Friday, March 30, 2007

Rail Exhibits Display Track Takes Shape!

At the rear of the YSHP I am putting in about 90 feet of track which will become the new home of our new rail exhibits. The 80 ton Treadwell hot metal car and one of the EEC GE 70 ton locomotives will be displayed here. The above photos show the topsoil scraped off and the other photo taken this morning shortly after a load of slag was delivered. I was about to smooth out the slag however just as I was about to do so a hydraulic line on our Allis Chalmers front end loader blew out. Fortunately the hydraulic oil shot away from machine or I would have become one well lubricated machine operator!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Moltrup Steel Products Salvage Project

During the week of March 12 I spent five days at the former Moltrup Steel Products Co. in Beaver Falls, PA removing equipment and items of historical interest both for the Youngstown Steel Heritage Park and for my employer. The plant is slated for demolition and this was a last ditch effort to save some interesting pieces of industrial history.

Here is a list of items acquired for the YSHP:

three large wood and cast iron carts
set of wooden double doors (these will become the front doors ofthe Tod Engine building)
3" steel round bar for Tod Engine foundation bolts
1" thick steel plate for the Tod Engine foundation project
3 ton spreader beam
4 ton beam trolley (for use on our Wallace gantry crane)
misc. smaller items, gauges, motors, etc.

Removal of the items was hampered by the fact that the "good stuff" was located on the second floor of a building whose elevator is not operational. That equipment was removed via an extended reach forklift through a hole in the wall.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Youngstown Steel Mill Engineering Drawing CDs Available

The Tod Engine Foundation has a series of CD ROMs available which contain digitized engineering drawings of Youngstown district steel mills. The drawings are scanned in PDF format and are incredibly detailed. These are the actual plans used when these mills were built.

  1. YS&T Campbell Works Blast Furnace Plant. Engineering drawings and photos of the Campbell Works blast furnace plant specifically in the 1905 through 1930 era.
  2. YS&T Brier Hill Works Rolling Mills CD. Engineering Drawings of the Brier Hill rolling mills including the blooming mill, 24" merchant mill, 24" continuous mill and 35" intermediate blooming mill spanning 1913 to 1979.
  3. Steel Industry Rolling Stock CD. Engineering Drawings of hot metal cars, slag cars, blast furnace transfer and scale cars, coke quench car, ingot mold cars and locomotives from various steel plants.

The CDs sell for $20.00 each with $1.50 per order for shipping. All money generated from the sales go toward our continuing efforts to preserve steel industry artifacts at the Tod Engine Heritage Park. You can order by mail by sending a check to the Tod Engine Foundation, 2261 Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH 44505 or by sending the money via paypal to

Historic GE 70 Tonners at Ellwood Engineered Castings

Idling between assignments, a very rare 1942 General Electric 70 ton center cab switcher peeks out of the melt shop door at Ellwood Engineered Castings in Hubbard, Ohio. This locomotive, number 6114B is living out her last days in active service. Sister locomotive 6114A suffered a mechanical failure a couple of years ago and is now permanently out of service. The two locomotives are due to be replaced by rebuilt GE 44 tonners, one of which has already been delivered and put in service. However there is a bright future in store for these two historic units, as they have been pledged to the Tod Engine Foundation for preservation. Once the second 44 tonner is delivered the two 70 tonners will be retired, donated and moved to our Heritage Park for perpetual display. One of the locomotives will be maintained in operable condition and provide DC power to drive some of our operating displays such as the 80 ton hot metal car and the electric drive on the Tod Engine. The two locomotive were built in 1942 for the New York Central and wore numbers 512 and 513. Later they were sold to Standard Slag in Youngstown and became number 40 and 41. Standard Slag later sold the units to Valley Mould & Iron and became 6114A and 6114B. Since these two locomotives have spent their entire lives together it is only fitting that they both be preserved and displayed together in retirement.

5 Ton Gantry Crane

On January 31, 2007 the former Cold Metal Products plant in Youngstown was auctioned. I had my eye on only one lot, number 313. This was a 5 ton Wallace gantry crane with motorized drive. The crane has a 35 foot span and 16 feet under the beam and is exactly the right size to span the Tod Engine. Since the engine is quite large most of the parts, including some of the bolts and nuts need a crane to move them around. Having a crane is a must for the Tod's restoration however installing an overhead crane isn't cheap. Finding the Wallace gantry crane was a wonderful stroke of luck and with a bid of $2500 we are now the proud owners of this extremely useful piece of equipment. The crane has been moved to the Heritage Park and is in storage until spring when it wil lbe erected over the engine.

80 Ton Treadwell Hot Metal Car Project

On March 4, 2007 several volunteers met at Station Square in Pittsburgh to begin preparing the 80 ton Treadwell hot metal car for movement to the Tod Engine Heritage Park.
I drove down with Ken Izzo and met up with Bill Neal, a former P&LE car inspector. Derrick Brashear then showed up with his girlfriend coming down a bit later. Toward the end of the day Frank Stingone and Larry Kline from the P&LE Historical Society arrived to lend a hand.We managed to get the equipment housing torched loose and ready to lift off. The brake pipe between the two ends was removed and the brake rigging was cut to release the brakes which have been applied for probably decades. I also started removing the trunnion bearing cap bolts and cut off some other appliances.The handwheel I brought down was too big to fit the shaft end on the car so we were not able to turn the bottle any. The mechanism is actually in very good shape and I could turn the mechanism a bit by turning on the motor brake wheel. So with a new approach to the problem I think we can still get the bottle over to one side. Even without turning the bottle Derrick was able to make a pretty good dent in the removal of the firebrick.
After we stopped work for the day we met at the Longhorn Steakhouse in Homestead for lunch. Then Ken and I did a little bit of exploring in Homestead and over at the Duquesne Works. I took a bunch of photos of the three hot metal cars at Duquesne.I'm planning another work session soon, possibly next Saturday. My pickup was acting up a bit today so if I can get it fixed this week I'll be back down there next Saturday with some more tools and get some more work done.