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Coal Car

Detailed Description

Coal was essential to the operation of the larger steam engines. Coal burns at extremely hot temperatures and burns for a long time, making it an ideal fuel for converting water into steam. The coal mined in the Scranton area, where Steamtown National Historic Site is located, is known as anthracite, and has the highest carbon content and the fewest impurities of any coal class. As a result, its smoke has the least amount of soot, which was valuable for passenger cars where riders did not want their clothes stained.


Public Domain.