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First AC&Y Coal Dock

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:02 pm
by Luke
Many will recall the AC&Y's elegant steel coal tipple in East Akron, for years the most visible landmark of AC&Y's Brittain yard and terminal. Built in 1931, the 180-ton steel coal dock survived well into the diesel era after the last steam engine was retired in 1956. It was modern for its time with two 90-ton compartments to hold different grades of locomotive coal. The dock also held locomotive sand with the dryer building just below to one side. The steel dock was finally dismantled in the early 1960's. Sand towers were brought in from Carey and Delphos.

Few would know that there were actually two previous coal docks at Brittain and one at Silver Street, the old Northern Ohio Railway terminal. The first Brittain coal dock was actually a coal platform built when the yard was constructed in 1912. Coal was hand shoveled into tenders of adjacent locomotives. Fortunately, the early engines were diminutive in size, so the process functioned reasonably well. A few years later, in 1918, an 85-ton wood coal tipple was built to service AC&Y's growing roster of much larger steam locomotives. We know it was built in 1918 based on ICC Valuation records. Amazingly, drawings of this interesting structure still exist among the many priceless artifacts found in the AC&Y Historical Society Archive. A copy of the drawing and early photo are provided for those who might have interest in modeling or seeing how the coal dock operated. The photo likely was taken between 1923 and 1926 as the roundhouse had been expanded beyond the original seven stalls.