Saturday, April 28, 2007

Railroad Industry SIG Meet in Cleveland

On Friday night, April 27, 2007 I gave a presentation to the participants of the NMRA Railroad Industries Special Interest Group in Cleveland. I gave two talks, the first a general overview of the steel industry and railroads of the Mahoning Valley, the second a detailed look at the operations of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Brier Hill Works and our efforts to create the Youngstown Steel Heritage Park.
Many thanks to Aaron Dupont who organized a great meet. Also thanks to Ken Izzo who sold many of our drawing CDs and was largely responsible for the over $500 which we raised at the meet. I was also able to meet face to face many of our supporters who until now I've only known from the Internet.
In the picture above I am talking to Ted Schultz, a former YS&T employee and wealth of knowlege about Sheet and Tube operations in the late 1970s. In the background is a large map of the Brier Hill Works.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Does the Hot Metal Car have a Youngstown Connection?

The discovery of the Youngstown & Northern Railroad identification on the air hoses on the hot metal car got my head spinning with new theories about where this car was in service at. Both hoses on ther car are Y&N and date stamped first quarter 1980. They were part of a run around hose that was applied to the car probably when it made its last trip on a mainline railroad. But my question is, how could the Y&N hoses have made it onto a Homestead car?

A possible answer is that the car may have spent a period of time at the Ohio Works in Youngstown. I have no doubt that the car was built for the Homestead Works originally. However in the 1950s Pollock built several 250 ton bottle cars for Homestead displacing the tiny 80 ton Treadwells. Some were sold off but perhaps number 36 was shipped off to the Ohio Works to be used there. The Ohio Works' older furnaces couldn't use large HM cars, they mainly used Kling type cars due to tight clearances. The 80 ton Treadwells would however fit. So car 36 remained at Youngstown until the plant closed in 1981. At that time I believe that any useful cars at the now closed plant were shipped to the Pittsburgh district mills for reuse. At that time the Y&N Railroad car dept. would have placed the runaround hose and new brake hoses on the 36 to prepare it for its trip.

At about the same time I assume that Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Looking for a hot metal car to display, contacted US Ssteel and this car was donated and moved to the old P&LE Terminal complex.

If the above is indeed true then by the wildest stroke of luck we have stumbled upon a Youngstown significant artifact without even knowing it!

Hot Metal Car Rolls Again!

On March 30 Ken Izzo, myself, Frank Stingone and others were at Station Square to move the hot metal car out from under the bridge to the other end of the track. It took several hours of cranking on a chain hoist but we were successful. We did break the handle on one chain hoist, fortunately I brought an extra "just in case".

The rail that the car was previously sitting on will next be pulled up, transported to Youngstown and relaid. That will leave the car sitting on a very short 30 foot piece of track until the car is moved, at which time those last two rails will also be moved to Youngstown. My thanks to everyone who helped. It is appreciated.