What is this?

Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Moderator: therock

What is this?

Postby CPSK » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:17 am

Hi;
I found this object on the NS line near Centerville VA on Google Earth. Can anyone tell me what its purpose is? I would have guessed water tower, but there is no pipe or hose to/from it, and it doesn't look like it's located directly over the track. That projection on top makes me think of a plumbing fixture with wrench bolt.

Image

Thanks
CP
User avatar
CPSK
 
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:29 am

Re: What is this?

Postby hutton_switch » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:28 pm

It appears to be a coaling tower from the days of steam locomotives. If anyone thinks it still has a valid use for today's N&W 611 excursions, think again. Number 611 runs too seldom along that line to make stocking coal in the tower worthwhile. I'm surprised that it wasn't taken down years ago.
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!
hutton_switch
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Re: What is this?

Postby CPSK » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:34 pm

That sounds likely, now that you mention it. Could it be used for sand instead of coal? That said, there doesn't appear to be a method for transferring the sand from the tower to the loco's bins.
Thanks
CP
User avatar
CPSK
 
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:29 am

Re: What is this?

Postby NorthWest » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:05 pm

Some coaling towers in yards were converted to sanding towers, but probably none on the road. Sand is usually refilled when locomotives are fueled.

These coal towers are built to last, with very sturdy concrete construction. As the only way to demolish them is dynamiting (which can have lots of nasty consequences if things go wrong, including blocking the main line for a long period) the railroads are largely content to leave them be for the time being.
User avatar
NorthWest
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Re: What is this?

Postby mmi16 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:12 pm

Coaling towers cost way more to demolish and remove than they do to let stay in place. In today's world of railroading, if the coal tower would be a clearance issue on a double stack line - it would be removed, otherwise it will continue to stand as a part of history.
Never too old to have a happy childhood!
User avatar
mmi16
 
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: USA


Return to DelMarVa & Washington, D.C. Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests