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The Westmoreland Dinky.... "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Here is a photo I ran across recently and thought I would post it for the experts to explain....

What is a Dinky and what was their purpose

Anyone know the answer...? I'm sure our experts do....


Regards,

Jerry

 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Vice President
Pitfalls Moderator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
posted
Well, I'm no historical expert, but I know something about the history of the coal and coke industry of Western Pennsylvania, which is also where I live, and most importantly, I know how to Google. Big Grin

In Fayette, Westmoreland & Somerset Counties there were numerous beehive-type coke works that were built in the late 1800's to take advantage of abundant deposits of high-grade coking coal that lay very close to the surface. The dinky steam engines were used to move coke and coal short distances in and around the coke works. Major lines such as the PRR, B&O and C&O hauled the coke to the steel mills.

I found another example from the Hannastown, PA coke works (also in Westmoreland County).

The Beehive Coking industry reached its peak from the WW1 era thru the 1920's, and then the Great Depression, exhaustion of the coal deposits, and finally air pollution laws ran it into the ground after a final surge of activity during WW2.


The Dinky Engine that served the coke works at Hannastown, PA

 
Posts: 6696 | Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania, USA | Registered: April 19, 2004
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Thanks, Ed, I didn't think of Google and had I known what they were used for I probably could have figured it out....

My wife lived and grew up in PA, in Monongahela near Pittsburg and there was coal mining all around her as well....

Thanks for the input....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Vice President
Pitfalls Moderator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
posted
More on the beehive coke ovens -- I found a photo of beehive ovens in operation. Notice the rail tracks. These tracks are where the dinky engine would have operated.

Beehive Coke Ovens in Use, Connellsville, PA Circa 1890

 
Posts: 6696 | Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania, USA | Registered: April 19, 2004
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Ohmigosh Ed, I am not going to write down what I thought when I first looked at your last picture....too horrible to even say....

What were the coke ovens used for anyway...?

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coke_(fuel)

http://www.bhamrails.info/coke_ovens_01.htm

There were several located here in South Central Tennessee too that were used to create coke for the steel mill in Chattanooga.

Regards! Mark
 
Posts: 3815 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
Railway Historian
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of Larry Buchan
posted
Jerry:

A dinky engine, or locomotive, is a small narrow gauge locomotive usually used for the construction of railroads, Building tunnels, or other projects like the Panama Canal,

Larry
 
Posts: 3370 | Location: Okotoks Alberta Canada | Registered: November 22, 2002
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Thanks guys, I think I get the idea of what a 'Dinky' is now....pretty close to its name, Dinky, meaning small....and I guess they were....

Thanks, again....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
IHC Member 665
posted
The first locomotive photograph shows a Climax Class A geared locomotive manufactured by the Climax Manufacturing Company of Corry, PA more than 100 years ago. The locomotive is of a type that was designed for use in the lumber industry. Climax locomotives would not have been generally classed as Dinkys.
 
Posts: 202 | Location: East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Registered: December 31, 2005
IHC Vice President
Pitfalls Moderator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
posted
Jerry,

To answer your question in simple terms, coke is a purified form of coal made by heating coal in the absence of air, so that the volatile organic matter is driven off, leaving just the carbon (more or less).

The primary use of coke is smelting iron by heating a mixture of iron ore (a.k.a ferric oxide) and coke in a blast furnace, where the coke absorbs the oxygen from the iron ore as it burns, leaving a pool of molten iron behind in the furnace.


Best Regards,

Ed
 
Posts: 6696 | Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania, USA | Registered: April 19, 2004
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Thanks Ed, for that bit of information....my father-in-law, God rest his soul, worked for U.S. Steel 40 long years but we never discussed his work because he would not talk about it....and I know that he worked in the smelters....

Thanks, again....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
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