Steel Mill Complex for New Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TruckLover, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse Member

    If your only space is what you outlined in your first picture, methinks Green Elite Cab is right. I dunno if all those tracks will fit in in HO Scale. It make look good in a drawing, but you need to either draw it with layout planning software, templates, or layout the actual track itself.

    A good program to use is atlas right track software. It is free and easy to use and you can find it at :):)
  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah, If you really want a steel mill, you will have to remove alot of existing buildings. Personally, Unless you've already bought the steel mill equipment, i'd abandon it altogether and find a different business to go in there. most of the buildings, and most of the steel mill specific equipment costs lots of money. It may be cheaper and more space effective to only model one aspect of the steel mill, and possibley have a hidden staging track behind some buildings that would serve as the rest of the plant.

    For example, you might have the rolling mill out in the open, and you can have you cushioned coil cars out there, and then also have a track that goes back behind the rolling mill, where visitors can't really see. Back there, you will have the rest of the variety of out bound steel mill freight, and maybe a second track for inbound stuff. I just saw in a walthers catolog a background building that was a steel mill front. I know you can get paper back grounds depicting the big blast furnaces and such. If you do this, You can save space on your layout, and still get the desired effect.

    A full steel mill complex is just to massive. Your entire layout space would have to be taken to get anything close to realistic looking. I would try to do only a part of the whole operation, and set the scenery so that the veiwer's imagination can fill in the rest.
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I did a little research on the whole steel mill thing. In reality, the only parts that will be served by the railroad is the inbound coal hoppers, and the out bound coke cars (which are like coal hoppers with extended sides).

    From there, the coke cars wee deliverd to the actual steel mill, where they turnded the coke into steel. The steel mill would never be far away from the coke ovens, so you can have the coke oven part in that corner, and move down your table a little to another empy spot, where you could build the rolling mill and the other steel stuff. Or you can just omit that whole thing, and deliver the Coke Cars to a two track siding that goes behind another building, inferring there is a steel mill that way. just drop off the coke cars and pick up the finished product to be shipped. If you are reall creative ( although again this might involve some chages to the scenery) you can model a loads in Empties out configurations with empty and full coke cars.
  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    O cool. I might have to do that thing where the coke oven is a little further down the table. This would give me rore room for the blast furnace and rolling mill.

    Now which one would go further down the line? Coke Retort or Coke Oven & quencher?
  5. ross31r

    ross31r Member

    There was a series in Model Railroader a few years ago about modelling a steel mill complex - i think there were some plans for various layouts but they were all about 6 x 4 from what i can remember!
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    All of the coke manufacturing would be in one spot. It would be as close as possible to the steel mill, if not in the actual mill itself. If you use Hidden staging you can increase realism.

    a coke retort is actually its own business, and has nothing to do with the steel mill. Instead of using the coal to make coke for a steel plant, the coal is baked at a certain temperature so that it produces gas as it turns into coke. I wouldn't be surprised however if coke from the retort found its way to a steel mill, but it would have to be processed, and i'm not sure the Walthers building has the processing structures. However the main product out of a Coke retort is Gas, not coke. I think all the coke used in steel making becomes the steel anyway.

    Speaking about Coke ovens, You should really get HO Lineside Industries You Can Build, because it has a whole three chapters on building a Coke oven, quencher, and other Steel mill related structures, and how to scratch-build/Kitbash them.
  7. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks for the info on the coke retort and oven. I am considering your ideas. Thanks. Patrick suggested that I make cardboard scale models of the 4 buildings and place them in th corner. If they don't fit, then I will see if I can move them a little further down the line. He also said to make photo copies of the track and lay that on the space available just to get a feel of things.

    I think that that book would be great and very helpful. Do you know where I could pick a copy up by chance? LHS or Walthers??
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    very few of those buildings will fit. You'll have to find a creative way to model them. You can probably just use the foot prints alone. You can also take tracks you have, trace them, and cut them out and have your own paper tracks to help you plan.

