DeKalb Coaling Tower

On of the landmarks of DeKalb is the Coaling Tower.  Coaling Towers can be thought of as the gas stations for steam engines.




A simple process really.

First, coal was hauled up to the bin by a conveyor system and stored.  Then when a train came through it would park with the tender under the chute and gravity did the rest. The bin could hold 50-100 ton of coal






Though it hasn’t been used for it’s intended purpose for decades this tower still stands tall serving it’s secondary purpose as a photographic model.


The fact that the tracks under the tower are still active makes it even better.


Frankly, structures like this are able to survive because they were built like tanks.  Steel reinforced and concrete encased made this coaling tower strong and very, very expensive to try to remove.

I was not able to find any history on this specific Coaling Tower but I did discover you can buy a scale model of it.  (DeKalb Coaling Tower)

So, if you visit DeKalb, make your way to Rotary Park and you’ll be within sight, sound and walking distance of this beautiful giant.

(This Photo Contributed by J Long)


DeKalb Coaling Tower — 5 Comments

  1. The coal chutes in DeKalb were ran by my great grandfather and his two sons . I have a few pics of it was it was working

  2. When I was a child I spent time with my grandpa(Roy Burdick) at the coal shute where he worked and I also remember when he would be riding in the train caboose!

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