mime-version: 1.0 content-location: file:///C:/68096A35/List_Coalingappliances_letters_11_01_1905.htm content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable content-type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Letter regarding the trestle type coal station – often called= the “Great Northern type”

2   &n= bsp;      Letters and then a report regarding the trestle type coal station – often ca= lled the “Great Northern type”, and why it was quickly superseded b= y the link belt coaler, a design that would remain in some places - to the end o= f the steam era.


N= orthern Pacific Railway Company.


Missoula, Mont., Nov. 1, 1905<= o:p>


Coaling Applian= ces.


Coaling Committee


Mr. A Gibson        = ;         Supt.=      Missoula

Mr. N Kline        = ;   Asst. Supt.    = ;  St.Paul

Mr. W= C Albee        = ;       Supt.      Tacoma

Mr. F= E Weymouth        Supt.      Seattle

Mr. D Boyle        = ;           Supt.      Livingston

Mr. E= J Pearson   Chief Eng.       St. Paul, Mn.      


Gentl= emen;

The Superintendent’s Convention is fast approaching and it seems to me t= hat our committee were getting some action on repor= t to be presented to the General Superintendent at our meeting in December. Shall be pleased to have your ideas in regard to the above s= ubject.

My own experience has been  that= the Great northern type of dock, or a dock of similar construction, is the most economical to operate, providing the machinery is heavier than that now us= ed at such docks as I have seen. This type, on the Northern Pacific Railway, with heavier hoisting machinery and action quicker would be preferable where sp= ace would permit locating such docks.

One objection to this dock is that so much space is required to admit of placi= ng tracks to accommodate it and the necessary trestle approach to the dock. T= his extra space is unnecessary with the link belt type of dock and, at various= points along the road, or in fact, along any road, is quite an item where yards a= re cramped and space limited. The link belt type of dock at such points would= be my choice and generally speaking on the Northern Pacific railway, the opportunities for the Great Northern type of dock are not very good. =

The present link belt machinery has been greatly improved over what it was a f= ew years ago and the trouble experienced over this division with this machine= ry in the past eight months has been practically nothing.  We have not had a delay to a trai= n on account of broken dock machinery.  Storage in the link belt type of dock is greater than in the Great northern type, which in my judgment, is quite an advantage. 

Another advantage with the link belt type of dock is that it can be utilized for supplying engines on several tracks when so constructed that engines can p= ass under the dock and coal can be transported to suit varying conditions.

Kindly let me have your views on this subject as early as possible so our report = can be prepared before our next meeting takes place.        = ;     


Yours truly,

Andrew Gibson

Missoula  Superintendent.

 = ;

Response of W. C. Albee, Superintendent at Tacoma, seems to close the door to fur= ther expansion of the Great Northern trestle type coaler. The bucket type coale= r is still in the future, for now the Link belt loader is the name of the game.=



Tacoma= , Washin= gton. December 1= st , 1905


Mr. A= ndrew Gibson,

Super= intendent, Missoula,


Dear = Sir:

Referring to your letter of Nove= mber 1st, concerning subject of coaling appliances.

Would= advise that while the great Northern type of dock, of which we have one in Ellens= burg, is probably the most economical to operate, it takes up a great deal of ro= om, affords increased fire risk and liability of accident sometimes in car get= ting away when partially up the incline. I find the same objection that you men= tion, of very slow action with the hoisting machinery, taking about twenty to twenty-five minutes to put up a car of coal. One very serious objection al= so is the lack of storage. Heretofore there has been but little effort made in arranging coal dock construction to provide storage; this account of close proximity to coal mines. However, of late years the decided increase in business has resulted in having to carry quite a large amount of coal on h= and in cars, thus causing serious delay to equipment and taking up room in yar= ds. I believe it more economical to provide increased storage in bunkers, and th= us avoid unnecessary delay to equipment while under load with Company coal.

The link belt type of dock seems to meet conditions to the best advantage, and= I concur in your recommendation where there is a = large number of engines to be coaled, it is desirable to so arrange that engines= can take coal on several tracks while passing the dock. This type of bunker can also be arranged as to mix the different kinds of coal, which is necessary= on this division with certain classes of coal, in order to obtain full effici= ency.

Coal bunkers of this type recently constructed in Seattle. Seems to meet these condition= s very well. I presume you will obtain a report from Superintendent Weymouth in r= egard to his experiences with this dock.


Yours truly,

W A Albee  

Tacoma Superintendent

&= nbsp;









On the subject of Coaling Appliances a great deal has been said and written d= uring the past few years. In my experience I find that the link belt type of doc= ks are, as a general rule, much more satisfactory to our use than any other t= ype of dock now in existence on our line, being more economical to operate and giving us the advantage of placing the dock in a more limited space of gro= und than required by other types of docks, also allowing us to add or revise t= he construction in such a way that that we can apply mixing arraignment(s), w= hich is necessary especially on the Seattle Division where we use mixed coal, a= nd also provides an opportunity for getting more storage room in connection  with the dock which is also valua= ble. Also provides for coaling engines on several different tracks, where condi= tions warrant the same.

Improvements which have been made in the construction of machinery for the link belt ty= pe of dock within the last few years has been of great benefit and I believe tha= t

My principal objection to the Great Northern type of dock is the danger invol= ved in pulling heavily loaded cars of coal up incline to top of dock. Docks as= a general rule should be located, especially at terminals points, as near the roundhouse as possible. This style of dock is especially objectionable on account of the room it requires in getting incline track leading to dock located that will not interfere with other yard work.


- - - - - - - - - - - - -