Large Scale Central

Coaling Facility - Small for Branch Line w Pics

Fred has asked me to upload these four pics for him. Wish me luck…

That actually seems to have worked. Enjoy.

Fred commented that the topic of small coaling facilities often arises, and also that engine servicing, which I hasten to add is often under represented, can make a significant contribution to our operations.

Thanks for this, Fred! (Mills - is there any doubt?)

Is the coal brought in by boxcar?

Loved the white uniform.


There was a bit of information with the pictures that didn’t get included…

The method of coaling, shown in the pictures included a lot of manual labour, often involving maintenance of way workers, or any railroad labour handy at the time. Labour was relatively inexpensive, even into the middle “50’s”

The box car in the photo, may have been used to bring the coal to the stage, after coal was manually shovelled into it from a coal pile, somewhere in the engine facilities. Its floor was at the correct height to match that of the coaling stage.

The hand truck, in one of the pictures, being used by the “White suited” worker, was used to load the coaling buckets. Each bucket had a drop bottom.

You must understand, that in Chipman, New Brunswick, at the time, there was seldom if ever, more than 2 4-4-0 locomotives in service. There were 3 of them that the CPR kept in service, just for the branch line, late into the 50’s, due to the need of a very light locomotive, to cross a particular bridge. The locomotives were CPR numbers 136, 144, and 29. All were preserved at one time. 144 was possibly lost in a fire somewhere in Nova Scotia; 29, and 136 still exist…29 is in Ontario…I’m not sure where 136 is…

There were a number of coaling stages such as this one. There were at least 3 of them, not far from Ottawa, at one time, up until the end of steam in the very early 50’s.

Fred Mills

Interesting design Fred. If my memory is correct, Bruce Chandler did a similar article here

Yes, Bob; Bruce did build one which was similar in it’s method of loading coal. It had more of a protective building around it, with a roof and 3 sides, if I remember correctly. He made a great job of it.

Fred Mills

Thanks Fred, I am aware of CPR’s light locos in a couple of provinces. Trains and later Classic Trains magazines have shown them.

I also appreciate how much manual labor was used. I only saw the sand house to the left and weeds behind the stand, so here coal must be delivered by boxcar to keep it dry and neat.

Bob Cope said:

Interesting design Fred. If my memory is correct, Bruce Chandler did a similar article here

Thanks, Bob…don’t know how I missed it, or whether I’ve forgotten, but I felt that build should be brought out of the archives for a second look.

Well, this would be a cool little project, especially if you’re looking for something for the “Challenge”.