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Re: [CBQ] Eastbound Coal Trains Through Savanna

To: CBQ@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [CBQ] Eastbound Coal Trains Through Savanna
From: "Winton" <runextra@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2020 10:35:58 -0800
Before the Powder River Basin coal boom (and afterwards) the Bighorn Mine 5 
miles west of Sheridan WY shipped lots of coal even into the early 2000s. It 
was not uncommon for the thru freight 'local' to pick up 20 cars or so at 
Sheridan. When I was working the Sheridan Yard engine in the late 1990s  we 
would go out to Bighorn Mine (Kiewit, not Kleenburn) to take out empties and 
bring the loads back to Sheridan where they would be picked up by the 'local'.  
Some times there were enough cars to be picked up that helpers had to be added 
to the freight train. Bighorn Mine was still shipping coal, tho in smaller lots 
from a truck dump, when I retired in 2009. I remember one period in the late 
1990s when the BNSF would not run the thru 'local' for over a week. We had some 
60 cars of coal that needed to go so the trainmaster finally called an 'extra' 
using a set of helpers as power to take the coal to laurel where it would then 
go east on the NP. When I came to Sheridan in 1975 we had an assigned daily 
Mine Run job that would take 30-50 cars out to the mine in the morning and 
bring the loads from the previous afternoon back to town. After lunch the Mine 
Run would take another 30-50 empties out to the mine and bring back any loads 
that were loaded between the morning trip and the afternoon. One time I brought 
55 loaded 100 ton coal cars in from the mine with a single SD9. That was the 
max it could handle and you had to get a run down off the knob at the mine so 
the SD9 could make it over the 'hill' at MP 705.

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