Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kathleen Coal Mine in Dowel, IL

Roger Kujawa posted
Dowell, Illinois on the Illinois Central in southern Illinois.
[gendisasters has the same image but with different text in the margins.]
This satellite image is of the same area as the 1938 aerial photo. You can still see the land scars of the north and south connector tracks to the CN/IC mainline.


1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
During its operations between 1918 and 1945 over 150 men were killed working there. Its peak production was 5000 tons of coal per day.  [Wikipedia]

The land scars for the spur to the New Kathleen Coal Mine north of Dowell and on the west side are still visible. There is an incredible amount of strip-mined land scars north and west of that spur.

I guess the silver lining of not restoring strip-mined land is that we have some forests instead of farmland to help reduce our carbon footprint. That strip mining activity is not just New Kathleen. According to the 2005 SPV Map, the CN spur from Pickneyville is still active to the Pyatts-Fidelity Mine. It looks like the later plots of land were restored, but you can still see the lines of the cuts. It appears that Knight Hawk Coal and Red Hawk are new mines, but they are not rail served. Unless there is a coal power plant close by, I can't image a mine not having rail service. Especially since there was a spur nearby to the Pyatts-Fidelity Mine.

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