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> loading a coaling tower
Big Dave
post 16 Oct 2010, 19:35
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I have been thinking about how a coaling tower was filled. I know that a wagon was lifted up the side and tiped in to the tower but what I am looking at is how were the wagons movedon and off the platform was it done one by one im trying to see the working side of the loading.

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34C
post 16 Oct 2010, 19:56
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There was a through road over the lifting platform. Loaded wagons were moved onto the platform one at a time, lifted, emptied and returned to ground level. The empty wagon was then moved off the platform, clearing it for the next loaded wagon to be moved on and lifted.

The usual source of power for wagon moves of this sort on a mechanised site was a capstan, with a cunningly positioned idler roller or two, which enabled wagons to be dragged into the required position by a wire rope.
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Big Dave
post 16 Oct 2010, 20:32
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Thanks 34c I did a search on the web but that part never came up. Do you happen to know of any photos that may show this.Many thanks
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upnick
post 16 Oct 2010, 21:54
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Hi Dave heres a tipping wagon mechanism

http://incebps.org.uk/images/Coal_Wagon_Tippler.JPG

The video here shows loading into a barge of course but the principle is the same the wagon went higher to the level off the tower required & returned to the track.



Dont quote me but i thought DWB had posted a picture of a wagon going up a coal tower not too long ago question.gif

EDIT: I found this link thats worth reading through especially of note the line drawing?

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...showtopic=13104


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Big Dave
post 16 Oct 2010, 22:05
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Thanks Nick but it was how the wagons were moved on and off the platform I was asking about. I did not think they used a train to move them on and off would take to long. I am thinking about that coal tower I got that you showed me some time back.
Dave


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dwb
post 16 Oct 2010, 22:08
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QUOTE
Dont quote me but i thought DWB had posted a picture of a wagon going up a coal tower not too long ago


It wasn't me but I did find this topic (link) which has a photo originally posted by Free At Last and quoted by Grifter Guru. It includes drawings.

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John Webb
post 17 Oct 2010, 08:24
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I understand that in most places they would have used any engine to hand to move the wagons along. To avoid stressing the hoist mechanism there would have been a ban on locos actually crossing the hoist? I am uncertain that they would have had a hydraulic capstan for moving the wagons as it would have been the only such item around and therefore expensive to install and possibly susceptible to the dust and dirt associated with a loco yard? (Such capstans were popular in the larger goods yards, partly as a means of keeping dirty steam engines away from goods sheds!)

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34C
post 17 Oct 2010, 11:10
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I was thinking electric power for a capstan, since that was required in any case for the wagon hoist and tippler and the internal operation of the coal hopper diverter and jigger feeds. Frustratingly the users of these devices don't tell us much about the movement of the wagons in their operation, in the sources I have available. I found a reference to the great asset of these coaling towers was that a shed pilot only had to place a string of loaded wagons ready for the hoist and was then free for other duties at Hornsey, unlike the 'push the wagons up a ramp' elevated manual coaling stage it replaced, which required a loco almost continuously for its' working. (Great Northern Railway Engine Sheds, Griffith and Hooper.)

Now this book has several decent pictures of these elevator coaling towers: I cannot see a capstan anywhere, so knock that on the head. What I can see in some of these pictures is a gradient on the wagon siding from the loaded side down toward the lifting platform. Was it simply gravity that moved each wagon in turn onto the lift platform at some of these coaler locations? Peter Townend in his 'Top Shed' briefly refers to the planned loading of the 34A coaling tower's 500 ton bunkerage in a single operation on the day shift. The track here appears to be level, so possibly this was worked by a shed pilot in a single shunt operation, pushing the string of wagons to place each in turn onto the lift, progressively moving the empties through on the continuing line alongside the ashpits, where some of these wagons would be loaded with ashes?

This really needs someone who did the job to tell how it was done...
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Big Dave
post 17 Oct 2010, 12:18
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Hi 34c yes I have found much the same thing it's a part that has not been covered. It is interesting as to how it would be done, I can see that maybe the full wagons would have been shunted a long, but it is the empty one's I am finding harder to work out. What is odd is that what little l have seen of wagon loading the tower only one wagon is to be seen. Hope some one can help with this.

Dave


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John Webb
post 17 Oct 2010, 15:54
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34C - Thanks for the thought about using an electrically-worked capstan.

A photo on page 54 of Chris Leigh's book "A Railway Modeller's Picture Library" shows the LMS coaling tower at Toton and quite clearly by the trackside close to the lifting section there is a capstan visible! So at least in one place that's how they did it. Bearing in mind the LMS built a number of these towers as part of a major 1930s refurbishment of sheds, it seems likely this was done elsewhere as well.

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John
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Makemineadouble
post 17 Oct 2010, 22:14
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The LMS coaling tower @ Bristol Barrow Rd took one wagon at a time. I've never seen a picture showing more an one wagon on a hoist. I'm guessing a bit here but a standard prewar coal wagon would hold say 10 ton of coal
the average tender loco say 5 ton of coal (if re coaling and assuming the tender wasn't completely empty) so 1 wagon = two engines refueled.
As a guesstimate !
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6c8h
post 18 Oct 2010, 18:17
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Most of the LMS types lifted the whole wagon, tipped the contents into a bunker. Always one at a time so the wagon could be centred properly and the other kept out of the way until it was their turn....

Many sheds had different grades for passenger and goods locos too, so the coalman had to make sure the right grade went into the right bunker - see Crewe North, Preston etc.

Sheds big enough to have these plants would have a loco acting as shed pilot 24 hours a day. Some of the medium to large depots having 150 ton bunkers would use between 150 - 200 tons a day, so it was an ongoing process keeping the coaling plant replenished.

Except on long express runs - goods and passenger - tenders rarely got anywhere near empty of coal - more typically on more workaday duties a Stanier 9 ton tender on a black 5 would top up with around 3 tons !

Now with a small fowler tender or GWR 3500 gallon - it could be a lot more dicey !


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Big Dave
post 18 Oct 2010, 20:00
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Well look like if I make this a centre part on the layout it will need a lot of coal wagons. My thinking is to have a coaling tower then a turntable then on to the shed so it would be ready for it's next duty. I have seen a plan some were like that but one thing puzzled me the after the coal tower there was a coal staithes why would they be there question.gif I see if I can find that plan again.

Dave


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Makemineadouble
post 19 Oct 2010, 09:02
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I'm positive the coal staithes would not be connected to the coaling tower. But you know how it is with modelling you have to compress things to fit.
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34C
post 19 Oct 2010, 09:33
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Those won't be staithes as such (really staithes are an undertrack drop pit for coal or minerals) but a little modelled feature that was once a regular sight at larger loco depots: the coal stack. Where it is located would be a matter of wherever there was useful space, there might be just one, two or more if a single good sized location was unavailable. They could be large too, the one at Kings Cross Top Shed was about eighty yards long, and was good for a week's supply by reputation. It stood to the North side of the running shed, served by sidings either side, well away from the coaling tower in this case. This was the standing reserve against any supply interruption, and any significant problem with the coal handling plant where one was installed.

The railway had plenty of old sleepers to build confinement if required, and the coal was then piled in: ideally bought in the summer when pit-head prices fell due to reduced demand. The limitation with the typical grades of UK bituminous coal was that the height could not exceed about 11 feet. The bottom spontaneously ignites if there is too much pressure, and then you quickly have a much smaller ash heap...
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