Friday, December 30, 2005

These two pictures are taken from the Ore pier, but of the Coal Pier. Here, trains of coal, from central and western Pennsylvania, and coal producing areas of West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio nearby, were dumped into ships for export. Two ships could be loaded at a time, because of the double railroad car dumpers to the right of this photo. Decades ago, the area off the pier would've been a massive assortment of coal cars waiting for dumping, along with various support facilities, but now, it is mostly overgrown, with several buildings demolished, and the extensive railroad trackage buried in mud. Currently, the pier itself is used to anchor barges, I even saw one depart while there, but their anchorage has nothing to do with this equipment on the pier, which has been unused since the mid-80s. Its closure was partially because of the depletion of eastern US coal mines, but primarily a result of the increase in cheaper world production. I'm finding very little information about this in general, but I'll guess, China, Australia, and various South American countries have taken the business.

Looking down the Ore Pier. Spilled ore lies everywhere. To the left is the coveyor that took ore unloader from ships to either storage or rail reloading.

Shoes of a worker, or a visitor?


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