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During the lifespan of a coal mine it will gain multiple levels within the mine.  Compressed air locomotives (dinkies), and horses would move the coal cars within the coal seams, but if the coal cars were needed on different levels they would require hoists to pull to the coal cars vertically.

Hoistment were responsible for the operation and maintenance of the hoists.  The hoist cable was attached to the coal cars and wound in or out to move the cars upwards or downwards.    The cable could sometimes break, or the coal cars could derail which was very dangerous.  A 'drag' or metal bar was placed behind the coal cars to prevent them from slipping backward while being pulled up a slope.  The drag would dig into the ground and dump the cars if the rope broke, preventing them from sliding backwards on the track.


This is an example of an electrical hoist used underground at Balmer North in BC.  Most of these in the Bellevue Mine were powered by compressed air. 

Hoistmen were responsible for the maintenance and operation.

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