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Coal ideas

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  • Robert Bunge
    I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a 397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use black rocks for a fish
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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      I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
      397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
      black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
      good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
      Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
      it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
      vacuum cleaner at some point.

      Thanks!

      Bob
    • win zip
      Well I m not sure how well this would work but what about Styrofoam packing peanuts painted black. The paint will disolve part of the peanut and leave
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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        Well I'm not sure how well this would work but what about Styrofoam packing "peanuts" painted black. The paint will disolve part of the peanut and leave irregular shaped objects that should  look good and work.  Just a thought.


        To: Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com
        From: bbunge@...
        Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:29:17 -0400
        Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

         
        I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
        397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
        black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
        good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
        Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
        it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
        vacuum cleaner at some point.

        Thanks!

        Bob

      • Thomas McLean
        The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM   Thomas M. McLean    
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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          The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM
           
          Thomas M. McLean
           
           


          From: Robert Bunge <bbunge@...>
          To: lionel_postwartrains <Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 AM
          Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

           
          I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
          397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
          black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
          good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
          Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
          it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
          vacuum cleaner at some point.

          Thanks!

          Bob


        • M & T SCHREDL
          when my kids had a small layout I used loose lego pieces, a mixture of black 1x1 plates, wedges and tiles. you can buy them in bulk at various places, they
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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            when my kids had a small layout I used loose lego pieces, a mixture of black 1x1 plates, wedges and tiles. you can buy them in bulk at various places, they don't give off any dust, and have enough heft to stay in the hoppers without adding too much weight.
             
            they are not as realistic as gravel or charcoal, but from a distance look fine.
             
            mike g. s.
             

            Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:29 AM
            Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

             

            I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
            397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
            black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
            good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
            Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
            it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
            vacuum cleaner at some point.

            Thanks!

            Bob

          • Sage Viehe
            While still expensing because of the quantity you have to buy I have had great luck with Aquarium filter carbon refill-Premium activated charcoal. about ten oz
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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              While still expensing because of the quantity you have to buy I have had
              great luck with Aquarium filter carbon refill-Premium activated
              charcoal. about ten oz in the plastic jar.
              On 4/16/2014 9:29 AM, Robert Bunge wrote:
              >
              > I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
              > 397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
              > black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
              > good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
              > Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
              > it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
              >

              > vacuum cleaner at some point.
              >
              > Thanks!
              >
              > Bob
              >
              >
            • wayne.buran
              Bob, I have a quart container of a black medium ballast that is made from rubber. It s very light. Don t know if this fits your requirement but if its not to
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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                Bob, I have a quart container of a black medium ballast that is made from rubber. It's very light. Don't know if this fits your requirement but if its not to fine it should be light enough. $3.00 plus shipping from 44256, Medina, Ohio.

                Wayne Buran

              • Charles Brumbelow
                What about those plastic pellets for pellet guns? I think they are available in several colors - even glow in the dark I think - in case your miners break
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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                  What about those plastic pellets for pellet guns? I think they are available in several colors - even glow in the dark I think - in case your miners break through into a vein of unibtainium ore. Seem to be mostly 6mm diameter or just a hair under 1/4". Don't know how they would work in the loaders but I do know they would roll everywhere if spilled. Charles

                  On Apr 16, 2014, at 8:29 AM, Robert Bunge <bbunge@...> wrote:

                   

                  I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                  397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                  black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                  good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                  Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                  it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                  vacuum cleaner at some point.

                  Thanks!

                  Bob

                • Tom
                  The charcoal idea is the best, I think, because it looks more like real coal. If you REALLY want to save money, ask around for folks who use Brita Water
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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                    The charcoal idea is the best, I think, because it looks more like real coal. If you REALLY want to save money, ask around for folks who use Brita Water Filters. You can collect used cartridges that normally get thrown away, break them open, lay out the charcoal to dry and you've got "coal". 

                    Tom

                    Sent from my iPhone

                    On Apr 16, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Thomas McLean <tmackinator@...> wrote:

                     

                    The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM
                     
                    Thomas M. McLean
                     
                     


                    From: Robert Bunge <bbunge@...>
                    To: lionel_postwartrains <Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 AM
                    Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

                     
                    I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                    397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                    black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                    good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                    Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                    it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                    vacuum cleaner at some point.

                    Thanks!

