Why we see so many coal trains

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by FiatFan, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    my coal car consists for 2 gp38's are 20 cars.thats all i really need,but it can go as big as you want it just make sure you got enough loco to pull it.as for names,i model C&O-Chessie so i use C&O virginian and B&O hoppers since i never saw a coal drag in cali from ohio,know what i mean?--josh
  2. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    While protypical (modern) coal drags are 125 cars, around 20-25 on a home or club layout that has a few cruves here and there looks huge. On a modular layout, if it is a large one, 150 cars would be huge, although 60-70 would look great as well. In that case, it also has a lot to do with the scale of the layout. Up at Springfield, the Dry Hill club had a 133 car mixed freight. That was impressive. The Pepperell Siding club had a 101 car ore-intermodal, although ore cars is sort of cheating, as the ore cars are short. Mixed freights are a nighmare to keep coupled and on the track if they are more than 30 cars, as the cars are often very different, with different couples. A unit coal train should be easier to keep on and coupled, as the cars are all the same. Amherst Belt Lines had live coal, which is really cool. They had a flood loader at the mine, and a rotary dumper at their power plant. So cool.

    Not sure about the roadnames, but I would guess all the same, or in 10+ car blocks of the same roadname? Personally, if I got coal cars, I would have a block of cars owned by Global Warming Coal LLC, and a block owned by Pollution Fuels, Inc. :D
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Yes we know that the earth warmed and cooled for a very long time but we only know temps for sure for about the last 110 years. Temps before that are a mere guess. Many scientist of very good reputation don't agree with the global warming theories. and in fact the average temp has gone up less than 2 degrees in the last 50 years and many of afore mentioned scientist believe that it is part of the NORMAL earth cycle.

    So before anyone is going to convince me the the sky is falling you gotta show me both sides....which the global warming crowd hasn't done, they only present their side and cry wolf. Lets see what was the last one...oh yea the ozone layer.

    Getting back to the basis of the thread, a coal train is an awsome sight to see with 3 to 5 engines and many cars!

    Coming out of the Minto ND mines and going east through Fargo Nd you can see a train with a long string of cars and most of the road names on the cars are BNSF.

  4. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    While older coal trains would have stayed more locally, modern ones go all over the country, so check out your era and make decisions accordingly. There is a book from Kalmbach about coal railroading. Modern trains from Powder River end up as far as Florida, I think. That is because that coal is low-sulfur, other coal is not. Stricter EPA reguilations a while back shifted where coal came from. Sadly the EPA isn't doing too well combatting CO2 emissions. :(

    We know temperatures from the last 650,000 years or so from ice. We can also tell the CO2 concentrations in the air from that ice, and it shows a clear corrolation between temperature and CO2. And there is a lot more CO2 in the air than there has been for the last 650,000 years. Why? Because of oil, gas, and coal. Global warming is a FACT, not a theory. What it will do to the earth and humans in the future is a theory, although we know pretty well that if CO2 emissions continue uncontrolled, what happens to the earth and humans will not be good, we're just not sure how bad.

    Those scientists evidently lost their reputation pretty quickly when they said global warming doesn't exist. They probably got rich too, Exxon-Mobil has a lot of dough. Only in the past few years has a scientific consensus been reached about human-caused global warming, although research has been going on for a long time.

    The ozone layer was NOT crying wolf, it was a serious problem that was pretty much solved by countries stopping the use and manufacture of CFCs. We need to apply that same legal and political might/ will to global warming and gradually phase out fossil fuels over the next 50 years or so.

    Educate yourself about the real science of a topic like global warming before you post uneducated comments that are not based in any fact. There is a great article on wikipedia about global warming. It is very neutral and scientific, and presents various parts to global warming. It also has a nice chart that shows how CO2 levels went up around the industrial revolution, and the corresponding temperature change.
  5. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    yes but did you also know that when mt.st helens blew her top she puked out more noxious gas than all of the cars in history!!!!!and if you add al the other volcanoes that erupt daily thats probably enogh to outweigh factories too.so i beleive this is natural and there is very little we can do about it.--josh
  6. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    [FONT=&quot]I'm doing my best to be nice but please stop calling me uneducated, it is the same as telling me I'm stupid. To be truthful I am more interested in coal trains and their history and the environment is not my focus of model railroading. I'm just not into voicing political statements and it is a pain to have to skip through them when I'm talking trains. :thumb:

    I would hate to just skip your threads since you might add something interesting about trains.announce1

    What other railcars if any can be found tagging along with a coal car consist?[/FONT]
  7. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    Volcanoes do not spew as much CO2 into the air as power plants and cars and such. They may spew a lot, but compare that to huge coal power plants and hundreds of millions of cars. They may spew a lot of other stuff, more so than humans, like ash and soot. Volcanoes also have the effect of cooling the earth down temporarily, as their ash blocks the sun, this effect was most evident after Krakatoa.

    I said people who say global warming doesn't exist are uneducated about global warming, I didn't say anything about any other formal or informal education, or education in general.

