As featured on the PBS program “America Revealed” on 26 April, 2012, one of the largest coal rail terminals in the world, designed by Consultec, was profiled in detail. See the attached link, minutes 13:00 to 20:00.
To meet the growing demand for energy, coal from this western US coal mine is loaded on rail cars at the astonishing rate of 70 tons in 10 seconds. This is the equivalent of 8 million tons per month making it one of the largest coal terminals in the world!
However such flow rates pose significant engineering challenges. A reliable discharge system needed to be designed that could deal with the difficult flow properties of coal. After a detailed flowablility analysis, design of the unique withdrawal hopper and concrete silo was done with particular geometric properties and lined with special materials to promote mass flow.
As a fast track project, detail design was done in four months to enable a 12 month overall construction schedule.