Watch a train dump tons of coal off

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How many parents would use this to get the kids out of bed in the morning?


What a train! I can’t tell if this is just excitement or an auto correct mistake.


What A train! Dump Tons Of Coal is my new Godspeed you! Black Emperor tribute band


I expected the humans in the video to wear some sort of air filter mask and goggles. I wouldn’t go near the stuff otherwise.


“What a train dump tons of coal for great make patriotism homeland purity army strength” is the preamble to the Republican Party platform.


Coal dust isn’t terribly toxic in the same way that asbestos (for example) is. Which is not say that it is not an issue. Exposure in underground mines, where the majority of health effects are experienced, is much higher than what these guys would be exposed to. The train unloaders are largely automated and/or operated from within control rooms, with only occasional on-floor supervision required.

But leave the coal in the ground, people.


If anyone is wondering - Yep! They do this here in the United States, too! I saw a very similar tool in use at a power plant in West Virginia once. That was a really fun tour!

And no, I don’t think they had us wear breathing protection on the tour, either… it wasn’t nearly as dusty as one would think. Sadly, I would imagine that black lung would be a problem working in any coal handling place.


I think cutting through all sorts of other materials to extract ore is a significant part of the problem as well.


I can’t help but wonder how much coal is burned up running this piece of equipment vs. how much is harvested.


Ooo yeah, look at that clean coal. So clean. Who wouldn’t want to take a deep breath of that fresh clean coal dust?

…and hearing protection

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Now we need one that tips them on end to empty corn syrup tankers.

I used to work across the street from a candy factory (no, there weren’t oompa loompas so far as I could see), and their train siding sported rats of unusual size because of leakage from the train cars that arrived.


Yes, that’s true. Silicosis is also potentially a health impact, where dust from adjacent silica-rich rocks is created in the mining process. Hardly an issue for open-pit mining, but it can be significant for underground workers. Monitoring for silica levels in dust is part of the program. The health of coal workers is just one more reason why the whole industry should be shut down as soon as possible. (My career was largely in coal mining, and I feel no attachment to any sort of tradition or legacy - just shut the whole thing down).


Not much actually. From other videos it seems that motors rotating the railcar are quite small (50 kW or less). To achieve required torque they are just coupled with massive reduction gearboxes - it doesn’t have to move fast after all. Compared to several megawatts of some locomotive engines, this is next to nothing.


Yes, in BC (and in many other coal fields) selenium contamination of waterways from waste rock dumps is an issue that requires active management, including the treatment of water into perpetuity. The known issue is primarily around health effects on fish populations in the streams and rivers that have cascading effects in the ecosystem.


I think NPR just recently did some reporting on silicosis in coal miners and how when compared to coal dust its paid very little attention (regulatory and otherwise) and as a result is having a significant impact.


It’s possible. Different jurisdictions have different rules.

Yes but there are (for now) federal OSHA rules that should provide some national norms.

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