Coal Fired Power Generating Plants

mtaylor Aug 25, 2009

  1. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jsut a couple of quick questions.

    Is there a prototype example of a coal fired power generating plant that is served by more than one railroad? Or would this be a rare occurance?

    How often is potash hauled away from a typical coal fired power plant and is this usally hauled by rail?

    Thanks in adavance
    Matt
     
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Mississippi Power's Plant Daniels, north of Moss Point, MS is served physically by Mississippi Export Railroad (MSE). However, CSX unit trains deliver coal from the CSX/MSE interchange in Pascagoula, and CN/IC unit trains deliver coal from the CN/MSE interchange in Lucedale. I agree that Plant Daniels is not served physically by two separate railroads. However, it is actually served by two separate railroad carriers with trackage rights over a third.

    As far as fly ash removal, I don't have a clue. MPCO's Plant Watson, which is near my home, is coal-fired, but does not have rail service. So I assume that any fly ash removal would be either by truck or by empty barges on their return trips for more coal. I'll see what I can find out about both Daniels (rail-served) and Watson (non-rail-served).
     
  3. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you for the information. So this certainly would be an example of a power plant served by mutilple railroads. This of couse all leads to layout scheming :). I am thinking of having my proposed power plant to be served by BNSF and UP and maybe even CP :)

    Still curious about the fly ash issue. Thank you for researching and I will continue my quest as well :)
     
  4. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    I remember someone talking about fly ash being very caustic. Not much, if any goes by rail. Except on my layout, that is.
     
  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    OK, I have a little info on fly ash, also bottom ash.

    Fly ash represents about 5% of the coal burned. It's very fine and light, so must be captured in cyclone filters and stored carefully. Since it has very little, if any, commercial value, it's stored in ponds until a buyer can be found. Cement companies do use fly ash, but the cement plant has to be near the power plant or transportation costs will be more than the selling price. Fly ash is hauled by truck when it's sold. One other thing, fly ash loading areas are very dusty and dirty because the ash is so fine and light.

    Bottom ash is much heavier than fly ash, thus falls to the bottom of the burners and is more easily recovered and stored. Bottom ash also represents about 5% of the coal volume. Bottom ash also is trucked out when it can be sold, but again it has very little commercial value.

    The one exception to what I said above is in Virginia. Apparently there is either a local or state regulation requiring that fly and bottom ash be removed by rail and taken back to the coal mine(s) for disposal.

    Having said all that, if you want your power plant to recover and remove ALL the fly and bottom ash by rail, do it. Hey, you are developing the environment in which the plant operates, so you write and enforce all the regulations.....:tb-tongue:
     
  6. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    That info helps me. My power plant is being designed to burn 3000 tons of coal a day. That would translate to 300 tons of ash per day. So 30 loads of coal in per day (minimum) and approximately 2 cars of ash outbound per day. I would plan on using low cube covered hoppers for this service (two bay 100 ton cars). Re-reading that post, maybe the fly ash would have to be shipped out in airslide hoppers.
     
  7. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Rick, you're probably correct about airslides for fly ash, since it has a similar consistency to wheat flour. Unfortunately, that would mean you couldn't use coal empties for shipping ash, but would have to bring in empty ash cars, raising your costs and lowering your profits. :tb-hissyfit:
     
  8. chooch.42

    chooch.42 TrainBoard Member

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    Hey, Rick, you've taken on quite a project...hope this helps. this is Conemaugh Power station at New Florence, Pa. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q...369,-79.062198&spn=0.082378,0.154324&t=h&z=13 . The plant is served by NS on the Pittsburgh Mainline about 16 miles west of Johnstown. This plant has been upgraded with percipitators, so has a relatively clean stack. The "exhaust scrubbers" use limestone (like ballast stone), delivered in hoppers (track on the south of the plant), to absorb the sulfuric acid condensed from the coal gasses. this breaks down the limestone structure, producing "gypsum", which is shipped out in the same hoppers to wallboard companies for use in building materials (re-cycle and make some $$). The ash (fly & bottom), as far as I know, is trucked to property about a mile north of the plant, piled up and covered with soil to secure it. Other places may do it otherwise (last December, a BILLION gallons of sludge was released when a dam let go in Tenn. - caused lots of damage), but this seems common in Pa. Google maps are fun ! Hope this helps your project, or at least gives you a new perspective (Aerial !) Bob C.
     
