Re: : Balls Head coal loader
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Clarence colliery at Newnes jct was the only one with a overhead bin & catenary underneath the load chute . As the locos went under the chute the contact wire changed to a solid bar rod which could be moved out of the way after the engines had been clear of the bin , this was moved by hydraulics under control of the loader operator . As Clarence was built on a very tight loop there was more than usual load signals , probably 3 to 1 for the first 1/2 of the load, the loop then straightened out then proceeded round to the loop end on another tight curve . all of this on a single overhead wire .
Coal spills were common between wagons but normally didn't cause problems & were cleaned up after the train had finished loading . If it was excessive the breakdown crew would be called for shovel removal of the offending load then finished cleaning up by company employees with a bobcat digger. Charbon colliery was the worst being in a long tunnel where any big spill occurring would have the observer walking back into the tunnel & screwing handbrakes on for 2 or 3 wagons after the spill & then supervising the train movement out until the spill had been reduced in height & normal passage could continue , clear the tunnel ,company employees would then clean up & the train would reverse back in to complete loading. Balbone was similar to Clarence having a overhead bin but no centenary to worry about . A&B loading point was done with scoop tractor loaders , A&B is now a Springvale colliery load point .
Cheers Tom J
From: "'Noel Reed' noelreed10@... [LRRSA]"
Sent: Thursday, 25 February 2016, 18:15
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Re:: Balls Head coal loader
Towards the end of its operation, the Balls Head loader cable railway was replaced by conveyor belts..
Belts in either one or both tunnels under the coal stack discharged coal onto a longer belt aligned at 90 degrees to the other(s) from the shore to the end of the jetty. As I remember, the steelwork of the conveyor belt on the jetty was coloured light green.
Considering the mechanics of the cable railway skip wagon filling chutes, the change to belts could have been to avoid blockage of the tracks in the tunnels by coal which fell to the track between successive moving wagons.
This could be a problem similar to the mechanics of chutes below coal bins at most big mines.
When electric locos were used on western coal trains, another problem feature would be the means to provide continuous DC power to the locos but remove any obstruction to the coal falling from the bin.
Do electric loco hauled coal trains in Queensland have a similar problem ?
From: LRRSA@... [mailto:LRRSA@...]
Sent: Thursday, 25 February 2016 5:38 PM
Subject: Re: [LRRSA] Re:: Balls Head coal loader
When I was much younger many years ago, my father worked for JABAS in the Sydney office . I was taken down to Balls head often to fish off either the jetty or the wharf on a weekend & often saw the plant in operation .For memory I think the plant was upgraded towards the end of its life but a young boys memory could be confusing things. I can remember the loading mechanism was painted a rust red & had a chain bucket system to load coal into ships from the cable wagons . Was this on the side or underneath ? I never was taken to the end of the jetty to see how the cable proceeded round the end with wagons attached . Vaguely remember that some of the loading plant had been painted silverfrost towards the end of its life & on asking why was told that a substantial mechanical changeover had been done .
Checked Google earth & find that all the brick houses associated with the site are still standing & being used for some sustainability association . The site still has the jetty with the track supports visible & the quite large retaining wall is standing as I remembered it back in the mid 50's .
Cheers Tom J
From: "mjm@... [LRRSA]"
Sent: Thursday, 25 February 2016, 16:19
Subject: [LRRSA] Re:: Balls Head coal loader
The Illawarra Light Railway Museum has two Balls Head hopper wagons in preservation. See:
The original gauge was narrower than 2ft, but our examples have been re-gauged to fit on out track
In service they had one opening side door that was operated by a track side mechanism.
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