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The Galesburg & Great Eastern primarily hauled coal from mines at Victoria, Illinois to Wataga, Illinois. At Wataga, these loads of coal were either unloaded at a coal facility (called a “dock”) or were transferred to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. The G&GE also hauled other freight, delivering loads generated by grain elevators in both Victoria and at a location called "Alert". In addition to the traffic generating industries, the railroad also had support structures.

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The Galesburg & Great Eastern primarily hauled coal from a large strip mine located south of Victoria. This mine removed top soil, then dug out coal from the Herrin No. 6 seam. The coal was then hauled to this coal tipple (also called a "breaker" or "washer").

Photo courtesy William Raia, taken by Paul Stringham, November 12, 1954.

Here, the coal was cleaned (removing any debris), broken up into uniform sized pieces, sorted and loaded into waiting hopper cars.  Although reports have stated that the G&GE had "five hopper cars", it is likely that most of the cars being loaded here were "off-line" cars belonging to other railroads. Note that different tracks load different grades of coal into the waiting hopper cars.

Here, a view from the opposite side of the coal breaker. By this time (probably ca. 1960), the washer has been painted silver.

Photo courtesy Ron Hatch Collection, by Kenneth C. Ziegler.

Note the plume of smoke residue over one track of the tipple (right side of photo ). This may be where the road's steam engines had their tenders refilled; it is natural to assume that the G&GE burned coal from its own mines.

In operation, the G&GE would deliver a group of empty cars to the tipple which would then be loaded. Because of a severe gradient north of the coal breaker, the railroad would haul loaded cars four at a time up to a departure yard (called Upper Yard). Here, these cars would be marshalled into trains of about fourteen to eighteen cars, which would then be taken to Wataga (ten miles away).

At Wataga, most cars would be interchanged with the Chicago, Burlington  & Quincy, while some were unloaded at another facility.

Photo courtesy William Raia, taken by Paul Stringham, March 8, 1955

Some loaded cars would be emptied at this coal dock located on the northeastern edge of the Wataga city limits. This facility was owned by Central Indiana Coal Company (later Stonefort Coal), also the owner of the G&GE. It was used to transfer coal from the Little John Mine to trucks for sale in the general vicinity. At close of operations of the Little John Mine (and thus the G&GE), this facility was disassembled and moved to Wyoming, Illinois, where it was rebuilt and improved. At Wyoming, this facility sold output from the Allendale Mine, also owned by Stonefort. The cars were unloaded at the right side of this facility, and the coal conveyed up into different silos, again sorted by coal grade.

The G&GE also hauled other freight, delivering loads generated by grain elevators at both Victoria and at a location called "Alert". Photographs were not available at the time of this posting.

The Little John Mine

Here is a picture of the mine shovel.

Photo courtesy Ron Hatch Collection, by Kenneth C. Ziegler.

This electrically powered monster was used to remove the top layer of soil ("overburden") to expose the coal for removal. This photo was taken at the beginning of the mine's operations (the clean condition of the shovel indicates that it has not yet been used). To the right in the distance, it is apparent that the mine tipple is being assembled.

To the left of the shovel is a stiff leg derrick, being used to lift the various shovel parts into place for assembly. At the beginning of the mine's operations, an initial trench was dug with a smaller dragline shovel. The parts of this much larger shovel were then lowered into this pit for assembly. The stiff leg was then used to position the individual pieces of the shovel. All of the parts of both the shovel and the tipple would have been delivered to the mine by the G&GE.

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