CSX rear DPU #3452 slides west past the Chesapeake & Ohio coaling tower in Thurmond, WV on the morning of May 18, 2021.
Built by Fairbanks-Morse of Chicago, Illinois, this coaling tower was abandoned by the C&O Railway in 1960. The coaling tower operated as such: coal hoppers were shoved into the center track underneath the coaling tower where their coal loads were dropped into a pit underneath the structure. Coal then dropped into the pit, into a conveyer belt, through a crusher to reduce the size of the coal for locomotive use and then was transported up a bucket elevator where the coal was emptied into the storage container. Locomotives on either side of the coaling tower could then refuel their tenders using the various chutes. The chutes on the right side of the coaling tower were used for trains on the mainline heading East and West on the New River Subdivision and the chutes on the left side were used to refuel locomotives heading to and from the Loup Creek branch.