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MoPac_Eagle

New Member
Good morning. It's cloudy and 53.
I've notived our Rural Hall local has been cut back to three days a week, this past week it was Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Has anybody else noticed a drop-off in activity?
My local shortline Evansville Western (EVWR) is up from two trains a week to a train at 1 P.M. on tuesday, thursday, and friday, and another at 12 A.M. They also upgraded the motive power from 6 gp35s to a SD70M, Sd40-2, and GP35.
 
Good morning America! It's 52° and a chance of rain most of the day. 52° is also the predicted high for the day! I can't see it, but from the increasing amount of light outside, there is a pretty good chance that the sun is rising!

Getting ready to go pick up our grocery order from Wal-Mart in a little bit. Have to see what we get and what we don't. Kind of like playing the lottery, but I must admit, we win a whole lot more playing the food game!

Here's a picture taken last year while my wife and I were out on a motorcycle ride and came across the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile.
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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Good morning and happy Monday. For a lot of folks the fact it’s Monday doesn’t mean much right now.
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Looks like this topic might work after all, and the forum is showing signs of coming back to life. My sincere thanks to everyone who’s working to get things going!
If you’re reading along but haven’t posted, please consider joining the conversation, we’d like to hear from you! Thanks everyone.
 
Anyone on here collect belt buckles or know a place to help determine the value of one? I've got a belt buckle that I got in 1982 when I worked for AMAX Coal Co. and was curious as to whether it might have any real value. It's a limited run of 3000 buckles but I have no idea where to start to get info.
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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Anyone on here collect belt buckles or know a place to help determine the value of one? I've got a belt buckle that I got in 1982 when I worked for AMAX Coal Co. and was curious as to whether it might have any real value. It's a limited run of 3000 buckles but I have no idea where to start to get info.
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I have no idea of the value of that belt. I do notice something else about it though. First Fatality Free year was 1981? So in the Illinois Mining business from 1882 to 1980, at least one person (and likely a lot more in some cases) was killed every single year. Every year, for nearly a CENTURY! Holy hell.

Railroading is a dangerous industry, and was even more so "back in the day". There weren't a lot of industries that were more dangerous. Coal mining is one of the few that was. Incredibly dangerous work, both from things like cave-ins, collapses and mine gas to more subtle things like black lung. It's an industry that few people really understand these days, and they don't realize how hard and dangerous it was. Even the strips mines, while definitely lower risk, are a tough place to make a living.
 
Strip mines didn't have roof falls (cave ins) like the underground mines, but they did have the highwalls (the exposed dirt after digging in the pit) and the spoils (the dirt, or overburden, that had been dug and pile to the side of the pit) slide, which was like a ribfall, but on a mega dose of steroids. Also, a lot of the work could involve working at heights. Back in those days, safety was just starting to be enforced strongly, but there were still a lot of corners that got cut. Not to mention the safety gear, like fall protection, was basically in its infancy. I had a couple of close calls that made me thankful to be alive and made me realize that I was not invincible!

The mine I worked at was the Sun Spot Mine, operated by AMAX Coal Company. It operated from 1962 to the end of 1983. I worked for a contractor building a Marion 8750 dragline for a year, then got hired by the mine in '77. We also had a Marion 5761 shovel with a 65 cu. yd. bucket. The dragline had a 110 cu. yd. bucket on it.

Here are some pictures of them that I took back in '82 and '83.

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A couple of pictures from inside one of the two cabs on the dragline.

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A picture from the cab of the shovel. The blob in the picture is the back of the operator's head.

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MoPac_Eagle

New Member
Strip mines didn't have roof falls (cave ins) like the underground mines, but they did have the highwalls (the exposed dirt after digging in the pit) and the spoils (the dirt, or overburden, that had been dug and pile to the side of the pit) slide, which was like a ribfall, but on a mega dose of steroids. Also, a lot of the work could involve working at heights. Back in those days, safety was just starting to be enforced strongly, but there were still a lot of corners that got cut. Not to mention the safety gear, like fall protection, was basically in its infancy. I had a couple of close calls that made me thankful to be alive and made me realize that I was not invincible!

