Coxton Yard Coaling Tower

Basic
Region: Coxton Yard
Location
Type: Railroad feature
Status: Abandoned, in severe disrepair
Parent: Coxton Yard
Opened: (likely) 1870
Closed: 1940-1970

This is the coaling tower built to service the Lehigh Valley Coxton Yard. Built in (likely) 1870 with the rest of the yard, this is one of many coaling towers built by the Roberts & Schaefer Company. The tower closed sometime between 1940 and 1970, likely during the Lehigh Valley’s dieselisation period.

The tower is in poor condition. Many of the structures show partial collapse, and all hand rails have broken welds. None of the roof ladders leading into the interior are safe.

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower 1940 Steam Locomotive Leaving

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower 1940 Steam Locomotive Leaving

by Unknown - Public domain

A 1940 Lehigh Valley steam locomotive at the [[ coaling tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]].

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower 1970 Early Abandonment

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower 1970 Early Abandonment

by Unknown - Public domain

The [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]] during its early abandonment. The tower still looks in fair condition, however there are no rails under the structure anymore. Because the only historic photos of this structure are the two from 1970 and 1940, it is unclear exactly when this was abandoned.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Underside Loading Area

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Underside Loading Area

by Unknown - Public domain

The underside and loading area of the [[ Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. On the ceiling you can see the chutes where coal from the tower would be dispensed into trains. There used to be railroad tracks under these chutes. To the left is the support buildings and the track that goes to the top. To the right is the active yard.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Support Buildings

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Support Buildings

by Unknown - Public domain

The support buildings for the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. The building to the left was completely empty, however, the large I-beam frame on the roof is a strong indication there used to be heavy equipment on it. In the middle there is the incoming coal loading area, and to the right there is the motor building. Both of these will be shown in-depth later on.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Motor Building

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Motor Building

by Unknown - Public domain

This small building housed the large motors for the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. These motors wound and unwound a large steel cable that went to the top of the tower, around a pulley, and back down to the bottom. This system was used to pull and lower the carts up the track to move coal to the top.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Coal Intake Area

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Coal Intake Area

by Unknown - Public domain

This is where incoming coal would be offloaded for us in the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. Sitting directly behind and perpendicular to the large track, coal would be offloaded downwards into the tower’s carts, which would then be pulled up to the top of the tower.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Lower Intake Area

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Lower Intake Area

by Unknown - Public domain

The lower intake area. This flooded area sat directly below the intake track. Carts would be lowered down to get coal, and pulled up the track to load the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]].

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Cart Track

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Cart Track

by Unknown - Public domain

Looking up at the [[ large cart track // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]].

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Guide Pulleys

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Guide Pulleys

by Unknown - Public domain

The pulleys were 2/3 up the track, and helped guide the two steel cables in the right place. They are branded ROBERTS & SCHAEFER CO, the company that built this [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]].

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Top Control Area

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Top Control Area

by Unknown - Public domain

The top control area of the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. There were a few levers, all of them either broken or seized. In the distance is the rest of the Coxton Yard area. To the right is the loading area, and to the far right is the top of the cart track. The large main pulleys are above.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Top Control Area (Fisheye)

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Top Control Area (Fisheye)

by Unknown - Public domain

A wider fisheye view of the control area on the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. This photo is looking towards the active yard, and was taken on the metal platform. This is a clearer, albeit more distorted view of the top intakes.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Tower Intake

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Tower Intake

by Unknown - Public domain

Looking down at the actual [[ tower intake // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. The very top of the cart track can be seen up to the large holes. The large holes lead down to a series of chutes.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Large Main Pulleys

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Large Main Pulleys

by Unknown - Public domain

The large main pulleys used to pull carts up to the top of the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. The platform was extremely sketchy, rusted to hell, and flexed with every step.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Looking Down the Track

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Looking Down the Track

by Unknown - Public domain

Looking down the track, at the very top of the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. Behind are the large main pulleys. The tower coal intakes are directly below.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Lower Platform

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Lower Platform

by Unknown - Public domain

The lower platform on the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. This platform was also pretty sketchy as it flexed and cracked when I jumped on it. Pictured in front is a hatch with inside access, although it is not safe to attempt to access that ladder without a rappelling setup.

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Jesus Ladder

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Jesus Ladder

by Unknown - Public domain

The upper, bent portion of this ladder used to be up against the wall of the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]], allowing safe access to the lower inside portion. However, it has since detached itself, and now Jesus is the only thing keeping it on that roof :)

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Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Inside Top

Coxton Yard Coaling Tower Inside Top

by Unknown - Public domain

A fisheye photo of the inside of the top of the [[ tower // Coxton Yard Coaling Tower ]]. Birds love the inside of this thing; they could be heard all the time.

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