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!

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