Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4
Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4
Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4
Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4
Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4

Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4

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Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series #4
 
Chesapeake & Ohio Coaling Stations History Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Series No 4 by Thomas W Dixon Jr
Soft Cover
64 pages
Copyright 2014
CONTENTS
Chapter One The Coaling Station And Its Function 6
Chapter Two Wooden Coaling Stations  16
Chapter Three Cylindrical Concrete Facilities 24
Chapter Four Rectangular Coaling Stations40
Chapter Five  Unusual C&O Coaling Stations 54
INTRODUCTION
As with all other steam railroads, C&O had an important part of its physical plant, or infrastructure, devoted to the fueling of steam locomotives. Since this was an involved, complicated, and large scale logistica operation, the railway needed an extensive system of expensive facilities to handle this important part of its transportation system.
The Purchasing Department oversaw the procuremen of coal from various mines, mostly on line, and as close to the requirement for the fuel as possible. A "fuel assistant" worked under the chief purchasing agent and stores officer, with his headquarters at the executive offices in Cleveland after about 1930. It is not entirely clear how the coal was then allocated and administered, but it seems that once it was purchased its allocation, delivery, and use was administered by the Fuel Department in Richmond, Ashland, and Huntington, headed by the fuel supervisor. Of course, once the coa was bought, it was loaded and shipped to the required location like any other commodity the railway consumed. It just so happened that most of it came from on-line. In this case the C&O was its own transportation customer. Once delivered to the coaling station al a particular location, the Operating Department was in charge of utilization.
If we take a snapshot look at the C&O's coaling operations during the last decade of full steam operations we find it had designated 99 locations where locomotives could take on fuel. Some of these were for emergency use only, but most were in regular operation. They had the large concrete or wooden towers, a trestle, a clamshell, an automatic coaling machine, or the coal was shoveled in by hand. In some instances, the fuel was taken from foreign road facilities at a junction point and it was appropriate to make such arrangements. The best, remembered coaling station type was the large reinforced concrete tower containing bunkers, into which coal was dumped by conveyor or skip-jack bucket. These were usually the signature skyline facility at any C&O terminal, and because of their huge dimensions and solid construction, most were "retired in place" at the end of steam and some survive to this day (2013). For a while, many continued to be used for sanding diesels, just as they had done steam, and they also operated as towers for yard floodlights. They were so massive and well-built that the railway did not usually want to spend the money to demolish them unless they impeded some on-going operation.
C&O had a wide variety of fueling stations, most of which it built itself in the early era. But by the opening years of the 20th century, most of its coaling stations were being constructed by one of three major builders of this type facility in America: the Ogle Company, Roberts & Schaeffer Company, and Fairbanks Morse Company. All had standard designs they heavily marketed to the major railroads. Their structures replaced most of the earlier designs by the late 1920s, with a minority of wooden or trestle types remaining to the end of steam.
This book deals with all types of coaling stations used by the C&O over the years, from the earliest times to the end of steam, though the concentration is upon those used in the 20th century steam era of about 1920-1956. These statistics are taken from 1948, a good year because of the extensive data available, and because it is the last full year of all-steam operations on the C&O.
The following information is comprised of photos, official drawings, and drawings prepared by Bob Hundman especially for the COHS, using original drawings and photos. This book should be of interest to historians and railfans and, in particular, to modelers. Coaling stations should appear on any model layout featuring steam and, indeed, in the diesel era right up to the present. The coaling station's tower (commonly called a "coal dock") was usually the most recognizable skyline element in a yard or terminal.
Thomas W. Dixon, Jr.                                                                                                           Lynchburg, Va.                                                                                                                                 November 2013

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