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Thread: Heritage/ Scenic Railroads and Fuel

  1. #1
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    Question Heritage/ Scenic Railroads and Fuel

    This question popped into my head a few days ago and has been driving me mad...

    For tourist lines like Strasbourg or the Illinois Railway Museum to run they have to get diesel and coal for there locos, but do they get it by truck or by rail? getting it my rail would be my obvious first thought, seeing as they both have connections to the greater network, but having I trucked in might possibly be cheaper/ easier? Also as far as coal goes I've been led to believe that for the most part all coal trains are unit consists nowadays, and if a customer doesn't have the facility's and/or the consumption rate to unload a whole train at once, the consist will be staged in a nearby yard and ferried out as needed. While the Strasbourg line might burn though a whole train in a year, IRM would probably struggle to burn it in 5. I've also not been able to find any information or even video of either road, or any for that matter, taking delivery of a single coal hopper/ tanker of fuel.

    Longwinded way of me saying, how do tourist lines get there fuel of choice!

  2. #2
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    I know that the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum gets their coal from surprisingly Pennsylvania, and they get it trucked in. They also get their diesel trucked in also.
    Owner of Freeman Locomotive Works.

  3. #3
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    Most of the time it is going to be trucked in for one reason or another. For example, here in California, we are using recycled oil for fuel. The refinery is in Nevada and does not have a rail connection. Therefore, all the railroads who use the oil from this refinery (there are at least 4 that I know of) need to have it trucked in even if they have a railroad connection to the rest of the world. Diesel fuel is usually brought in by truck from a nearby fuel provider.
    Will Champion

  4. #4
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    The scenic railroad that I'm familiar with, the Belfast and Moosehead Lake (Brooks, Maine), has its fuel trucked in. Usually by a local heating oil/fuel dealer, and the equipment is placed where it can be fueled correctly and safely. This means by a road or driveway that is capable of supporting the truck (important in the spring) and on a track that can be protected from movement {i.e. "locked out"}. During the steam program, in the 1990's and 2000's, coal was trucked in as the railroad no longer had the capability to unload a hopper of coal (this was of course, the first railroad in Maine to completely convert from steam to diesel).

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