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 Vol. 18 No. 4
 April, 1988

Make Tomorrow Happen

Heavy Haul Handles Record Amount of Coal

The automated ship-loading facilities at Thunder Bay Terminals Ltd.
expedite the unloading of CP Rail coal unit trains.

 Logo CP Rail's Heavy Haul Systems business unit moved Prairie coal in record amounts in 1987. And the railway anticipates another banner year for coal in 1988.
The railway hauled 1.87 million tonnes of coal last year from the Prairie producers it serves in southeastern Saskatchewan. The previous Prairie coal record was established in 1984, when CP Rail moved 1.5 million tonnes.
"Most of last year's tonnage was destined for thermal generating stations in Ontario", said Glen Lewis, CP Rail's Winnipeg-based assistant chief of heavy-haul transportation.
"But there was also strong demand from municipal and provincial power utilities in Manitoba".
Working with both shippers and receivers, CP Rail devised train schedules aimed at increasing hauling capacity by shortening delivery cycles.
Mr. Lewis said the advent some years ago of CP Rail's unit-train technology contributed to CP Rail's ability to meet the surge in demand.
"We have been using unit-train sets of up to 111 cars for delivery to Thunder Bay and Atikokan in Ontario", he said.
A CP Rail coal unit-train consists of high-capacity gondola cars linked by special couplers.
The interior of each round-bottomed car resembles that of an old-fashioned four-legged bathtub. Developed by CP Rail in the late 1960s, the "bathtub car" was lighter, held more coal, and was more stable than conventional cars.
The cars are linked by rotary couplers which enable the train to stay together while each car is turned and its contents dumped out.
Automated ship-loading facilities such as the one at Thunder Bay Terminals make full use of the quick unloading method. They have below track conveyors which catch the dumped coal and can move it directly to ship.
An entire train can be unloaded without the time and locomotive fuel normally required to separate individual cars. A 111-car train can be unloaded in less than four hours.
Time saved translates into added capacity back at the mine.

This CP Rail News article is copyright 1988 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and is reprinted here with their permission. All photographs, logos, and trademarks are the property of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

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