Author Topic: Coal operations at Midland  (Read 2182 times)

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Stephane Benoit

  • Monon Fireman
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Coal operations at Midland
« on: May 22, 2014, 09:45:34 am »
Was there any specific order to the I&L turn for working the coal fields? This is what I have from Bob Edwards:
The I & L turn local coal freight departed McDoel on Monday morning and returned on Friday afternoon.  With the switch to diesels, the engines consisted of the EMD F3 A and B units numbered 51.  It apparently picked up empty coal cars north of Greencastle at Bainbridge or else at Wallace Junction before moving down to Midland where it would work the strip coal mines.  It would make 2-3 runs during the week moving loaded coal cars to Bainbridge making the final delivery on Friday before returning light back to McDoel yard.  Bainbridge was at the peak of a steep grade and it was easier for northbound, fast freights to pick up the loaded cars there.  The opposite could be said concerning empty coal cars that they could be cut out of fast freights easier at Wallace Junction rather than at Bainbridge.  The coal from the Monon’s Latta coal field was shipped to customers in northern Indiana and on up into Wisconsin.

I'm making a set of activities for Rick's MSTS route and wanted to be as accurate as possible,using August 57 era.   THANKS!    Benny

Ron Marquardt

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Re: Coal operations at Midland
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 01:07:52 pm »
That is essentially correct Benny, although the trips to Bainbridge varied according to how much coal the mines were loading, or how many empties were available.  Back in those days we referred to them as "single car mines" although in reality the mines may have loaded several dozen cars every day.  The loads were always weighed at Midland before leaving there.  The scales, which were longer than a hopper, sat at the top of a little rise in the track on the yard lead, and after each car was weighed, it was cut off and allowed to roll down into the yards.  Kind of a mini-hump yard.

The term we used for the Friday trip from Bainbridge to McDoel was "running caboose light" or "cab light" as opposed to simply "running light" when we had only the engine consist.  / Ron

Stephane Benoit

  • Monon Fireman
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  • Posts: 3
Re: Coal operations at Midland
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 11:01:37 am »
Thanks for the help Ron.
Do you know which mines were serviced on the runs and any particular order? The route has Ayrshire,Maumee28 & 25,Peabody Miller,White Rose ,Black cat and Little Giant.

I have all the books,but little is said and I want things accurate!!

Ron Marquardt

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Re: Coal operations at Midland
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 11:30:09 am »
Sorry Steve, but I don't remember the names of the mines.  They weren't switched in any particular order though.  As they loaded coal out, they would call the agent and he would direct the crews to switch them.  They varied from day to day.  / Ron