Coal mine project

Coaltrain Sep 27, 2004

  1. racedirector

    racedirector TrainBoard Member

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    Wow Jeff!

    That is looking so good - damn fine job. I must say it is a VAST improvement on what was there previously [​IMG]
     
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Truly amazing work. Looking at the time of your post, it took about three weeks to finish the coal mine structure from its' last state to the present. So realistic!!
     
  3. Tompm

    Tompm TrainBoard Supporter

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    WOW I am floored!

    Awesome job!
     
  4. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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    That's really coming along, Coaltrain. Looks great.


    Jon
     
  5. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jeff,

    Truelly inspiring, some of the best modelling I've seen
     
  6. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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    I must say this has got to be the best metal sided building I have seen yet, and that includes the few I have seen in museums!

    This is more like art than model reproduction!

    You should be awarded a Master Craftsman Award for this Mine!

    That is my personal opinion.
     
  7. BELG

    BELG TrainBoard Member

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    Jeff, I hadn't seen your project for a while you have made some great leaps forward in finish the whole scene, and it looks fantastic. Your attention to detail continues to inspire me. Thanks for sharing the project with us, Pat.
     
  8. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks again everyone.
     
  9. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

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    One project complete...


    ...next!
     
  10. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    Time sure flies, last I said was that I would be done in a few weeks and here it is October.

    I have built the last item for the mine scene, the coke loader. I have not painted it yet because I have not decided what color it should be, the only prototype photo I have is a B&W. I have a friend that thinks it might have been silver but I'm not sure I agree with him. I was thinking it should be yellow, but some have told me it might have been light gray. Anyways when I decide then the mine scene will be done, I can't believe it took a year to make this but then again this is almost 1/3rd of my layout and all the structures had to be scratchbuilt.

    After I paint the coke loader and add a few trees around the scene it will be done for sure, I am ready to move on.

    here is the prototype loader.
    [​IMG]

    and here is the model so far.
    [​IMG]

    I did add some figures around the ovens.
    [​IMG]

    here is a look back to the prototype again.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is an amazing project, and some of the best modeling I have seen! [​IMG]
     
  12. C40-9W

    C40-9W TrainBoard Member

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    WOW! Thats amazing!
     
  13. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jeff, your coal mine is incredible. The loaders, coal and coke, are fabulous. Beautiful modelling - kudos! [​IMG]
     
  14. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    IT IS FINISHED!!!!!

    I have declared this project finished. I'm sure that over time I will find little details to add here and there, but I am moving on from this project for good. I started building this mine on Sept. 27, 2004 at which time I was asked how long it would take to finish and I was thinking in my head about 4-6 months. Well, one years and seventeen days later I have it finished :( . I knew that just about everything was going to have to be scratchbuilt and I was right, everything but the one conveyor that transfers slack coal to the top of the slack bin (the tall cone bottom structure) was the only thing that I didn't scratchbuild, it is a Walthers kit.

    For all of those that have posted the nice comments I want to thank you for them, they encouraged me to stick with it to the end. On long projects like this I tend to loose interest and start work on other things, and although that started to happen when I had to reshape some of the scenery around the load side of the tipple, I was able to pull myself back and get this finished.

    I hope you all enjoyed this project and maybe you'll find some information within this post that you can use. There were a lot of first time things I had to try on this project and it was fun to learn the new skills. I think casting my own parts was one of the most exciting things I learned how to do, and it was easier than I thought it would be. Even though painting the back drop really had little to do with building the tipple, I still had to learn it for the first time so I could make the scene complete, and it is another thing that I am excited to have learned. It took a few repaints until I became happy with the results, and I actually had to repaint it once more after the structures were in place (man was that hard to do [​IMG] ) , I like the way it has turned out.
     
  15. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    Here are some of the final pictures of the project and a few recaps of the progress photos. Thanks again to everyone and Trainboard for making a place to share our hobby with others.

    [​IMG]
    An empty coal shifter pulls past the backside of the Wise Coal Company tipple at Derby VA, summer 1954.

    [​IMG]
    Lots of empty hoppers await loads of coal and coke. The Derby tipple can load coke in covered hoppers and open hoppers. The covered hoppers are rolled down under the coke crusher for loading. Once loaded they are rolled down below the tipple to the "load" tracks. The Derby tipple is on a grade, as most coal tipples in this region are, so that tipple employees can use gravity to roll hoppers into position for loading. In this photo there are several empty hoppers spotted on the mainline, which would indicate that this photo was taken on a Sunday afternoon. During peak coal loading the R&S will set out empty hoppers on the mainline after the last train has worked the branchline so that the coal tipple can load extra cars in through the night and have them ready for pick up Monday morning. The trouble with this procedure is that the first train that arrives in Derby Monday morning will find the mainline blocked with loaded hoppers that it has to spot on the wye track behind the depot before it can continue on its way to Roda.
     
