bridgeport,ct

An open forum to discuss all aspects of the New Haven Railroad.
Richard Abramson
Member
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 21:23

29 Aug 2017, 14:14 #51

DBrion wrote: I stand corrected ... the hour was very late (or very early) as it was 2:00 AM and my tired brain was only at one-quarter throttle.  I did see the road number 1409 but I typed GP9 instead of RS11.  All I can plead is mea culpa, mea culpa, and wait to be taken out to the wood shed for proper training!  🙃
Dick:
Problem is you might "enjoy"the proper training...
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rsullivan
Member
Joined: 14 Dec 2016, 20:36

29 Aug 2017, 14:47 #52

Mr. DBrion. Who knew if after being uploaded by Mr. Frank R, transmitted on Tapatalks system over Yuku.com network, screen and filtered by NSA, then sent to all the Forum members, what got sent to you in southeastern Tennessee, and me in far western Kentucky (they forget about us because the official maps end and you have to look up for the box with our little segment) your locomotives may have been DERS-4 GP9 #1209, 1212, 1207, and #?. I wasn't doubting you as I was looking at them just a little later, you at 2:03 (1:03 CDT) and me at 1:20ish CDT (2:20ish EDT). When you said GP9 and I saw chopped corners and 1400 series numbers, I looked at all the pictures going back a couple of pages and searched the corners for locomotive I may have missed. When I didn't find them, I figured you received a picture I didn't. Understanding fatigue, it's all kewl. Either way they are great pictures that show the development of the area. Mr. Frank R did wonder why the switch to imported coal, and it is simply cheaper extraction costs. Coal miners in Kentucky were paid higher, the mine operators had to meet strict federal mine safety and environmental standards, and there is a tax per ton on resources extracted, and at every transfer after the minehead in Kentucky. Those didn't exist in foreign coal production. Then even today it is cheaper to ship by water. We receive two to three up to 120 coal loads per day at the South Company blending facility from all over (locos from UP - all schemes, BNSF - all schemes, CN - GTW, IC, and various CN schemes, CSX, and NS) for TVA and its tranferred to barges. The city gets a pretty penny for each ton unloaded for the blending and transfer. Then there are two trains from various railroads that go through to Grand Rivers terminal on Kentucky Lake for direct car to barge discharge, and Grand Rivers does well from that and the hugh underground limestone quarry. So, better wages, mandated safety and environmental rules, taxes and low transportstion costs verses minimal wage related to cost-of-living, no mine safety or environmental regulations, or taxes on resources and lower transportation costs made the foreign coal more economical in the long run. I did notice that all the coal cars belong to the B&O, which is common in other pictures in books and articles too. I'm going to be unprototypical on my layout because I've stocked up on C&O coal cars. I like all the variety of ends, lengthes, and lettering. So, oh well.
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr.  member #3967
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pnorkawich
Member
Joined: 17 Aug 2017, 12:51

30 Aug 2017, 01:40 #53

Thanks so much for the pictures, I really appreciate them. They will help me with my modeling. I haven't settled on a specific year yet, but more information is better. You guys are awesome! Thanks, Pete

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Statkowski
Member
Joined: 05 Mar 2003, 09:39

30 Aug 2017, 02:47 #54

Living in coal country, over time one learns or absorbs a wealth of information not necessarily known to the outside world.  I do find it interesting that United Illuminating found it less expensive to import "steam" coal at times when it was burning coal.  The coal market can be quite finicky at times.  Right now, for example, Appalachian "met" coal is being exported through Baltimore, Md. for overseas markets.  Of course, for political or other reasons, some former suppliers of coal have ceased (Eastern Ukraine, England, Japan), some are inaccessible (North Korea), and for some the quality is less than desired (Manchuria).

When operating steam locomotives, the New Haven received "run of mine" coal mostly from West Virginia.  Much of Western Pennsylvania's coal mines were in "captive" service for the steel mills (Bethlehem Steel owned its own coal mines), or, in the case of Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation, were in "captive" service for the New York Central Railroad.

A most interesting subset of railroading and railroad history.
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rsullivan
Member
Joined: 14 Dec 2016, 20:36