  9. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

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    Georgia Power Plant Scherer near Macon, GA is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the world. They receive unit trains of coal from the Powder River Basin delivered by BNSF via Norfolk Southern. At Memphis, BNSF hands the trains off to NS which delivers the loads to Plant Scherer and the empties back to Memphis. The trains run with 100% BNSF power even though they are operated by NS. There are a few other plants around here that do the same thing, but also receive unit coal trains from Appalachia, so they will receive either BNSF or UP trains with PRB coal and CSX or NS trains with eastern coal. This is a good way to model two railroads even though a plant is only served via rail by one. Jamie
     
  10. chooch.42

    chooch.42 TrainBoard Member

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  11. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Both the BNSF and the UP have separate lines into the W.A. Parish Power Plant at Smithers Lake, Texas, south west of Houston. They burn more than 11 million tons of coal per year. At first only BNSF had a line in and held the only contract to bring in Powder River Basin coal. Then UP picked up a contract to deliver additional coal that the power plant picked up on the spot market. BNSF refused to grant UP track rights for the last 20 or so miles into the plant, so the power company built their own line to hook into the UP. It paid for itself in three years. Now that all long term contracts have expired UP and BNSF have to bid against each other so that helps the power company get the best rates.
     
  12. Triplex

    Triplex TrainBoard Member

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    Texas Utilities' Martin Lake plant is served by both TXU electrics hauling lignite and BNSF trains of Powder River coal.
     
  13. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    Earl Murphy has offered to build me a power plant. He works for an electric utility, and has substantial knowledge of the workings of energy production. I have an area approximately 10' x 3' reserved for the power plant property on my N scale layout.
     
  14. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Western Farmers Electric Cooperative's coal-fired plant can either get coal from BNSF (which reaches this Ft. Towson, OK facility via the Kiamichi RR at Lakeside, OK) or from a KCS/TO&E/WFEC ( from Wright City, OK on the TO&E) routing, depending on who has the best price on the contract. So far, BNSF/KRR is the routing of choice. The coal coming via BNSF comes from the Buckskin Mine in the Powder River Basin.
     
  15. corporaldan

    corporaldan TrainBoard Member

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    Ive worked in power plants a number of years cleaning up flyash throughout the plant. Believe it or not but there is an enormous amount of flyash that comes out of these plants. A lot of plants have their own landfill facility nearby to dispose of it . I do know of at least one plant that ships it out by covered hoppers, so yes it is transported by rail
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Does it have any use? Or is it strictly all land fill?
     
  17. corporaldan

    corporaldan TrainBoard Member

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    One of the plants I worked at had it trucked out and used in making cement. At plants that used limestone and had the byproduct of gypsum; they would mix the gypsum with the flyash and take it to the landfill. the gypsum would be wet when mixed with the flyash. when the gypsum dries it becomes hard as a rock. flyash on its own is really dusty and can blow all over the place when its not wet. you couldn't take it a landfill by itself, cause the wind would blow it away.
     
  18. corporaldan

    corporaldan TrainBoard Member

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    It may have the use in fertilizer too. I remember years ago I worked on the Tennessee Southern RR . One of our customers loaded covered hoppers with potash , which was shipped to Florida to be used as fertilizer. The potash facility in Tennessee was the dump site for some big factory that had been long out of business and tore down. So I never found out what the potash was from, Im thinking a steel mill perhaps.
     
  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    There's a prototype in Eastover, SC. NS has a line in from the south and CSX from the north. You can see that the both share the same loop within the property and when empty, trains are easily headed back to home rails.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    Back to one of the original questions, the Detroit Edison Trenton (MI) plant is just onto Conrail Detroit Shared Asset Area, which mainly sees NS trains. CSX has rights on the CR SAA and currently handles all coal movements into the plant. The coal is almost exclusively Powder River coal coming off BNSF.
     

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