                    Bob


                  • Dockstader, David R (Jefferson)
                    There are several folks selling after market coal on eBay that is much less expensive than Lionel coal. My local dealer also sells a generic. This stuff gets
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 16, 2014
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                      There are several folks selling after market coal on eBay that is much less expensive than Lionel coal. My local dealer also sells a generic. This stuff gets pretty reasonable when you buy big bags. The 397 is pretty picky about size and density so I wouldn't waste my time on something that wasn't known to work. Charcoal is dirty and crumbly. I think it would be a nightmare. Little pieces constantly leak out of our Brita water filter and I suspect the stuff inside is much too fine for a coal loader. I live in KY and I'm a geologist so I have good access to real coal, but there is no way I would try to use it because it is also crumbly and black rubs off, just like charcoal. There's a reason Lionel used bakelite and sorted it for a particular size.

                    • land46lord
                      Greetings, Over the years, I have acquire bits and pieces of damaged far beyond repair parts of various accessories such as the early log loader base, and
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 17, 2014
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                        Greetings,
                         
                        Over the years, I have acquire bits and pieces of damaged far beyond repair parts of various accessories such as the early log loader base, and switch machine covers, all made of bakelite plastic.
                         
                        I place this otherwise completely unusable junk (after soaking in paint remover if necessary) in a heavy denim bag, and hammer it, and screen it, for a size like Lionel's coal. 
                         
                        After a lifetime of collecting and repairing Lionel, it is amazing how much coal one can accumulate this way!

                        Louie B. Hydrick
                        Associate Broker
                        RE/MAX Partners
                        4316 Washington Rd.
                        Evans GA 30809-3957

                        706-922-7355 office
                        706-922-7368 direct office
                        706-922-7356 fax
                        706-832-6263 cell

                        Or visit me on the web at:www.csrahomesandland.com
                        or http://www.louiebhydrick.remax-georgia.com/

                        Messages

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:54 am (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "Thomas McLean" tmackinator

                        The electrical path is through the pivot contacts of the movable armature (Plate). Over time oxidation can cause problems with proper flow,especially at such a low voltage. What the wire does is insure a proper contact through the movable armature. It is important to use a very flexible wire as to not hinder the movement of the plate.  This helps to insure a more reliable operation of the horn.-TM

                         
                        Thomas M. McLean
                         
                         

                        ________________________________
                        From: "kennybaughman@..." <kennybaughman@...>
                        To: Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:09 PM
                        Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrai ns] Horn Relay Modification


                         
                        Hello!
                        I was going through the photo files of this group and I saw the pictures of a Horn Relay Modification by tmackinator.
                        Tom, what does soldering that wire to the back do??Just Curious.

                        -Happy Railroading  Kenny Baughman

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:29 am (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "Robert Bunge" bungerob

                        I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                        397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                        black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                        good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                        Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                        it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                        vacuum cleaner at some point.

                        Thanks!

                        Bob

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:03 am (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "win zip" winzipped100

                        Well I'm not sure how well this would work but what about Styrofoam packing "peanuts" painted black. The paint will disolve part of the peanut and leave irregular shaped objects that should look good and work. Just a thought.

                        To: Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com
                        From: bbunge@...
                        Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:29:17 -0400
                        Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrai ns] Coal ideas

                        I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a

                        397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use

                        black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a

                        good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.

                        Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use

                        it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the

                        vacuum cleaner at some point.

                        Thanks!

                        Bob

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:18 am (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "Thomas McLean" tmackinator

                        The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM

                         
                        Thomas M. McLean
                         
                         

                        ________________________________
                        From: Robert Bunge <bbunge@...>
                        To: lionel_postwartrains <Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 AM
                        Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrai ns] Coal ideas


                         
                        I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                        397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                        black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                        good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                        Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                        it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                        vacuum cleaner at some point.

                        Thanks!

                        Bob

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:32 am (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "M & T SCHREDL" schredl

                        when my kids had a small layout I used loose lego pieces, a mixture of black 1x1 plates, wedges and tiles. you can buy them in bulk at various places, they don't give off any dust, and have enough heft to stay in the hoppers without adding too much weight.

                        they are not as realistic as gravel or charcoal, but from a distance look fine.

                        mike g. s.

                        From: Robert Bunge
                        Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:29 AM
                        To: lionel_postwartrain s
                        Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrai ns] Coal ideas

                        I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                        397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                        black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                        good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                        Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                        it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                        vacuum cleaner at some point.

                        Thanks!

                        Bob

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:29 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "Sage Viehe" sageviehe@...

