Lehigh Valley Train

Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:53 pm

While browsing through the magazine section of Barnes and Nobble with a buddy the other day, I came across a train enthusiasts magazine, (not model trains), displaying the words "LeHigh Valley" and showed what appeared to be an orange F9, or Alco locomotive coal train, on the cover. I skimmed through it real quick, but when I saw the price of the mag, ($8! :shock: ) I got a little sticker shocked, and put it down. Then I saw at least 1 more, maybe 2, that showed trains pulling coal cars. And the photos were recent too. I wish they'ld send shipments of coal up here by train, but guess the popularity doesn't warrant it. My train interests came on a little later on in life, and for some reason I have gotten this fascination with them, even tho I know very little. The later steams, and early diesel locomotives to me are a marvel of mechanical engineering. I wish I could find a photo of that current mag out there to display here, but the web doesn't seem to carry it. Sorry.
joeq
 
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:56 pm

Our current loco expert is wsherrick, especially steam trains.
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:57 pm

coalnewbie wrote:Our current loco expert is wsherrick, especially steam trains.


Yeah, he runs a train doesn't he?
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:10 pm

Yeah, I saw that too. William's been busy in other areas these days, and I hope he's doing OK. I'm sure he's got lots of interesting info on this subject, but may also be bored with it too. Sometimes when you've been involved with something your whole life, it becomes mundane. I had the privilege of speaking to a famous drag racer years ago, (Bill "grumpy" Jenkins) after he had been successful for decades, and his assessment of the hobby (to me, to him it was a business) was more scientific in his explanations, than excitement. Seems the "pizzaz" goes away in time. Now that I've acquired a couple more years myself, I can relate. :(
joeq
 
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: lzaharis On: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:59 pm

I guess it would matter as to the following:

1. how much coal one wished to purchase.
2. cost per switching move and interchange costs-the hand off of said box car from one railroad to the next).
3. what the freight in net cost per ton is-FOB destination if my memory is right.

A 50 foot CSX standard box car will carry 70 to 100 tons of bagged coal.
A 60 foot CSX standard box car will carry 70 to 100 tons of bagged coal.
A 50 foot CSX high roof box car will carry 70 to 100 tons of bagged coal.
A 60 foot CSX high roof box car will carry 70 to 100 tons of bagged coal

Issues:
Where is the nearest railroad loading dock if needed is.
Whether an all wheel drive forklift could be rented/bartered for its use and a pallet jack could be borrowed or rented for a day if a box car loading dock is not an option.

Whether a portable loading dock and electric walkie forklift could be rented for a few days after the car is unloaded, it does not take long to unload it. The battery powered walkie forklift would need to stay on asphalt or concrete to move the pallets of bagged coal from the box car.

After the first 2 pallets of bagged coal are removed the pallet jack can be used to pull all pallets over from one side of the boxcar for the four wheel drive forklift to remove from one position.

Then the pallet jack can be used to start pulling the pallets on the opposite side out to let the forklift remove the pallets of bagged coal from the door way of the boxcar.

Ideally a coal buying co-op would work well if a bunch of coal CO-OP members could pool their money together to invest in a car load of bagged coal with one supplier of bagged coal and the only issue would be how much of the different sizes of coal would be needed.

Buying in quantity is the key as five truck loads of coal could be hauled per car+ as they can carry a bit more if needed and buyers in a CO-OP would not be gouged on freight costs.

As long as the membership could take a day to unload the coal if everything is all set up the railroad will not charge the CO-OP a demurrage charge for car storage on a siding while waiting for it to be unloaded.
Last edited by lzaharis on Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: deepwoods On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:15 pm

The Blue Mountain& Reading RR is the major coal mover in the Lehigh Valley region and to add to that is a busy tourist line also. Easy to find on the web. You tube has many videos. I believe much of the Anthracite they handle is for steel producers both domestic and foreign. What I have seen on the R&N is movements of coal Hoppers not box cars, meaning bulk shipments which are not commonly intended for domestic use.
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: hank2 On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:59 pm

I took a look at Reading Blue Mountain & Northern's website. It does appear that they're heavily involved with hauling coal, these days. They've had passenger excursions over the years, from Berks county to Jim Thorpe and elsewhere, both steam and diesel.
They have a nice schedule for excursions this year, from the North end of Reading to Jim Thorpe. I believe they have a stop at Port Clinton for additional travelers. I'm pretty close to their operations and I plan to finally take a ride, this year.