  16. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]
    Here is the front side of the Derby tipple. Over the years the tipple has seen many additions and upgrades with the most recent being the new loading boom located over track three. When the Derby tipple was first built it loaded coal over the right two tracks only using chutes. Loading coal with chutes tended to pulverize the coal as it first fell into the empty hoppers, which would cause customers to complain because they had purchased the coal as a specific size only to unload coal dust when they first opened the bottom hatches of the coal hoppers. To respond to customer’s demands the first loading boom was installed in the covered extension that is located over track two. The coal boom (slat conveyor) could be lowered into the empty hoppers as the car started to load and then would be raised as the car filled with coal. Smaller size coal was still being loaded over track one (far right), and track three (to the left of the covered boom) did not exist. As demands for larger size coal increased a third track was laid to the left of the covered coal boom extension and a new coal boom was installed, newer technology didn't require the boom to be covered. It was also at this time that the new coke ovens were opened behind the tipple. The new coke ovens had a huge appetite for fine coal (called slack) and the tipple quit shipping the slack coal that it used to load on track one, now it is rare that any hoppers are loaded on track one as there is very little slack coal to spare. Track one also provides a place for tipple workers to roll loaded coke cars into while they wait for pick up.

    [​IMG]
    The "modern" (for the 1950s) coke ovens behind the Derby tipple provided some of the best coke coal produced in the United States. The prototype ovens were actually located at a location called Pine Branch, which is a few miles to the east of Derby, and they operated into the 1970s. The Derby coke ovens used all mechanical means for charging and empting the ovens as well as loading the coke into rail cars. Slack coal is loaded into a "Larry" from a tall cone bottom hopper that is located on a trestle at the end of the oven battery. The larry holds one charge of slack coal to fill an oven. They say that the ovens were so hot that once they were emptied of fresh coke they would dump in a new charge of slack coal and the coal would ignite on its own from the heat stored inside the ovens. When the coke is ready to be removed from the oven (called "pulled" because in the early years a man would use a long hooked bar to pull the coke out of the oven) a machine will line itself up with the oven to be "pulled" and a long hydraulic ram would push out the hot coke onto the conveyor on the opposite side of the oven battery. An empty hopper is spotted under the conveyor and fresh hot coke is loaded from the traveling conveyor into the hopper car. An employee would use a hose and water the hot coke to cool it for transportation. I can only imagine what that hot coke did to the paint on the side of the hoppers [​IMG]

    On the back side of the oven, away from the hopper tracks fresh coke is pushed into a side-dump car that will travel down to the end of the oven battery and dump the coke into a pit where the coke will travel on a conveyor to the coke crusher. The coke crusher will size the coke and load it into either open hoppers of covered hoppers and on a rare occasion it will load into a boxcar. The coke crusher is the tall skinny structure located next to the empty hopper tracks that go under the coal tipple.

    [​IMG]
    OOPS [​IMG] I forgot to retake this picture with the now painted coke loader, oh well. This picture shows the machine that pushed the coke from the ovens, there is one on each side of the oven battery. On every other oven opening there is a metal and concrete door that is hinged on the bottom. The hinged door is lifted so the coke ram can push the coke out the opening on the opposite side of the oven. The openings that the coke comes out of do not have a door, they are bricked up by hand for a specific period of time, typically 5-7 days depending on the customers needs. Sealing the opening of the oven with bricks controls the oxygen supply to the burning coke. Most of the oven opening is bricked closed except for a small space at the top of the oven opening. Bricks get added or removed to control the burn of the coke. All kinds of nasty chemical were burned off the coke coal until a specific amount of carbon is all that is left as specified by the customers. The gasses that were expelled from the ovens during coke production would kill much of the vegetation on the land around the ovens and thick greenish smoke would fill the air twenty-four seven. Working the ovens was not a very nice job.
     
  17. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    Here are some of the flash back photos.

    [​IMG]

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    Darn! I have to take a new picture of this.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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  19. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks again everyone.


    Hummmm.....what's next. ;)
     
  20. Coaltrain

    Coaltrain TrainBoard Member

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    One last photo. Jim Six took my photo and added real smoke and turned it into a B&W. I really love this picture.

    [​IMG]
     

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