The mine I worked at was the Sun Spot Mine, operated by AMAX Coal Company. It operated from 1962 to the end of 1983. I worked for a contractor building a Marion 8750 dragline for a year, then got hired by the mine in '77. We also had a Marion 5761 shovel with a 65 cu. yd. bucket. The dragline had a 110 cu. yd. bucket on it.

Here are some pictures of them that I took back in '82 and '83.

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A couple of pictures from inside one of the two cabs on the dragline.

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A picture from the cab of the shovel. The blob in the picture is the back of the operator's head.

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How tall are the Marion drag lines?
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Speaking of mine disasters, the Sunshine Mine disaster in Kellogg, ID occurred the spring of my senior year at Washington State University (Go Cougs!). I was familiar with the mine, having gone to high school in Lewiston, ID and having skied at what was then called Jackass Mountain out of Kellogg. If I recall correctly, it took a year for CO levels to subside to the point that rescue workers could enter the mine and bring out the bodies.

Remember the video someone put up of the collapsed retention pond dam in Brazil that caused a flood on the mining area that buried an ore train? Miraculously, two guys in a pickup caught in the flood survived.
 
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This is a picture from the Peoria Journal Star newspaper that appeared a couple of days after they walked it off the erection site In June of 1977.. It was taken with wide angle lens, so it appears somewhat distorted. The 8750 we had a 110 cu yd bucket. a 335 ft boom and was right at 200 ft to the point sheaves (the pulleys at the end of the boom). The 5761 had a 65 cu yd bucket and was about 150 feet tall. I've got a spec sheet somewhere that gives all of the info for the dragline. If I can find it, I'll try taking a picture of it and post it. You have to see the info in writting to believe how big these machines were. Plain old pictures don't begin to do them justice. It was torn down and shipped to the Powder River Basin in Wyoming about 1994 or so, where it was up graded with newer controls and is still working.

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Mining was, and still is, a dangerous job. Strip mines were safer than deep mines overall, but each had their own hazards, some shared and some unique to the location. I loved the time that I spent at the mine and I have a lot of good memories of it! Some people complain about rules and regulations in the workplace, whether it's a mine, factory, or construction site, but one thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that every one of those rules is written in the blood of a worker.
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Speaking of mine disasters, the Sunshine Mine disaster in Kellogg, ID occurred the spring of my senior year at Washington State University (Go Cougs!). I was familiar with the mine, having gone to high school in Lewiston, ID and having skied at what was then called Jackass Mountain out of Kellogg. If I recall correctly, it took a year for CO levels to subside to the point that rescue workers could enter the mine and bring out the bodies.

Remember the video someone put up of the collapsed retention pond dam in Brazil that caused a flood on the mining area that buried an ore train? Miraculously, two guys in a pickup caught in the flood survived.
That was quite the tragedy, sad to know that they risks their lives every day to work in shit conditions for poor pay while the owners got rich.

That whole area had lots of mines and lots of mine disasters. I recall driving the back road to Thompson Falls and see some of the abandoned mine sites, now so toxic they're super fund sites.


Definitely a boom and bust thing in that area, and I'm not sure it will ever fully recover.
 
Good morning America! It's 66 degrees and sunny and windy. They're calling for 50% chance of thunderstorms at 11:00 AM and continuing for a couple of days. At least I got the yard mowed yesterday and won't have to worry about that for a few days. We order our groceries online from Walmart and then drive there to pick them up. We've only been in one store, Lowe's, for over a month and we will probably keep it that way for quite some time. Captain Trips is gonna have to work to get us, we don't plan on making it easy for him! Everyone stay safe, wash your hands and stay six feet away!
 




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