30 Aug 2017, 15:22 #55

As Mr. Statkowski said, the improvement in the export market for coal is helping, but the Appalachian coal mines are also dependent on the railroads for survival. The mines were the sole industry for many counties, and as mines closed the railroad company would remove a section of track so it was not required to maintain it, then after a period apply for abandonment, then remove all the rail. In far eastern Kentucky where you give directions by up and down, Harlan County had eight mines at the beginning of this century. They closed down rapidly in the past few years, and the tracks were approved for abandonment and removed. In June of 2016 there were still 764 miners, and by mid-October the last mine had closed and the tracks approved for abandonment and removed. CSX won't be laying rail again, so those mines are history. Also the mines weren't all large. I was in MP dog school in January of '71 with a MP from Blackey, Kentucky. His family holler had a coal car spotted every week that they filled from their underground mine. Blackey is in Letcher County, which butts with Harlan along the Virginia border. Like Mr. Statkowski's Cherry Tree, Blackey is down in population to 153 in 2000, but was a coal mining boom-town starting in 1912 when the Lexington and Eastern RR ran tracks through the 1908 post office settlement. The boom turned to bust with the flash flood went through the town along the North Fork of the Kentucky River, followed by a December fire which destroyed half the town and a second fire in 1928 that destroyed the rest of it. The Blackey State Bank failed at the start of the depression, and mining declined but was still going on in 1979. CSX still runs a two track line through the town. In western Kentucky to the east of me surface and underground mines still exist with rail service and coal trucks to railhead tipples or manufacturing plants. Coal trucks have a higher weight limit on bridges and roads than all other commercial vehicles. But, the coal isn't just for export. Kentucky coal is used for fly ash concrete production. Fly ash is similar to the vocanic ash the Romans used which has very small pores, keeping out water, salts and alkilis, and making them last longer. California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Texas use fly ash concrete in more than 75% of concrete construction, with California in virtually all concrete projects. California requires Class F fly ash concrete. General construction requires Class C fly ash. Kentucky is studying low cost compound additives to lower the air entrainment of Class F fly ash concrete so it will have smaller pores comparable with Class C fly ash concrete, even though it has smaller pores than Portland Cement concrete. Since California doesn't allow any coal combustion in state, it imports all Class F fly ash for concrete production. Currently from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Canada, Japan, and India. You would think that strings of covered hoppers from more states and provinces in the US and Canada would be cheaper than overseas shipping, but bulk water-board shipments are cheaper by the mile both domestically and internationally. The Rockies and Sierras stop barge traffic to the west coast, which is good for the real and model railroaders. Imagine celebrating the driving of the gold lock? 
Drifting back to the thread topic. The Port of Bridgeport is at the opening of the Pequonnock River and historically served passengers, dry bulk, ship building, and still serves general bulk cargo, petroleum, and towage. It was the starting point for the Housatonic RR, Naugatuck RR, and of course the New Haven RR. The lower yard valuation maps show the passenger and cargo companies of the Port and the railroad passenger station and frieghthouses. The pictures show the railroad's supplying of UI, and later the Port's abilitity to provide coal supplies for UI. The new Connecticut Port Authority is hoping to bring Bridgeport back on the global market scene with the dredging of the harbor to accomodate deepwater cargo vessels again. (Did I drift back far enough?)
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr.  member #3967
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Frank R
Member
Joined: 21 Feb 2007, 09:33

30 Aug 2017, 20:58 #56

Here's some of the backstory (and history) of the Bridgeport UI power plant burning coal.  
Coal from different areas have different properties, some are vastly different than others (combustion temperatures, ash content, (bottom ash) slag content, ash fusion temperature, and other criteria). Power plant boilers that burn coal are also different in regard to the temperature needed to perform correctly, ability to handle the ash and slag, etc..
UI burned coal during two periods of time, the first was from 1957 to 1968 in their two smaller units which were similar to each other and the optimum coal for both was from a certain part of Kentucky (obviously, the boiler manufacturer knew where to get the coal that was best for their product and its availability). The reason they converted those units to oil in '68 was at the time, residual fuel oil was very cheap and delivering it, storing it, getting it into the boiler was much cheaper than using coal. UI was in the process of building a new, super-sized (for the time) unit at about that time and it was designed to burn coal, coal that came from a different region of Kentucky/West Virginia - the quantities needed would surpass the ability of the railroads to deliver it here, it was going to go through Norfolk VA. and get here by barge.  Midway through the construction of that unit in '68, the decision was made to burn oil and it was "converted" to burn oil, but all the coal handling equipment was bought and paid for, so they installed it all.  
Then in the 80's, the cost of oil was so high (with all the enviro. rules, crazy state utility taxes etc.) which thereby impacted the cost of electricity, which thereby affected the local economy at every level, They decided to burn coal in the big unit as it was designed with further improvements. That worked for a few years using the Kentucky/WV coal, but then, in the 90's, the state decided to further tighten the enviro. rules, and the Kentucky coal could no longer be used in that boiler unless they built a scrubber to remove the pollutants (costing 2x what it cost to build the entire original plant). There was, however, a certain coal that could be used to meet the new rules that wouldn't require the scrubber, and it could be acquired either from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming or a certain region of Indonesia.  Logical common sense would lean toward the US coal, it was mined in open pits, not underground so the danger to the people wasn't there. BUT, we were told it was solely due to the transportation costs (read: the railroads) getting it here from there that made it prohibitive.  It seemed like the stuff in Indonesia must have been be free coming out of the ground using peasants with straw baskets to move it, or something.  However it got on the ocean going ships was invisible to us, but when they got here, they transloaded the coal from the ship to barges in Long Island Sound and barged it to the plant. And it was cheaper than using domestic coal coming from 2000 miles away vs. this coming from halfway around the world!  It helped keep electricity costs lower than would have otherwise been had that unit making 400MW been kept on oil.  Prices were still sky high, but it would have been worse.  Lately, with the advent of cheap and plentiful natural gas, that plant doesn't run much except for extreme high usage days.

