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PC: Re: steel mills, modeling, and other fun

Greetings from Japan!
                                  First contribution from this newbie, been
reading intently for some time now and the beginning of this thread stirred
thoughts of home with the mention of "Mifflin".  I hail from Mifflin
county, Milroy to be exact, the end of the Milroy branch that I will model
someday anchored to the Middle Division at Lewistown.  Lot's of memories
there from way(???) back in the late 1960's (that puts me at 37yrs).  There
was and is a steel mill served by PRR through today's Conrail on the
xMilroy branch, now the Lewistown secondary I believe, actually located in
Burnham, PA.  Standard Steel, a division of Allegheny Ludlum when my father
worked there years back.  Surely many of you know about this mill, I
believe they supplied drivers for a steam locomotive manufacturer (sorry,
child of diesel) during the reign of steam.  In the 70s and early 80s, and
I've not heard to the contrary, the also were/are a major producer of RR
wheels in major competition with Bethlehem Steel in Johnstown.  I remember
returning from Philmont Scout Ranch in 1972 on the Southwest Limited from
Raton NM to Chicago and somewhere W of Kansas City we derailed the last 5
or so cars of the train.  One of the Scout Masters, Chuck Cruikshank was
very quick to check the stamp on the inside of the wheels to see if by some
terrible fate they had been manufactured by "the Standard".  The also
produce axles.
   The Standard also produces allot of "rings" for jet engines, Saturn
rockets(no, not any recently) and other high tech applications with some
very specialized alloys.     They make their steel from scrap, brought in
by a wide variety of gons, stage it all in various heaps, and move around
the plant with a fleet of really decrepit gons.  In my high school days
they used some old switcher power that got some RF press attention and now
have converted over to remote control ops.  Outbound product is/was shipped
in gons, with on site racks from made from wood to fit the particular load,
especially for the larger rings.  Boxcars were also used.
   Also on the Steel mill thread, there was a large limestone quarry in
operation until the Agnes floods of 1972 with a huge crusher, washer,
sizer?, and loader.  That's the operation that most inspires me from my
youth.  Every evening when I was visiting my grand parents in Naginey, out
from Pittsburgh for a month or two in the summer, the routine was wash for
supper, then to the back porch to sit and wait for the days train.  God if
I could remember the type of diesels used, but blank other than 3-4 units,
probably from early GPs to say GP30/35s.  They would bring a string of
about 60 or so hoppers for the next days loading.  H43s I believe, with the
large yellow dots (sorry, that's what sticks in my memory).  They would cut
the cabin on the fly on the small concrete bridge in the pasture just
behind my Grandparents house, move up to the lead tracks that were elevated
on the other side of the county road (small, but paved!) and split the
string into 2 cuts.  They might also have a boxcar or two for the two grain
mills up in Milroy at the end of the line where there was a "Y" behind the
Lutheran church on the south end of town, one leg of which border the local
elementary school yard.  End of line.
   Next day, the loading ops were equally fascinating!  2-3 cars, with a
brake wheel rider, would cut them and move with gravity under the
crusher/loader, then down another 50 yards to the scale house, then cross
the county road again, and after some moments of silence a loud bang would
shutter the woods when the came to rest against the cut being assembled for
pick-up that evening.  God I love railroading!
   The limestone, I'm fairly certain was headed for the sprawling Sparrows
Point plant of Bethlehem Steel just outside (SE) of Baltimore.
   More information may be available in a RP article that Todd Treaster,
another local from the county got published several years back.

   Well, too long, not enough details, let me know. I could spend some more
time putting together some more info on the subject or just shut up and let
it pass.  I'd love to hear from someone with knowledge of ops on this
branch though, or even the Bald Eagle secondary, especially the Bellefonte
area.  My grandfather spotted cars for what has been know at some time as
Centre Limestone over in Pleasant Gap until his retirement in the early
> From: Derrick J Brashear <shadow -AT- DEMENTIA.ORG>
> To: PRR-Talk -AT- dsop.com
> Subject: steel mills, modelling, and other fun
> Date: Saturday, October 25, 1997 12:27 PM
> Lesse.... I'll try to get all of this into one post instead of posting
> piecemeal. 
> First of all:
> What steel mills were on-line customers of the PRR? I'm not looking for
> comprehensive, just a list of "ideas". I assume the Lukens mill in
> Coatesville has been there a while, even if not always owned by the
> current owners...
> Edgar Thompson in Braddock/North Braddock (though I can't think where
> there was a direct lead, if there was one)
> There were a bunch of Bethlehem mills around Johnstown...
> The USS Homestead and Duquesne Works, and the McKeesport (National Tube)
> plants....
> I know there are others, not just in PA but elsewhere, especially around
> Chicago and Gary, but I'm drawing a blank.
> Also:
> Anyone have an HO Walthers SW1 decorated Pennsy to sell or even trade?
> And, good luck Jerry with your new addition... hopefully all with go
> well...
> -D
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