Until a few years ago, I worked in center city, Reading. I had to pass over a long pedestrian bridge over the many parallel RR tracks between a parking garage and workplace. The RR track lines are called "7th street" in Reading. Just South of the where the old massive Reading railroad shops were. Around 2008 to 2011, I saw endless hopper cars passing, hauling coal, heading South. By 2013, it was not nearly as common. I would guess that the coal was going to a sea port and likely to China. I remember that some people were having trouble getting home heating coal about that time. I read that a lot of the Anthracite that China was importing ( along with a lot from North Korea and Vietnam) was to be used for water filtration.
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: joeq On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:13 pm

deepwoods wrote:The Blue Mountain& Reading RR is the major coal mover in the Lehigh Valley region and to add to that is a busy tourist line also. Easy to find on the web. You tube has many videos. I believe much of the Anthracite they handle is for steel producers both domestic and foreign. What I have seen on the R&N is movements of coal Hoppers not box cars, meaning bulk shipments which are not commonly intended for domestic use.

DW, must be nice to be in the region to witness all the action involved with the coal trains. And I would imagine, as you said, moving that much coal in bulk must be going to major industries. I keep hearing about all the power companies "polluting" our air because of coalburning. But I was under the impression it was bit coal, and not anthy. If the concerns from the EPA were really legit, couldn't they impose burning anthracite, rather than bituminous? With the costs or supply be problematic?
And Izzy, your comments above makes me think somehow you've been there, done that.? Sounds like quite the operation.
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: joeq On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:16 pm

hank2 wrote: I read that a lot of the Anthracite that China was importing ( along with a lot from North Korea and Vietnam) was to be used for water filtration.

I can't believe we're supporting North Korea, and North Viet Nam. Seems some people will sell out their own mother for a buck. :mad:
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: lzaharis On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:59 pm

Hello joeq,

It takes planning and commitment to do this where at "least ten" coal burners that use bagged coal can pay up front for a carload sharing the per ton cost including freight to the the destination.

A coal dealer that has access to rail will save lots of money as the cost goes down as the coal is pre sold and packed at the bagging plant ready to load and ship out.

The thing is it is going to be less expensive per net ton versus paying through the nose for a triple axle load PER ton rather than per hauling job.

100 tons of bagged rice coal is 200,000 pounds or 5,000 bags/ 100 42" by 48" pallets so that is equal to lets say 5 20 ton trailer loads(not including what would be allowed as extra weight on a specific box car load limits which would be higher in gross weight.

Saying that a sixty foot box car will carry more depending on its load limits and An 86 foot TTX bulkhead flat car could be set up to carry even more bagged coaI. Where I am we have a rail siding with a car hoe that is no longer used along with a loading conveyor to fill trucks( I think its still there).
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: joeq On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:42 pm

Izzy, is your rail yard near a coal plant in PA? Do you guys haul coal, or do they just pass through?
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: hank2 On: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:58 pm

joeq wrote:
hank2 wrote: I read that a lot of the Anthracite that China was importing ( along with a lot from North Korea and Vietnam) was to be used for water filtration.

I can't believe we're supporting North Korea, and North Viet Nam. Seems some people will sell out their own mother for a buck. :mad:


joeq, I meant that China also imports from North Korea and Vietnam. Right now, I think that China has blocked imported Anthracite from N. Korea to force them to settle down. I've spoken to many people in Pa. that think that Anthracite only exists in the Pa. fields.
We may still have the largest Anthracite deposits in the world, although Canada is sitting on a huge one. I think the world's largest producer is China, who also imports crazy amounts. After China, N. Korea, Vietnam, Ukraine, Russia, South Africa, Spain, etc., etc. Seems there's a lot being mined in South America, as well.
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Re: Lehigh Valley Train

PostBy: lzaharis On: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:47 am

joeq wrote:Izzy, is your rail yard near a coal plant in PA? Do you guys haul coal, or do they just pass through?


Nope, its in Ithaca, New York. When they bring coal north is going to the power plant that spends most of its generating time on standby now.
The only other customer is the salt mine which ships salt by truck and rail.
The Carhoe was used to unload 86,000 tons of metallurgical grade coal form 80 car unit trains of 2 bay ERIE RR hopper cars(mostly) of coal that was trucked to the Cornell University Steam station on Maple avenue. I have talked about this quite a bit and discussed the plants history as well as the rail line that served it that was ripped out in 1976-fools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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