Epilogue: the coal plant is going to be retired in 5 years, being replaced by a natural gas fired combined cycle plant being built on the footprint of the old oil tanks.
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rsullivan
Member
Joined: 14 Dec 2016, 20:36

31 Aug 2017, 02:11 #57

Thanks Mr. Frank R for that rundown of the evolution of the Bridgeport UI facilities.
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr.  member #3967
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pnorkawich
Member
Joined: 17 Aug 2017, 12:51

31 Aug 2017, 13:21 #58

Thank you Mr Frank R

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pnorkawich
Member
Joined: 17 Aug 2017, 12:51

04 Sep 2017, 03:20 #59

rsullivan wrote:As Mr. Statkowski said, the improvement in the export market for coal is helping, but the Appalachian coal mines are also dependent on the railroads for survival. The mines were the sole industry for many counties, and as mines closed the railroad company would remove a section of track so it was not required to maintain it, then after a period apply for abandonment, then remove all the rail. In far eastern Kentucky where you give directions by up and down, Harlan County had eight mines at the beginning of this century. They closed down rapidly in the past few years, and the tracks were approved for abandonment and removed. In June of 2016 there were still 764 miners, and by mid-October the last mine had closed and the tracks approved for abandonment and removed. CSX won't be laying rail again, so those mines are history. Also the mines weren't all large. I was in MP dog school in January of '71 with a MP from Blackey, Kentucky. His family holler had a coal car spotted every week that they filled from their underground mine. Blackey is in Letcher County, which butts with Harlan along the Virginia border. Like Mr. Statkowski's Cherry Tree, Blackey is down in population to 153 in 2000, but was a coal mining boom-town starting in 1912 when the Lexington and Eastern RR ran tracks through the 1908 post office settlement. The boom turned to bust with the flash flood went through the town along the North Fork of the Kentucky River, followed by a December fire which destroyed half the town and a second fire in 1928 that destroyed the rest of it. The Blackey State Bank failed at the start of the depression, and mining declined but was still going on in 1979. CSX still runs a two track line through the town. In western Kentucky to the east of me surface and underground mines still exist with rail service and coal trucks to railhead tipples or manufacturing plants. Coal trucks have a higher weight limit on bridges and roads than all other commercial vehicles. But, the coal isn't just for export. Kentucky coal is used for fly ash concrete production. Fly ash is similar to the vocanic ash the Romans used which has very small pores, keeping out water, salts and alkilis, and making them last longer. California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Texas use fly ash concrete in more than 75% of concrete construction, with California in virtually all concrete projects. California requires Class F fly ash concrete. General construction requires Class C fly ash. Kentucky is studying low cost compound additives to lower the air entrainment of Class F fly ash concrete so it will have smaller pores comparable with Class C fly ash concrete, even though it has smaller pores than Portland Cement concrete. Since California doesn't allow any coal combustion in state, it imports all Class F fly ash for concrete production. Currently from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Canada, Japan, and India. You would think that strings of covered hoppers from more states and provinces in the US and Canada would be cheaper than overseas shipping, but bulk water-board shipments are cheaper by the mile both domestically and internationally. The Rockies and Sierras stop barge traffic to the west coast, which is good for the real and model railroaders. Imagine celebrating the driving of the gold lock? 
Drifting back to the thread topic. The Port of Bridgeport is at the opening of the Pequonnock River and historically served passengers, dry bulk, ship building, and still serves general bulk cargo, petroleum, and towage. It was the starting point for the Housatonic RR, Naugatuck RR, and of course the New Haven RR. The lower yard valuation maps show the passenger and cargo companies of the Port and the railroad passenger station and frieghthouses. The pictures show the railroad's supplying of UI, and later the Port's abilitity to provide coal supplies for UI. The new Connecticut Port Authority is hoping to bring Bridgeport back on the global market scene with the dredging of the harbor to accomodate deepwater cargo vessels again. (Did I drift back far enough?)
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr.  member #3967
Mr Sullivan, Thanks for the information and education on the coal requirements for the Bridgeport plant. I appreciate it.

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