Coal mine Blueprints??

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Oct 14 07:24:20 EDT 2013

The NWHS series of branch line books (Bluestone, Tug Fork, North Fork, Dry
Fork) contain pictures and siding layouts for many of the mines on those
branch lines. “Billion Dollar Coalfield,” available through the commissary,
contains pictures and siding layouts for many of the mines in McDowell
County. “Coalwood,” available through the commissary, contains details on
building the Olga No. 2 shaft mine on Caretta branch, including some

There is no standard mine configuration because the operational layout was
dependent on what the topology allowed and it also depended on time period.
Before about 1914 a mine was required to have a power house to produce
electricity for mine and community. After 1915 commercial power became
available through Appalachian Power Company to many of the mines. A large
mining company may have built a single power house to supply multiple mines
(USS at Gary, Berwind mines on Dry Fork, Pocahontas Consolidated Collieries
at Lick Branch). Before the 1920s, many coal companies sold run-of-the mine
and had single chute tipples. Around the mid-1920s cola companies built new
tipples with multiple screens and chutes to sell different categories of
coal such as slack, egg, pea, lump, etc. Around 1925 customers began
demanding a cleaner coal so tipples were built or added to with coal
cleaning equipment – either wet or dry process. The first actual coal
cleaning plant was built about 1910 at Landgraff.

By the 1920s many companies were contracting out to have mine tipples built
or rebuilt. Prominent builders were Allen & Garcia Company of Chicago and
Roberts and Shaffer Company.

Attached are three advertisements from 1924 for Roberts and Shaffer. Note
the distinct differences in tipple design.

Alex Schust

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