Steel Mill Scene in a corner

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beiland

Well-Known Member
#1
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 that's 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 think I have found a place for it to sit, but I need help in its orientation and location.


I'm seriously considering locating a fully built blast furnace in the lower right hand corner of this benchwork plan. It would have to sit out from the walls enough to allow a double track mainline to circle around it. I sketched in a 30" radius lines to illustrate. (it might be nice if I could hide those as they passed to the rear)??







Those are 1"= 1foot marks along the edge, and the temporary blast furnace foot print I place there is 27" by 10". Of course the back drop in that corner could be more painted steel making structures.

I also have a small selection of a variety of steel making cars I could have hanging out front of the blast furnace.


Suggestions??
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#3
I have another possible solution for you. Elevate the blast furnace a bit and have the track pass under it in a tunnel.
 

migalyto

Well-Known Member
#4
Looks like you know you’re dimensions, cut a mock up out of cardboard to the corner dimensions, and see if it fits, and looks the way you want.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Here's a Howard Fogg painting of what I had in mind when I mentioned the tunnel. I recall passing through this tunnel during excursions on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie in the 1970's. I tried to find it on Google maps, but it seems to be gone, possibly removed when the tore down the mill.

jl-pittsburgh-works.jpg
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#6
A bit more Googling indicates the tunnel does still exist, though the area its in has been so totally rebuilt that I would never have recognized it. The only real landmark left is the "hot metal bridge" that they used to haul hot metal cars over the river.

In any case, having the tracks duck under the mill in a tunnel is prototypically accurate.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#7
I thought about this idea of a tunnel situation, and will have to give it more thought. The one problem I see is that my 20" separation between the double decks of my layout are already a little short of the blast furnace's height of 22".

foot print of blast furnace alone.jpg


blast furnance with painted backdrop.JPG
foot print of blast furnace alone.jpg
blast furnance with painted backdrop.JPG
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#8
Here's a Howard Fogg painting of what I had in mind when I mentioned the tunnel. I recall passing through this tunnel during excursions on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie in the 1970's. I tried to find it on Google maps, but it seems to be gone, possibly removed when the tore down the mill.

View attachment 26388
Interesting photo there Bob, thanks a lot for finding it.

I'm wondering why I did NOT receive notifications in my email about new replies to this subject thread??
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#9
There's a couple possible reasons for that. If you're still logged in, you'll see the alerts but not get an e-mail. It shows you as being logged in for up to an hour.

Also, they often go to junk mail. Suggest putting "modelrailroadforums @ gmail.com" (no spaces) into your address book, to help it not get sent to spam.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#10
I thought about this idea of a tunnel situation, and will have to give it more thought. The one problem I see is that my 20" separation between the double decks of my layout are already a little short of the blast furnace's height of 22".
Well, there's nothing wrong with having them curve around the plant, and it was the more common solution. Steel mills all had tracks going past them, they got most of their materials by rail. So it will look great, just have to coordinate the location accordingly.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#11
This past Jan I had the pleasure of visiting a semi-annual 'open house' layout in Orlando Fl. It was a pretty interesting layout, and one scene in particular attracted my attention. it was a steel mill scene placed in a corner area in a diagonal manner rather than in conformity with the straight sides of the corner.

My thoughts were that it presented a lot of 'structure' in a fairly small space.

I am interested in such an idea as I hope to put a steel mill scene on my new relatively small layout




























I liked this scene a lot, BUT I just don't think I have room for it,...particularly if I try to run two mainline curves behind it
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#12
Here's a Howard Fogg painting of what I had in mind when I mentioned the tunnel. I recall passing through this tunnel during excursions on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie in the 1970's. I tried to find it on Google maps, but it seems to be gone, possibly removed when the tore down the mill.

View attachment 26388
Howard Fogg was a famed railroad artist. He also made one of the few surviving sound recordings of a Union Pacific 4-12-2 steam locomotive, the UP 9009 http://utahrails.net/up/up-4-12-2-sounds.php
But did you know this about him?
From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_L._Fogg
Drafted into the Army in 1941, Howard transferred to the Army Air Corps and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant with pilot's wings in November, 1942. On April 10, 1943 he married Margot Dethier, daughter of the Belgian classical violinist Edouard Dethier, and that October Howard sailed for England, assigned to the 359th Fighter Group,[2] USAAF Station 133 in East Wretham. As chronicled in the book Fogg in the Cockpit,[3] he flew 76 combat missions in P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs and was awarded the Air Medal with three clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross with one cluster.

And now you know...... the rest of the story.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#13
Relocated Steel Mill

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.

I have not bothered to move the turntable yet, but obviously it will need to move just a little bit to the left.

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
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#14
Baltimore & Steel

...a little background of why I am trying to put both on my new layout...

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.

I recall that Baltimore city had a known history of being a 'steel town',....the great big Sparrows Point facility
Images of Sparrows Point Steel



There was a time when Bethlehem Steel’s gigantic plant at Sparrows Point dominated life and the economy on the lower east side of Baltimore County. Everybody knew somebody who worked "downa Point.

Just so happens that Balt was also the birthplace of the American railroads,..."The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) became the first chartered railroad in the United States"


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.

Just yesterday I think I solved that problem. I've found a place in the corner. It was inspired by a compact scene I had witnessed this past Dec upon an open house visit to a club in Orlando FL
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#15
I like it! I really like the Orlando mill scene, they've captured the size and complexity of a mill without it taking up a huge amount of space. It's an excellent solution.

I do have a suggestion about the bridge though. I'd consider a steel trestle rather than stone arches, even though I like stone arch viaducts. In fact, I have a photo of that very bridge (Thomas Viaduct) with the Chessie Steam Special running over it hanging on my wall.

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.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#16
I like it! I really like the Orlando mill scene, they've captured the size and complexity of a mill without it taking up a huge amount of space. It's an excellent solution.

I do have a suggestion about the bridge though. I'd consider a steel trestle rather than stone arches, even though I like stone arch viaducts.

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).
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#18
Another fellow named Bob on another forum agrees with you Bob,...

Bob, on another forum
Since you moved the industry into that corner, I was wondering how any tracks from the steel mill would run under that stone arch. Any of those tracks would need to be near 90 degrees. By using the city steel viaduct the spans ar far greater and will allow track crossings(underpass) to be at an angle posssibly up to 30 degrees.

The steel mill in that corner may end up appearing somewhat lost especially under the upper deck. Maybe carry the steel girder all the way past as to not have the view blocked by stone arch
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.
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
#19
My steel scene/area is pretty small. Obviously I cant fit all of the Walther's sub structures in, but perhaps those 3 main structures that the Orlando layout included.

Is there anyone willing to give me a few ideas as to how to arrange those structures, and the tracks within that area?

I've attached a dwg with the scale marks at each 1" equals 1'

 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#20
new Steel Mill Idea





Now over to the steel mill portion of that corner of the layout. I really don't know what I will finally do here, but here is my newest idea. I will NOT utilize the electric furnace, but basically stick with the blast furnace and rolling mill, and rearranged thusly.









Here is how I quickly laid out the track there.



My basic condensed version assumes the Rolling Mill assumes two roles,...accepts molten metal from the blast furnace, and turns it into basic shapes it ships out on the other end??





NOTE: I think that mirror I show at the end of the blast furnace should make that scene appear much deeper,...and hide the dble mainline behind it.??
 





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