                        While still expensing because of the quantity you have to buy I have had
                        great luck with Aquarium filter carbon refill-Premium activated
                        charcoal. about ten oz in the plastic jar.
                        On 4/16/2014 9:29 AM, Robert Bunge wrote:
                        >
                        > I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                        > 397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                        > black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                        > good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                        > Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                        > it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                        >

                        > vacuum cleaner at some point.
                        >
                        > Thanks!
                        >
                        > Bob
                        >
                        >

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:07 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "Charles Brumbelow" mrb37211

                        What about those plastic pellets for pellet guns? I think they are available in several colors - even glow in the dark I think - in case your miners break through into a vein of unibtainium ore. Seem to be mostly 6mm diameter or just a hair under 1/4". Don't know how they would work in the loaders but I do know they would roll everywhere if spilled. Charles

                        On Apr 16, 2014, at 8:29 AM, Robert Bunge <bbunge@...> wrote:

                        > I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                        > 397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                        > black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                        > good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                        > Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                        > it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                        > vacuum cleaner at some point.
                        >
                        > Thanks!
                        >
                        > Bob
                        >

                        Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:06 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

                        "Tom" luvmaponds

                        The charcoal idea is the best, I

                        (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
                      • Charles Brumbelow
                        If the charcoal proves too fragile, consider the pumice rocks sold for gas grills. They would need to be crushed, washed and sifted. Charles
                        Message 11 of 16 , Apr 17, 2014
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                          If the charcoal proves too fragile, consider the pumice rocks sold for gas grills. They would need to be crushed, washed and sifted. Charles

                          On Apr 16, 2014, at 9:06 PM, Tom <luvmaponds@...> wrote:

                           

                          The charcoal idea is the best, I think, because it looks more like real coal. If you REALLY want to save money, ask around for folks who use Brita Water Filters. You can collect used cartridges that normally get thrown away, break them open, lay out the charcoal to dry and you've got "coal". 

                          Tom

                          Sent from my iPhone

                          On Apr 16, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Thomas McLean <tmackinator@...> wrote:

                           

                          The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM
                           
                          Thomas M. McLean
                           
                           


                          From: Robert Bunge <bbunge@...>
                          To: lionel_postwartrains <Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 AM
                          Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

                           
                          I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                          397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                          black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                          good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                          Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                          it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                          vacuum cleaner at some point.

                          Thanks!

                          Bob


                        • Ambika Parks
                          I used to collect  floating rocks on the beaches along the upper Chesapeake Bay.  I think they were some sort of by-product from the steel mill up in
                          Message 12 of 16 , Apr 17, 2014
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                            I used to collect 'floating rocks' on the beaches along the upper Chesapeake Bay.  I think they were some sort of by-product from the steel mill up in Sparrows Point in Baltimore.  The floating rocks looked just like coal and were light enough to float on water.  I would put them in a sock and beat them with a hammer to make smaller ones to use with my #397 coal loader.  They make nice gondola car loads for the #2452 car as well when in small 'boulder' form.  Any beach along the upper to mid Chesapeake Bay is a good place to find them for free.
                             
                            Andy Parks
                            On Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:49 AM, Charles Brumbelow <mrb37211@...> wrote:
                             
                            If the charcoal proves too fragile, consider the pumice rocks sold for gas grills. They would need to be crushed, washed and sifted. Charles

                            On Apr 16, 2014, at 9:06 PM, Tom <luvmaponds@...> wrote:

                             
                            The charcoal idea is the best, I think, because it looks more like real coal. If you REALLY want to save money, ask around for folks who use Brita Water Filters. You can collect used cartridges that normally get thrown away, break them open, lay out the charcoal to dry and you've got "coal". 

                            Tom

                            Sent from my iPhone

                            On Apr 16, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Thomas McLean <tmackinator@...> wrote:

                             
                            The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM
                             
                            Thomas M. McLean
                             
                             

                            From: Robert Bunge <bbunge@...>
                            To: lionel_postwartrains <Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 AM
                            Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

                             
                            I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                            397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                            black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                            good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                            Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                            it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                            vacuum cleaner at some point.

                            Thanks!

                            Bob




                          • jacklemonaide
                            http://www.lionelstore.com/accessories/coal-tipple-coal-pack.html http://www.lionelstore.com/accessories/coal-tipple-coal-pack.html i found this on the lionel
                            Message 13 of 16 , Apr 17, 2014
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                            • Robert Bunge
                              Thanks for all the ideas, everyone! Please keep them coming if you have one that hasn t been mentioned yet. Bob
                              Message 14 of 16 , Apr 17, 2014
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                                Thanks for all the ideas, everyone!  Please keep them coming if you have one that hasn't been mentioned yet.

