Question on Coal Operations

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Hoss, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    I'm modeling modern day BNSF. Would it be prototypical to have a coal loading structure like the one shown below on my layout or have they all gone to flood loaders now?

  2. Hoss

    Hoss Member

  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Hoss how serious are you about prototypical railroading do you want to have?
    One of the benefits of model railroading is we can do anything we want so if in your empire, structures like you show still exist, USE 'EM.
    I would as the interest is certainly with the old ways.
  4. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...a prototype for everything- even if it's the one you made.

    I personally like the 70s/80s for modeling- my generation. I remember being in a roundhouse just 10 or so years ago and surely the roundhouse was 1900s vintage. That coal facility looks like it's got a lot of life in it and no one's gonna tear it down to spend money to replace it until they have to- and convince someone else to pay for it!

  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    having worked in coal industry most all of the mines in the west that ship any amount of coal use flood loaders because of the amount of time that a tippel takes to load one car a flood loader can fill 5 or 6 or more . cannot speak on what goes on in east not having been there but i would say that a large mine would have a flood loader.
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I should have asked this before but what is a flood loader and how does it work?
  7. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...- now I'll need to know what a flooder is.

    Just all part of railroading and things I haven't seen.

  8. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Jim Currie is right on the money! Out west it's mostly flood loaders (Walthers has a nice one in their catolog), but here in the east it's still mostly tipples.
  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    a flood loader is a means of storing large amounts of coal in a structure over the track that loads coal by gravity fast. The last mine i worked in had a medium sized loader that held around 75 cars (100 tn) worth of coal and could load a car in 10 min or less.
  10. Hoss

    Hoss Member

    Looks something like this for those who haven't seen them...


    Now....while I do realize this is MY railroad and I can pretty much do what I want, I still want to maintain a certain amount of prototypical characteristics. Modeling modern day BNSF (who I believe gets most of their coal from flood loaders out west), it sounds like maybe I should consider fitting a flood loader into my layout instead. Hmmmm.....

    ON EDIT: I just noticed that in the background of the flood loader above is the exact same tipple loader I was thinking of using. Way to go Walthers...make my decision even harder. ;)
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I suppose there *may* be some of the older mines still using tipples out west just like some of the coal mines in the East is using both types..Now if you are modeling a smaller mine then I truly doubt if they would use a flood loader for say 25 or less cars...And remember not all mines are equal in operations.I have seen load outs in Eastern Kentucky that use 8 cars at full capacity..Of course we had to switch these out of a daily bases.

    And yes Walther's did use a tipple from out west as a prototype for that mine..Of course that mine can be used in the East as well.
  12. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Heres a couple i dusted off in my harddrive .Hope they help:)

    Attached Files:

  13. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    And another

    Attached Files:

  14. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    And heres something differant.eastern coal being offloaded in Duluth's Port.This is an old photo from the early 1900's but things havent changed much when it comes to offloading.This area is of course the old Northern Pacific's Domain.Now BNSF's.If you cant decide on a tipple, perhaps a harbor unloading scene with deliveries to power plants etc.Our Clay Boswell Plant in Northern Mn uses about 90 carloads per day to power all the ore mines + residential and commercial area's.

    Attached Files:

  15. Wyomingite

    Wyomingite Member

    Hoss is right on as I retired five years ago from Peabody Mining here in Wyoming. We had three such silos for loading. After being loaded they were weighted and if light were toped off again.

  16. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Loading at the tipple does still take place. It was more prevalent in years gone by than today, however. Flood loaders will generally be used more often for unit trains (all coal cars) that pretty much go from Point A to Point B, or where terrain prohibits loading at the tipple.

    Tony Koester wrote an awesome book on coal operations. As I plan to feature coal on my layout as well, it was one of the best purchases I made. It really lets you get a feel for how things operate.

Share This Page