Saturday, July 19, 2014

A picture from Captain Jimmy

Jimmy McCoy, who I met while he was on the Charleston for Amherst Madison, now on the Fred Way for the same company, sent me this picture this morning from Mile 365.

I replied: "Cool. Thanks. My older son, Joseph Ross, and I toured this boat during an open house in Huntington in 2008. My other son, the river freak Adam Ross, wants to get on board sometime so he can say he's been on as many of the new AEP boats as I have."

Thanks for thinking of us, Captain.

Remember, this photo is owned by Captain Jimmy.

Unwelcome neighbors

A long, long time ago, back in the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s, I covered several proposed coal tipples along the Ohio River. In communities along the Ohio River, tipples were among the most divisive business enterprises of all.

Tipples, for those not familiar, are loading docks where trucks unload coal for it to be loaded onto barges. It got to thinking of them as I read about a proposed train-to-water coal dock being proposed for the Louisiana city of Gretna. This item is the most recent I've found on it. Here is another one.

It reminded me of what's going on in the Pacific Northwest. Here in the Ohio Valley, coal is something that's in the background and has always been in the background. It's something we don't think about unless someone wants to put a lot of it next door. But in other regions, people don't want the mess and congestion coal brings.

The truck-to-barge coal docks in my part of the Ohio River are all gone now. Many have been dismantled, but the ruins of some remain as mines have played out and economics have changed the transportation system.