Cedar Hill Coaling Tower

jonsauter
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Joined: 11:47 AM - Sep 03, 2013

11:47 AM - Sep 03, 2013 #1

How was the sand moved to the top of the tower to the dry sand storage before gravity feeding to the sand pipes?  The Shoreliner article in Vol. 32 Issue 4 talks of compressed air, but how was the sand delivered and how transferred?...Thanks. Jon Sauter, Oviedo, Fl. (formerly resident of North Haven and Montowese Volunteer firefighter).
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: 2:23 AM - Feb 18, 2003

3:44 PM - Sep 03, 2013 #2

Handling locomotive sand was and still is a rather involved process.  I can speak for Waterbury when I worked there, the sand was dried in a "sandhouse" and then it was blown up in to the old coaling tower (sometilng like the one at Cedar Hill but not as big) by compressed air after it was fully dried and I mean it was DRY.  I can't remember just how we got the sand at the roundhouse but I think it was in burlap bags in a box car. 
Noel Weaver
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NH746EJO
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Joined: 7:18 PM - Nov 24, 2007

11:05 AM - Sep 04, 2013 #3

There were two follow-up letters about sand facilities at Cedar Hill in the "Wire Train" section of the Shoreliner Vol.33 Issues 3 and 4.  The real question that is still not definitely answered is -- where was the sand dried ?  There are two theories. 1) Sand was delivered and lifted to the top of the tower using the coal mechanism and then dried in the tower and gravity delivered to the locomotives -- this is the automatic system used in many coal towers built then and until the end of steam.  2)  Sand was dried at the electric/diesel facility about 600 feet north of the tower and blown to storage at the top of the coaling tower using compressed air in underground pipes.  If anyone has proof of what method was used it would be appreciated.  There is loads of speculation available but proof in the form of a blueprint of the tower interior, a technical article in a trade magazine or a Roberts & Schaefer information sheet is needed.
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

5:46 PM - Sep 04, 2013 #5

Google is our friend.
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: 2:23 AM - Feb 18, 2003

11:03 PM - Sep 04, 2013 #6

I don't think sand was blown up in to any towers BEFORE it was fully dry.  Even a little bit of water in the sand would clog the pipe and make it impossible for the sand to be blown up by compressed air in a rather small pipe.  There might have been a method in Cedar Hill whereby more sand per day could have been blown up in to the tower but it still had to be fully dry first.  There were no facilities in any of the old coal towers to dry sand in the tower itself.  In Waterbury there was a furnace/stove in the sand house where the sand was put in a bin to dry then shoveled into another bin to be blown up in to the coal tower and the pipe went right up to the top of the old concrete coal tower.  While I was engine dispatcher in Waterbury one Sunday morning I got very brave and climbed up the old black stair to the top of the coal tower for a look around, not bad going up but scard beyond belief coming back down, I held on tight.  I could see all over the city of Waterbury from that spot, wish I had my camera with me but I would have probably been too scared to try to use it.  I was young, brave and sometimes pretty stupid in those days.  OH yes, they covered the top where the coal was dumped into the main portion of the tower with planks painted black but I was not brave enough to climb on to these planks.Noel Weaver
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NHRHTA1
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Joined: 5:17 AM - Apr 12, 2003

11:31 PM - Sep 04, 2013 #7

Agreed Noel, "It's a wise man who knows where bravery ends and stupidity begins"! LOL
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

8:13 AM - Sep 05, 2013 #8

If I remember correctly, the sand drier at Oak Point Motor Storage was essentially a big, oversized frying pan over a (gas?) fire.
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Ed ORourke
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Joined: 9:50 PM - Oct 04, 2008

8:42 AM - Sep 05, 2013 #9

There was also a coaling tower in NH Station area. They must have used that at some time as well. When did it go out of service?

I am still trying to find information about the ashpit conveyor at the station as well. Any idea what it might have looked like?

Ed
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NHRHTA1
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Joined: 5:17 AM - Apr 12, 2003

11:53 AM - Sep 05, 2013 #10

The facility was at the Lamberton street site.
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