Without them, no coal would ever be processed
after it came from underground. Coal is not ready to be shipped immediately after it is mined. It has to be cleaned (yea I
know, sounds silly, mined minerals that need a day in the wash cycle, but its true) grade quality determined and different
grades of coal are mixed to meet the burning needs of the buyer. In old days, most tipples or preparation plants as they are
more commonly called today, had underground "coke ovens" that heated or burned off the more combustible gasses from
coal leaving coke. This coke material was prized in the steel making industry. Tipples, load-outs, loaders, preparation plants
or whatever you are familiar with calling them are a vital part of rail transportation. Without them, coal hoppers could not
be filled and with today's technology, a trip of 100 hoppers can be loaded with-in a matter of a few hours.