    As for coal consists, again there is the question of era. Today most everything coal and intermodal are unit trains, while many years ago there were carload and local trains that could have anything in them, coal included. I am sure there are exceptions to this, but unit trains seem to be the general trend in railroading. A big factor in coal is that essentially no small consumers use coal. Businesses and homes use natural gas or oil or whatnot, while the only consumers of coal need a unit train, like a steel mill or, more often, a power plant. Thus, unit trains are run, as they are quite efficient compared to carload freight, when one entity needs a lot of something at the same time.
  8. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I guess you can say I have a vested interest in coal trains. Most country homes in the area heat by coal with the numbers growing. Who can blame us as the average heating bill for a 2,500 sqft home is less than $50 a month.

    I can't tell you how much freedom that bill is for a family of four and the extra trains I can buy each month.

    Every time I stoke it I feel like I have my own little steamer operating in the basement. :)

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  9. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    do you go TOOT TOOT while you stoke it...ROFL.i didnt even know they still made coal heating units anymore.the last one i saw was bein thrown out my basement.LOL but i took the time to keep alot of the black soot for weatheing,it actually works pretty good :D --josh
  10. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Well to tell the truth I can be found down there with a certain hat a night. :) :) :)

    Hey it is the next best thing to a real locomotive. :) Now I know what they had to do to keep the thing fired for those long trips.
  11. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Wow I was looking at the one little bucket and look what i found! It is clearly stamped with a keystone and PRR! So now I have a little rail history to go with my coal consist.

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  12. TexDoc

    TexDoc Member

    Since when did this wonderful forum switch from trains to a platform to environmental nut jobs and presidential critics?
    What say we keep this sane and focused of the subject at hand. If you want propaganda and lies read the mainstream press,
  13. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Renovo, the coal loads coming through west Mn from ND are all coal. I never counted but I'd guess at 100 or more cars per train. Most of the time they are running more modern engines (2) but sometimes you will see older engines like some GP's and then they will have 3-5 engines depending on type and tractive power. I saw one last week in Moorhead MN, then the same train again in Detroit Lakes, MN and I caught it a 3rd time going into Perham, MN. Had 3 engines, one in BNFS colors, one in the old BN paint and an EMD blue and white one. The road through there is a 65MPH road and I'd guess that the trains run at about 60.

    About 90% of the cars used are newer aluminum hoppers. I'm going to DL tomorrow, I'll see if i can't get a few pics.


  14. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I bet some of those were made in Johnstown, Pa. It looks like I should get at least one dummy engine then, thanks for the info.
  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Just a reminder that the membership of The Gauge is diverse. We come from different backgrounds and have varied opinions about every issue; political, social, religious, etc. ...all of those things that tend to get the heat turned up some times. While it is certainly well beyond the scope of a Train forum to resolve those issues let's do remain respectful of each other and keep in mind that we share a common interest in railroading.
  16. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    NYNH&H, dude chill, some of us stated that you were not completely inform on the subject and suggested that you present both sides of the debate like this article in the news today,(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258462,00.html), we didn't call you any names. That is one of the reasons that I didn't respond to some of your post. You have started calling anyone who doesn't agree with your views stupid, ignorant and nut cases.

    This thread was about trains and should stay that way. If you chose to get on your political soapbox why don't you find a political forum to do it on?

  17. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    [FONT=&quot]OT can you see any manufacturing labels on the coal cars? I bet they were made by some good old Pennsylvania labor.

    It is so very good to see coal making a great come back in the state. I have even see an increase in the number of coal consist moving through the Johnstown area. The problem is I never pay attention to what is pulling them. :)

    I don't get excited about the global warming people they a have a right to say the world is ending. It wasn't that long ago I could remember the same type of people going into a rage because the world was cooling back in the 1970's and they had the scientific proof to back it up. They called it Global Cooling then. Anyone that didn't agree with them was uninformed also.

    Not too long ago many of the people who signed off on Global Warming had also predicted that the massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on the climate well as we all know they were quite incorrect.

    To those that believe in Global warming more power to you but on the other hand respect those of us that doubt the world is coming to an end. We have seen it before and the most important thing is we all lived to see another great theory pop up to announce the end of the world. I respect your views I hope you can respect my interest in coal trains.

    Thank god no one is screaming that my little electric train is producing world-killing ozone and should be banned. :)

    Peace and everybody sit back the world will be here tomorrow and the day after and most importantly things change with time, it always has. I still like you NYNH&H even if you do get a little excited.

    Now lets just talk some coal trains. :)
  18. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    nynh&h you wouldnt happen to live in california would you?......he he he.
  19. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I thoroughly agree that everyone has the right to an opinion, on whatever subject may be at issue. On this particular one, I try to keep in mind that the world is not ours; we are holding in trust for our children...

    Now about those coal trains...:thumb:
  20. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Sorry guys, I didn't make it into DL yesterday.....I spent most of the day trying to change the flow of water from our very fast melt this year so my drive doesn't wash away.

    I may get a chance this weekend, I'll see what I can do.


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