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Defra stance on coal burning. Have your say now ....

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Sheff, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    It is not just on the surface that coal can combust. At Chatterly Whitfield in 73 or there abouts the Bullhurst seam caught light. Despitr emergency salvage work the face was eventually abandoned and sealed up with a lot of the face equipment abandoned.

    The size of coal is dependent on principally two factors - how friable the coal and how it is mined. At Floence where I did my face training the Winghay seam was easily shattered. Pick lumps up on your shovel and watch them shatter when they hit the conveyor. Alot of coal is mined using a schearer. This is an electro hydraulic beast which cuts using a drum covered in picks in a spiral pattern. Simply by its cutting action it does not yield large lumps. A treppan cutter does yield larger lumps but is only really useful in low seams. Traditioal methods of coal getting, undercutting and explosives did yield large lumps but it is slow compared to power loading. An undercut face may advance 4 to 5 ft a day. A power loading face would advance up to 6ft a shift. 6ft on days, 4ft on noons and a 2ft cheaky on nights gives 12ft advance. Th only reason that they only got 2ft on nights was we cut off power to do essential maintenance
     
  2. blink bonny

    blink bonny Member

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    The size doesn't just depend on the method of mining though; shearer, cutter, trepanner, or plough, as you say the friabilty of the coal comes into it. The main factor is the attributes of the coal types in a particular seam (see the post above yours).

    Regarding spon-com underground, in 1966 there was a huge underground fire at Lynemouth just down the road from me. I believe it started in the goaf. That was the pit where my dad eventually retired from. The fire almost closed the colliery, a modern one, mining under the North Sea and the most productive in the county at the time. Although they never managed to bring it under control they saved the colliery by closing off the burning district and bricking-up and roadways leading into it. Despite those efforts the fire continued to burn afterwards. Millions of tonnes of reserves were lost. The pit finally closed in the 80s, when it was merged with the adjacent Ellington pit.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Spon Com was quite common in the legendary Barnsley seam, as was methane emission, leading to many fires and explosions over the years. However, it was the finest of coal and the prime reason for the sinking of many Yorkshire pits, especially on the east side of the coalfield. Other seams were often left until the Barnsley bed was worked out. The Oaks colliery disaster started in the Barnsley seam. http://www.oaks1866.com/
    All this talk of mining coal is as good as talking about steam locos.:)
     
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  4. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    On a smaller scale I remember in the late ‘70s a spontaneous fire within the embankment just outside Ongar station which burned for several months, or maybe a year or two until they found a way to seal it off. No visible flames just smoke drifting over the Central Line tube trains. At the time the local paper said the fire was caused by the dumping of loco ash and coal dust on the embankment over many decades.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There is a point on the Bluebell Railway, north of Horsted Keynes, locally known to this day as "Fire Slip" on account, I believe, of having been built of made up loco ash and char which caught fire as you describe. It was eventually dug out and replaced some years ago.

    Tom
     
  6. blink bonny

    blink bonny Member

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    When we were school-kids and our town was ringed with still-working collieries we would often go across the fields or play around the back of the pitheaps where there were flooded ditches where we would catch frogs or newts and do other stuff to keep us out of the house. I remember one place in particular next to the river where some colliery spoil was burnt over the years to red shale next to the riverside path. The fire was obviously still burning well inside the heap, as evidenced by the smell of smoke coming from various vents about the size of rat holes.

    We quickly learnt that by gathering a few sticks we could then start a nice little campfire without the aid of matches just by getting a twist of newspaper and pushing into one of these vents. In a very few minutes it would char, then glow, then burst into flames.

    A nice outdoor practical science lesson with not a teacher within miles.

    Fun too.
     
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  7. Smokestack Lightning

    Smokestack Lightning Member

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    There was a TV program a couple of years ago which suggested that Titanic had set off with one of its coal bunkers on fire as a result of spontaneous combustion. Also that one of the reasons it was steaming along at high speed was to empty the bunker as quickly as possible.

    I have to say that the evidence they put forward was very compelling.

    Dave
     
  8. blink bonny

    blink bonny Member

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    A few lumps of ice was all they were after to damp it down.

    Worked a treat.
     
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  9. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Town gas has a natural smell. Natural gas doesn't so the odorant is added so that it can be detected. The odorant used to added at the point where gas was brought ashore, but this caused issues in gas storage facilities, so now it is added at the local distribution zones (LDZs)
     
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  10. Smokestack Lightning

    Smokestack Lightning Member

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    Ouch :eek:

    Dave
     
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