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limestone making plant in steel mill

steel mill scene in a corner (now coke plant & power plant) | model railroad hobbyist magazine

steel mill scene in a corner (now coke plant & power plant) | model railroad hobbyist magazine

I have been agonizing for sometime now as to how, ...or if, I could fit a Walthers steel mill blast furnace into my layout plans. First off I have a real nice one thats all ready built, and secondly it would compliment my Balt city theme on the lower level (and most of us know Balt used to be a big steel town).

So now I relocated the steel mill scene to the upper right hand corner of the layout. I spread that Orlando version out a bit more and like that one I moved it all the way into the corner area. The trackage is not exact, nor the buildings, it is just a basic idea at the moment.

I moved the double mainlines out a bit more, and straightened them a bit more. As I have mentioned before those dbl-track mainlines are set onto a stone arch bridge that was located in the Balt suburbs (photos attached). That dbl track bridge is rising up to +4 inches as the tracks leave the shed to enter the helix going up to the top level. That stone bridge also provides a single track connection over to the other side of the layout as an alternative to skip the trip up the helix, and make another trip around the bottom level.

Interestingly I had in the past been a little concerned about the overall height of the blast furnace to fit under that top deck. Well now it sits at ground zero on that main deck, and the top deck in that area just happens to be greater than the 'normal' 20" for that level. That's done to provide additional height for that upper balloon loop to clear the upper helix tracks.

So I have a nice dbl-track mainlines passing between the steel mill and the turntable/roundhouse scene. And I can get some halfway decent trackage in the steel mill scene. I might even be able to provide a track under one of the arches of that stone bridge (like the hopper car in that photo) for a small diesel loco to utilize in accessing those steel work cars

There are a few reasons I suggest that. First of all, it's much easier to see through, allowing a better view of your mill. Secondly steel bridges and steel mills just seem to go together, they're quite commonly seen in the same place. I'm sure there are some with stone arch bridges too, but I think steel is more common. The last reason is for your clearance. Put a small through truss in, or a short section with a smaller deck truss, and you'll have more room for your track underneath.

I wonder if I could do both? ....Steel trestle over on the right near the mill, then stone arch over on the single track left hand side in front of Balt City scene in that other corner (thin section buildings and painted backdrop).

Ever since Walthers came out with that steel mill kit there have been untold number of stand alone dioramas and full layout versions done on this theme. And it has fostered numerous other sub creations as to types of steel cars, ingots, etc, etc. I've visited a number of home layouts with steel scenes, and seen John Glabbs experiments with them.

There was a time when Bethlehem Steels gigantic plant at Sparrows Point dominated life and the economy on the lower east side of Baltimore County. Everybody knew somebody who worked 'down at the Point'.

So on my new proposed layout I want to have the lower deck level depict the city backdrop of Balt, and concurrently the steel aspect. Problem is I am limited in size I can devote to a large industry such as a steel mill.

There's a Yahoo newsgroup for steel mill modelers, some of them do O scale - one of them even built his own coke works! Only thing is you need to join the group before you can view the photos. But that is the place to go if you want to meet hardcore steel modelers in all the different scales. Here is the link:

I went to join this group today,...and was greeted with this "OATH" page. I wondered if I was going to be asked to pledge my first born before I continued on to read the rest of the legal stuff? Is this a result of other 'oath allegiances' being asked by our politicians ?

Following repeated problemswith Yahoo the Steel Yahoo group is now locked and exists as an archiveonly. All content was moved to its new location under Groups.io athttps://groups.io/g/STEELThis movehappened relatively recently. The group is largely focused on the US steel industry. I think I may be the only Aussie on there. Therelocated group is relatively active with a couple of posts.every day or so.

I think I belonged to this group before, but did not participate much. At least it seem to recoqnize my email and password. But now it tells me I need to wait for confirmation. No problems. At least I don't need to make an OATH....ha....ha

There are a few reasons I suggest that. First of all, it's much easier to see through, allowing a better view of your mill. Secondly steel bridges and steel mills just seem to go together, they're quite commonly seen in the same place. I'm sure there are some with stone arch bridges too, but I think steel is more common. The last reason is for your clearance. Put a small through truss in, or a short section with a smaller deck truss, and you'll have more room for your track underneath.

Has anyone got a few examples (photos) of those steel viaducts they are suggesting? Remember this double track bridge would start out from ground zero down lower on that right hand side of the room., then gradually rise to 4 inches high as it gets to the rear wall of the room/shed where it exits to the helix structure.

So you have a blast furnace but what I didn't catch was what you wanted the additional structures to be? From the pictures of the club it looks like to me one of the additional structures is an open hearth furnace producing ingots of steel from the iron and some type of rolling mill taking the steel ingots and making outbound steel loads. Would have to ask to be sure. I saw no evidence of a coke works or byproducts plant, so assume you want don't want that or have the kits. Saw no evidence of a blower house for the blast furnace so assume that is also somewhere else. So here is what I see....

outbound can be.... pig iron for open hearth furnace or Basic Oxygen Furnace or a transfer run somewhere else on layout, Slag going to dump to be processed into road materials, and dust going to sinter plant.

Basic Oxygen Furnaces are a fairly recent addition to the steel mill scene. Working memory because I loaned my books out, BOFs were developed in the '50s but didn't become common in the States until the '70s or '80s. And in many cases they have replaced not only the open hearths but the blast furnaces too.

The B&O built a number of expensive (even then) stone viaducts because iron was very expensive and steel in large quantities didn't exist yet. Remember, the Bessemer Converter was invented around 1860, and if memory serves the first one in America was fired in 1867. A total game changer.

So unless you're modeling a mainline built before the Civil War, like the B&O or the Pennsy, you are not likely to see a lot of multi-span stone viaducts. Especially across industrial areas. The two big later (circa 1900) stone viaducts I can think of, Pennsy's Rockville and GN's Minneapolis, both span wide shallow rivers. Concrete replaced stone soon after.

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