Friday, April 08, 2005

More Coal to California

Returning to our earlier conversation about coal in California, check out the web site on the Balclutha. Built in 1887 in Wales, her maiden trip was to California with a load of coal, returning with a load of California wheat. wheat was the valuable cargo, and British ships were know to have sailed to California with loads of cobble stones as ballast. So the British coal likely was not all that expensive. (Note even today, if you can get a back-haul from a trucker you can get a significantly cheaper rate. I've also heard of fairly inexpensive shipping rates in containers from Hawaii to the mainland, as most freight is going TO Hawaii.)

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum

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