                                Bob


                                On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Ambika Parks <m1raje@...> wrote:


                                I used to collect 'floating rocks' on the beaches along the upper Chesapeake Bay.  I think they were some sort of by-product from the steel mill up in Sparrows Point in Baltimore.  The floating rocks looked just like coal and were light enough to float on water.  I would put them in a sock and beat them with a hammer to make smaller ones to use with my #397 coal loader.  They make nice gondola car loads for the #2452 car as well when in small 'boulder' form.  Any beach along the upper to mid Chesapeake Bay is a good place to find them for free.
                                 
                                Andy Parks
                                On Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:49 AM, Charles Brumbelow <mrb37211@...> wrote:
                                 
                                If the charcoal proves too fragile, consider the pumice rocks sold for gas grills. They would need to be crushed, washed and sifted. Charles

                                On Apr 16, 2014, at 9:06 PM, Tom <luvmaponds@...> wrote:

                                 
                                The charcoal idea is the best, I think, because it looks more like real coal. If you REALLY want to save money, ask around for folks who use Brita Water Filters. You can collect used cartridges that normally get thrown away, break them open, lay out the charcoal to dry and you've got "coal". 

                                Tom

                                Sent from my iPhone

                                On Apr 16, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Thomas McLean <tmackinator@...> wrote:

                                 
                                The activated carbon for aquarium use will work. The original coal was actually bakelite crushed to the size.-TM
                                 
                                Thomas M. McLean
                                 
                                 

                                From: Robert Bunge <bbunge@...>
                                To: lionel_postwartrains <Lionel_PostwarTrains@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 9:29 AM
                                Subject: [Lionel_PostwarTrains] Coal ideas

                                 
                                I am an operator. I am looking for ideas for coal to be used with a
                                397 coal loader and a MPC era side dump car. One idea was to use
                                black rocks for a fish tank. Looks good, and screened, seems to be a
                                good idea, but the rocks are too heavy for the spring on the dump car.
                                Stock Lionel coal is a bit expensive and I don't know I want to use
                                it anyway since I consider it be a consumable that ends up in the
                                vacuum cleaner at some point.

                                Thanks!

                                Bob







                              • toytrains2
                                Bob - I found myself in the same hopper recently, and did some online looking - came up with the Tipple Pack from Lionel at reduced prices from a couple of
                                Message 15 of 16 , Apr 18, 2014
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                                  Bob - I found myself in the same hopper recently, and did some online looking - came up with the "Tipple Pack" from Lionel at reduced prices from a couple of on-line vendors, and thought to myself "surely this can't be a bad idea".  Then last week, my new Lionel catalogs arrived, and it seems, if I read the information correctly, there are 3 sizes of "coal" available.  One size is recommended for our post-war products, another size for later issues, and, apparently, the size in the Tipple Packs, which seems now to have been produced specifically for the rotating car dumper.  So this thread and it's ideas are that much more important to me.  I haven't opened the tipple packs yet, because my coal facility isn't finished, and now with this info, I probably will return them, and hope for a smaller size being available.  Can anyone substantiate this?  Or am I better off to put the contents in a heavy bag, and use my mallet and sidewalk to get to the size I need. I have a couple of "pricey" bags of original "coal" for size comparison.

                                  Dick Lawrence
                                • Tom
                                  Being a stickler for detailed realism, I would think the finer pieces and dirtiness of charcoal would lend credit by leaving deposits in coal cars and at
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Apr 18, 2014
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                                    Being a stickler for detailed realism, I would think the finer pieces and "dirtiness" of charcoal would lend credit by leaving deposits in coal cars and at coal-loading facilities. After all has anyone ever seen a "clean" coal car?

                                    However, one might be concerned about fine charcoal pieces interfering with operating mechanisms but probably no more so than loose ballast. I would opt for charcoal that can be added to realistic scenery. 

                                    Overall, though, I think David's idea is well worth checking out and the best so far. 

                                    Tom - Myrtle Beach
                                    "Without God as my engineer, my trains go nowhere."


                                    Sent from my iPhone

                                    On Apr 16, 2014, at 10:51 PM, "Dockstader, David R (Jefferson)" <david.dockstader@...> wrote:

                                     

                                    There are several folks selling after market coal on eBay that is much less expensive than Lionel coal. My local dealer also sells a generic. This stuff gets pretty reasonable when you buy big bags. The 397 is pretty picky about size and density so I wouldn't waste my time on something that wasn't known to work. Charcoal is dirty and crumbly. I think it would be a nightmare. Little pieces constantly leak out of our Brita water filter and I suspect the stuff inside is much too fine for a coal loader. I live in KY and I'm a geologist so I have good access to real coal, but there is no way I would try to use it because it is also crumbly and black rubs off, just like charcoal. There's a reason Lionel used bakelite and sorted it for a particular size.

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