    I'd actually order this book off of Barnes & Nobles, because they ship much faster than walthers. However, if you LHS doesn't have it, then walthers definitely would. Kalmbach, the publisher, is another good place to order it.
  9. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks, I will go check barns and noble, kalmach and Walthers web sites out.
  10. kmorris

    kmorris Member

  11. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Here's an update on the steel mill complex.

    I re-did the drawling in color. I also added the Hotel and the Magic Pan. I added the main road (Bottom) right next to the 2 mainlines, put in the placment of the telephone poles (blue dots), made the roads for the Magic Pan and Hotel, and added a 90 degree crossing. One of the tracks comes from the rolling mill and the other comes from the mainline and goes to the Magic Pan Complex.

    Tonight I am going to make the cardboard models of the buildings and the paper track and lay them out in the open space. I am getting more convinsed that this steel mill is not going to fit in the space I have available. If it does not all fit, I am going to take the coke oven or the coke retort or maybe even both if I have to and move them a little further down the layout

    New Trackplan:

    Attached Files:

  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Sorry for the bad pic but I had to make the file size SSSSOOOO LLLLLOOOOOWWWW:curse: :curse:
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    That definitely won't fit. Remember, not all of those businesses would even be in that one spot anyway. I know that steel mill complex can be divided by a few miles. I specifically remember a steel mill train i wanted to model way back when i started. It was a Conrail GP15-1, with a train alternating with mill gondolas and molten steel bottle cars. the gondolas were there for safety and operational reasons. You can spread the whol complex apart, or even only show some of it, and just deliver the cars back and forth.
  14. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm enjoying this thread and all of the thought going into it. I have a steel mill scene but really haven't arranged it any prototypical way. Although I have a blast furnace and a representation of a rolling mill I only have three spur tracks that I'm calling a materials yard where I can set out hoppers of coal and a few gondolas loaded with scrap metal.

    Thanks for posting the great photos of steel mill scenes from other layouts and for the dialogue about simulating steel operations. Very interesting!
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    See! i'd love to model this train if i could. Here is a GP15-1 ( you can hunt down the old walthers one, or you could build the kit by Smokey Valley) and transfer caboose carrying the molten steel cars around.

    In more recent times we have an NS GP38-2.

    Its not unprototypical at all to put some distance between structures. Only put some of them in the corner, and try to make new space for the other. It will be more interesting to shoove these cars back and for than to just have them sit in the same spot all day.
  16. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    GP15-1?? Do they still have those around??

    Anyway, that pic that I just posted is about 75% of the way down the longest side of my layout table. So all that is not going into that little spot for the steel mill. I just drew the that stuff to give you guys a better feel of were things were on my layout.
  17. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    G_E_C has a point, Josh. Unless you're switching to z scale for just the steel mill, it won't work. :( I wish it could, because it would be Uber-cool, But I've dealt with making plans too complex for such a small space before, and it's SO dissapointing when you realize you can't fit a 50 car- twelve track yard in 1 1/2' X 4'! :curse: it seems that you've got the same problem here unfortunately. I like his idea of modeling a building, and haveing the rest in the distance, plus w/ that $800.00, you could get a couple of nice soubnd loco's, with a DCC system to boot! :D There you have it! :)
  18. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Do you mean the model of the GP15-1 (which are kinda hard to come by) or the actual thing?

    There are hundreds of them around New Jersey. Most are former Conrail units ( i don't even think any of them got repainted past the standard renumber to NS and CSX). There are also some CSX GP15Ts or something along those lines around somewhere, but i haven't seen any of that vareity. They are a pretty common sight, just as common as GP40-2s and GP38-2s. GP15s aren't that old either. They can't be any older than the run of the mill GP38-2.
  19. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Ralph, Your pictures of yor layout in the gallery are so cool. I like the the concrete plant the best.:thumb: :thumb:

    Green_elite_cab. Thanks for all your help. Now I am pretty sure I am just going to put the blast furnace and Rolling Mill in that corrner and leave the other 2 out. I would like more room over there for tracks and switching.:)
  20. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Miles, WOW a 12 track yard, that would have been cool. Maybe I will get an engine with DCC and sound.:D :D

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