A Text Book on Civil Engineering
Copyright 1897, 1898, 1899 by The Colliery Engineer Company



1819. Coaling stations are points along a railroad where fuel is kept in stock for supplying locomotives. They are placed at all division points, large yards, and sometimes at the summits of long grades where pushers are employed. Formerly, many roads used wood as fuel, but coal, which is far more lasting and more economical of space, is now almost universally used. The coaling stations of thirty years ago were very primitive in design. The fuel was loaded by hand, the coal being loaded into small carts and dumped from a platform into the tender. A very decided advance in design was made when the coal pockets shown in Fig. 636 were introduced. The pockets are supported on bents of trestlework, each pocket comprising the space between two bents. The figure shows the cross-section at A, and the side elevation at B. Each bent is supported by four posts, a, b, c, and d. All are vertical except the last, d, which has a batter of 3 in. to the foot. Timbers e f, 6 in. x 12 in., are bolted to both sides of the posts and supported by batter posts g, h, also 6 in. x 12 in., which are bolted to both post and sill. These combined form the support to the pocket floor system, which consists of 6 in. x 10 in. floor-beams k, l, etc., laid 2 ft. center to center, as shown in the figure, and drift-bolted to the supports. Upon these floor-beams is laid a flooring of 3-in. oak planks, which are covered with plates of sheet iron from one-eighth to three-sixteenth in. in thickness to protect them from the wear of the coal.

The bents are spaced 12 feet, center to center, and planked on both sides above the floor with 3-in. planks, forming a series of pockets. This provides for storing coal of different sizes, so as to meet the requirements of the different types of engines. The partition walls are also protected with sheet iron. The track stringers are placed directly over the middle posts. They consist of two pieces 8 in. x 16 in., and extend over two bents, as in ordinary trestle building. The ties are 7 in. x 8 in. x 10 ft., and notched down 1 in. on the stringers. They carry an 8-in. x 8-in. guard-rail, which is also notched 1 in. on the ties. Stringers are fastened to cap with drift-bolts, ¾ in. x 24 in., round iron. Stringers are spaced 3 in., and held in place by separators of cast iron. Stringer bolts are ¾ in. x 22 in. The bents are further tied together by the timbers m, m, 12 in. x 12 in., which are fastened to the caps with ¾-in. x 20-in. drift-bolts, and by the timbers n, n, 6 in. x 12 in., which partly support the plank walks o. These walks are protected by a railing p p, which is supported by posts spiked to the timbers m, m.

The coal is conducted from the pocket to tender by means of the spout or chute r, composed of planks and sheet iron. This chute, when in position for coaling a tender, is represented by r, and when not in use, by r'. It is fitted with counterweights s, somewhat heavier than itself, which enable the engineman to handle it with ease. The mouth of the pocket is closed by a sliding door t, of cast iron, which works in guides, and is operated by means of a lever u. This lever is attached to a grooved wheel, in which works a chain which is attached to the door t. The lever attachment is shown in detail at C. The chain is fastened to the groove of the wheel with a staple v. Power is applied to the lever by means of the rope w. The wheel is supported by two 4-in. x 12-in. oak timbers x, x, which are bolted to the plate y and the timber m. These are so fastened at the top as to project forward, as shown at x in the elevation. This throws the wheel axis forward, so that the lifting chain will clear the woodwork.

To take coal, the engineman first lowers the spout r; he then pulls down the lever a by means of the rope w, which raises the door t and allows the coal to run from the pocket into the tender. The pocket floor at z should not be less than 11 ft. above the top of the rail.

The loaded cars of coal are dumped directly from the track above into the pockets. The supply track is usually an incline plane, with a grade as sharp as is consistent with safe operation. Sometimes, where space is very limited, the loaded cars of coal are hauled to the top of the pockets by cable over a steep incline.

1820. A Modern Coaling Station.—A modern coaling station is shown in Fig. 637, in which the coal is handled by machinery. The figure includes a general plan of the station, the elevation being shown at A and the cross-section at B. The power to drive the machinery is furnished by the engine c. The machinery consists of an elevator d d and a conveyor e e, composed of link belts carrying projecting pieces of board, which, as they slide through troughs lined with sheet iron, form elevating or conveying buckets, first elevating the coal from the pocket beneath the track where it is dumped from the car, to the head of the incline, and then conveying it to the different pockets, where it is stored ready for the use of locomotives. The link belts are driven by sprocket wheels f and g. The power is transmitted from the engine to the machinery by means of a wire rope belt. The main sheaves h and k are 6 feet in diameter. They are attached to shafts carrying pinions which drive the gears l and m, and with them the sprocket wheels f and g. The coal to be elevated to the coal pockets is first dumped from the car n into a chamber beneath the track. The coal runs by gravity from this chamber through the opening o into the elevating chute p, which is lined with sheet iron, and as the projecting boards carried by the link belt pass under the sprocket wheel q, they push the coal before them, forming a series of buckets, which carry the coal to the point r, where an opening in the chute allows the coal to fall into the conveying chute s. Here a similar series of buckets, passing around the sprocket wheel t, collects the coal as it falls from the elevator chute and carries it to the storage pockets of the station. In the bottom of the conveying chute, and directly above each pocket, is an opening of suitable dimensions. These openings are fitted with sliding covers, which are close fitting, and all of them are closed excepting the one connecting with the pocket to be filled. The sheave u is fitted with a sliding journal which provides for taking up any slack in the wire rope drive due to stretching. The link belt of the elevator on its return is supported by the sheaves v and w, and the conveyor belt by the sheave x. These sheaves are supported by brackets bolted to the floor timbers of the chutes. The pockets are enclosed with planks and covered by a slate roof, an open space 2 feet in width being left under the eaves for the free circulation of air. The general form of the coal pockets is the same as those shown in Fig. 636. The coaling spouts y, y are made of cast iron, instead of plank lined with sheet iron. The spouts are raised and lowered by means of counterweights as shown both in elevation and cross-section. The pockets are lined with sheet iron or steel. The gauge line of the track is commonly placed 5 ft. from the face of the coal pockets, and the bottom of the pockets at their connection with the spouts 12 ft. above the rail.

Structures | Contents Page

Do you have any information you'd like to share on this subject? Please email me!
The Catskill Archive website and all contents, unless otherwise specified,
are 1996-2010 Timothy J. Mallery