Montour Railroad 

Montour Railroad








Working on the Montour

Sposato Stories


Railroading 101



Champion Coal Washer

Bob Ciminel's report on the Champion Coal Washer.

As the "heart" of the Montour Railroad the Champion No. 1 coal washing plant did a very simple thing - empty the coal cars, remove impurities from the run-of-mine coal, reload the coal cars, and dump the waste across the road.
If you could model the plant as it was built in 1928, you would have loaded cars going into and out of the plant and side-dump waste cars being hauled through Boggs Yard out to the dump.  There's enough action there to eliminate the need for anything else.
Here are some highlights from the history of the plant:
1928 - Built
1930 - Champion yard office built
1940 - DISCO plant built
1950 - Slate trains terminated
1970 - First coal reclaim facility built
1979 - Second reclaim facility built on dump (?)
1983 - Closed and leased to Bologna Coal Company
1990 - Yard office torn down
Although it was not a coal mine, the Champion coal washing plant nestled in the valley between U.S. Route 22 and PA Route 980 was the heart of the Montour Railroad between 1928 and 1983.  For during that 55-year period, Champion cleaned and shipped 13,000 tons of coal a day and provided the Montour Railroad with the best freight-hauling scenario a railroad could ask for: fully-loaded cars moving both to and from the customer.
Bob Ciminel

The Champion Plant from 1950