wall mining is a feature of bitimunous mines
not Antracite, where the geology produced thinner seams of coal
in highly folded strata.

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/education/coal/es7.pdf

Dave



Date: 08/19/04 14:17
Re: Longwall Coal Mining
Author: dsktc

Here is the report on the Knox Mine disaster of
January 22, 1959, when "the Susquehanna River breaches (or breaks through) the mine workings, permanently flooding the majority of the interconnected underground mines in the Wilkes-Barre area."

It effectively ended deep mining
in the Antracite region.

http://www.msha.gov/District/Dist_01/Reports/Knox/cover.htm

Dave



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