Im thinking of producing O gauge coal loads to sell on ebay, or on here i guess for that matter!  A few times a year I keep myself current working at a sort of local underground anthracite coal mine.  Ive made coal loads for my hoppers and am curious if there is any interest in actual hand mined coal.  would be sort of a novelty, could send some pics from inside the mine, and the vein where it comes from.  as a bonus, is anyone familar with "blue coal"?  it was a colliery in Ashley Pa. It was a marketing ploy, they sprayed blue dye on the coal, and you were to remember to "always buy blue coal for the best heat"  anyways, when they were tearing down the breaker a few years ago we got a few sacks of this dye and I have enough of it to last a lifetime. i can put up some pics a little later. Just curious if there is any interest to see if its worth my time. I was thinking around $5 for a carload. 



Original Post

the disks are scatter tags. another marketing ploy. these paper disks would be mixed in with the coal. when your bin was empty you would pick these off the floor and remember where to order it from.  these from the hudson coal company, a division of the D&H.  the Hopper I got last year from Scranton Hobby that a limited run was made for a fundraiser for a local model RR club i was told. you can give them a call, they may have some left. 

Last edited by C_Murley

You can't kid us. You work the mine so you can play with that train, right?

I remember Blue Coal from when I was a kid. I also remember a competitor brand that used red paint. I think it came from the local Mobil oil dealer, but can't be sure, after all these years.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom

I believe reading anthracite at one painted their coal red.   yes, it is pretty fun running the trip. there were 3 different mines i worked part time at. believe it or not, on saturdays as a hobby. mine coal for a hobby they say haha.  that mine we pushed the cars 3000 ft into the side of a mountain. then pulled them loaded out. the mine with the pics of us, is the one i still go to a few times a year. its a slope where a car is lowered down an incline into the mine and we push the loaded cars by hand to the foot of the slope then they are dumped into "bucket" and hoisted up to the top.  


we'll see how this interest peaks and itll take a few months to get the coal and smash it up and size it with screens. ill keep this thread updated when its ready.  im not sure of the forum politics as im relatively new here. if i put it on ebay is it cool to post an ebay link or should i sell it directly here on the forum? 

Last edited by C_Murley

I agree with TexasSP, only I'd like to get it in both O and S scales.  You can contact me at my e-mail address if you decide to go thru with the project.  Great pics too.

An old friend of mine used to haul Blue Coal by truck. His entire fleet of red Ford trucks had a blue overcast from the spray. The silver trailers were stained even more so.  

Who made the Hudson coal car?  Scranton Hobby is closed probably due to the pandemic. They used to have beautiful special runs of cars from k line with Lackawanna livery. Where did you buy the orange Hudson discs?

I would be interested, yes.  Very interested.

I have a few coal cars that are empty.  MTH used to sell the cars without the coal loads.  I think Bob Thatcher used to sell loads before he opened AM Hobbies.  That seems like forever and ever ago.

Blue Coal load using powder dye from the Huber breaker.

Reading red coal load using red tint liquid from Sherwin Williams.

There were other colors, including silver, but I can't remember the coal company.

The dye was more then just marketing, it was also used to help control dust. In the case of Blue Coal, the dye was mixed with a liquid, possibly oil, and sprayed as the coal went down the chute to the hoppers. The inside of the breaker where the cars were filled was covered in blue. 




Images (2)
Last edited by rail
@rail posted:


What kind of trucks are under that car? Scale-Craft? Hmmm, on a closer look, the the car appears to be a Scale-Craft hopper.

@PRRMP54 posted:

What kind of trucks are under that car? Scale-Craft? Hmmm, on a closer look, the the car appears to be a Scale-Craft hopper.

That's a Lionel post war 2 bay hopper. The trucks are corroded and the wheels rusted. It's an old abused car that someone gave me. I guess you can call it naturally weathered!.


@C_Murley posted:

Hi Don Great to see you on here! 

I pop in just about every day. Not doing much in model trains, but busy getting ready for the return of lokie #9. Check your e mail.

Hi Joe, Ill look at the box tonight and let you know.  I talked to Jack the other day down there. they are supposedly open noon to 4 right now. 

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