The Appalachian Coal Industry: Modeling the Prototype

"Modeling coal-hauling railroads seems to be very popular with model railroaders. This excellent new video is a "must purchase" for anyone wanting to build a coal road or just learn about the coal industry in the U.S. I know I learned a lot. The tape combines prototype scenes with video taken on the HO standard gauge layouts of John Wilkes and Tom Wilson.

"This new tape starts with a detailed description of the Appalachian coal region, showing how the railroads generally followed the path of least resistance down river and stream valleys where there was heavy foliage, and many rock outcroppings. Company towns are described, including the company stores that controlled miners' lives for so many years. A model of one of the these stores shown. Next the tape shows many views of mines and tipples along with some old film of the East Broad Top.

"The tape then describes the four kinds of coal, and discusses the history of coal mining in the U.S. dating back to 1674. Here many still photos are used. Coal handling equipment is described next, along with coal mining methods such as strip mining, and underground mining in shafts, drifts and slope mines. Support facilities for cleaning, sorting, and grading coal are also shown. John then demonstrates how to model HO scale conveyers for your coal industries.

"Coal is transported by truck, rail, and ship in the U.S. Each method is described and illustrated with both prototype and model scenes. I really liked Tom's model of a barge repair facility. The tape goes on to show rotary car dumpers, coke ovens, steel mills, and ends with how modern coal railroads operate.

"While this tape shows modern Diesel railroads hauling coal, I was fascinated with the basic information on the coal industry and how to model it. The material is well organized and laid out step-by-step, so it is easy to understand. I hope Green Frog will do another tape like this one. How about taking on metallic ore mining or lumbering?" Bob Brown, editor - Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette



"High fives all around....this video left the entire panel excited. Unlike anything any of us had seen before, it is, quite literally, a prototype modelling clinic in a box.

"The title says it all... It would be hard to find the room to list all that we like in the tape but, in no particular order, here are some: the dynamic underground mining shots; the smooth layout shots with the skillful integration of real sound; the coal unloading sequences; the use of photo stills and diagrams; and generally speaking, the interpretation of the history and technology." Canadian Railway Modeller


"The Appalachian Coal Industry: Modeling the Prototype is the most comprehensive video yet on the subject. This is definitely a tape for modelers, as it explains a prototype feature and then follows up with examples from both layouts. Anyone interested in the coal industry will benefit from this tape. It's a first-rate production with excellent examples that'll fit right into a model railroad." Jim Hediger, senior editor - Model Railroader

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