NW-Mailing-List Digest, Vol 76, Issue 14 Proposed Pier 4 at Lamberts Point

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Dec 14 13:55:32 EST 2011



It is interesting that the C&O essentially copied this high pier design a year later for their use at Newport News.  The C&Os new "LOW LEVEL" pier built in 1931 advertised LESS COAL BREAKAGE as its prime advantage.  It appears that these pre-WW1 piers still put operating efficiency over coal breakage.


Al Kresse

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Today's Topics:

   1. N&W in 1912--New coal pier (NW Mailing List)


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Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:17:57 -0500
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: N&W in 1912--New coal pier
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Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 3, 1912

Norfolk and Western will Spend Two Million to Facilitate Loading at Lambert's Point
    The Norfolk and Western will build a new coal pier at Lambert's Point, as has been reported in the newspapers, and the plans for the new pier are now being worked out.  The estimated cost of the new pier is $2,000,000.  The new pier will double the capacity of the three piers now in use and it is estimated will dump 1,000 tons of coal an hour.  It will be patterned after the Virginia [sic] Railway pier, which has attracted world wide attention, and will be so constructed as to improve on the Virginia pier where that pier has shown weaknesses.
    It is expected that it will be completed within eighteen months after work has started, and it is understood active work will commence as soon as the city council of Norfolk condemns certain streets desired by the Norfolk and Western for the larger yard which will be needed.  The city council now has the matter under consideration.
    For some months the railroad has been securing additional right-of-way and will use the land purchased for additional tracks, greatly increasing the present facilities for handling cars at tidewater.
    The new pier will be arranged, with machines on each side, so that a boat can be loaded from both sides at once, thereby reducing the time needed for coaling.    The coal operators have discussed the new pier with the Norfolk and Western officials, and as a result, it is understood, the railroad will somewhat modify its former plans so as to handle the coal with a lesser degree of breakage.  While many believe that it makes little difference whether run of mine coal is broken or not, the coal operator finds that he is able to get a more satisfactory price for coal that is lumpy, because in many cases dealers buy coal and then screen it so as to sell it to the best advantage.
    The coal operators said they preferred less expeditious handling if speedier handling is to be had only at the cost of greater breakage, pointing out that they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars constructing tipples in the coalfield for the purpose of reducing the percentage of breakage of coal at the mines.
    The operators hold that the sacrifice they make at times to give the railroad tonnage entitles them to consideration.  They figure that as they have to stand the loss, the loss is too great to take additional chances of coal breakage.
    It is understood the conferences between the coal men and the railroad have been of a very friendly nature, both sides presenting their arguments in a manner that received serious consideration, and the railroad company has agreed to undertake the dumping of coal at the new pier with the smallest possible percentage of breakage.

[This became Pier 4 which was placed in operation December 23, 1913, and lasted until December 31, 1963, just after Pier 6 was placed in service.]

Gordon Hamilton
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