Steel Mill on the B&O


Click on pics below for larger view.

1. Interlock Tower at the B&O and U.S.S. interchange.

2. Entering the WORKS with a view of the coke ovens.

3. Track Side Industries with down town Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the background.

4. The Coke Ovens – The average firing time required is 12 to 18 hours to remove all of the coal chemicals and produce coke. Coal is heated to between 1600 and 2000 degrees in an oxygen-free environment. On the average, one ton of coal produces about 1500 pounds of coke.

5. Aerial View of #1 Blast Furnace with high line and B&O elevated track. Background buildings are scratch built. The first blast furnace was introduced in 1895 at Duquesne, Pennsylvania. It was so dramatic that it was originally called the “Duquesne Revolution”

6. Aerial view of #1 Blast Furnace – A blast furnace operates round the clock , 365 a year. A typical campaign can run 7-8 years.

7. View of #1 Blast Furnace shows the stoves and dust collectors. The stoves are heated by burning 7,000 - 50,000 cubic feet of cleaned blast furnace gas per minute in the combustion chamber. Each ton of iron produces 100-300 pounds of flue dust suspended in the gas.

8. Aerial view of #2 Blast Furnace – The entire area is refractory-lined since temperatures can range from 3500 degrees F at the bottom to between 300-700 degrees F at the top.

9. View of #2 Blast Furnace – The jacket is also water-cooled to withstand the temperatures, using from 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 gallons of water every day.

10. Aerial view of #2 Blast Furnace – Five to eight hours pass from the time the burden enters the furnace until it becomes iron.

11. Aerial view of #1 Blast Furnace looking from top of #2

12. Detail view of #1 Blast Furnace shows slag cars and bottle cars. Every ton of pig iron requires 2 tons of ore, ½ ton of coke and the rest in flux.

13. Trackside view of #1 and #2 Furnace

14. View of #2 Blast Furnace – Repairing a furnace can take nearly a year, most of the work involves replacing the refractory lining. This kind of major surgery can sour the cost to $50,000.000.

15. The High Line – Raw materials are delivered here, dumped and loaded in proportion to make the charge or burden going into the furnace. The skip hoist is loaded and pulled up the skip bridge and dumped into the top of furnace.

16. Electric Furnace showing ingot mold cars and hot metal cars. The average size is 125 to 175 tons with some reaching a capacity of 300 tons and the melt may take from 90 minutes to 3 hours.

17. B&O track over coal and ore piles with roll mill and gas plant in background.

18. Unloading Coal barge facilities - 1 ton of coal will produce 1500 pounds of coke. Based on the requirements of 800 tons of coke every day you would need 11,000 tons of coal per day delivered by rail and barge to meet the required demands

19. View of barge facilities for coal and iron ore.

20. View of barge facilities with bridge crane.

21. Aerial view of barge facilities with bridge crane and supporting structures.

22. Blower House – Supplies preheated air at 1800 degrees F and delivered at 25 -30 pounds of pressure using turbo blowers. The hot air forces the coke to burn faster, creating the heat and reducing gases that melt the charge.

23. Track side view inside the WORKS between #2 blast furnace and blower house. Two to three hours before the iron tap, some of the slag is drawn off. More will be removed about an hour before the cast and the balance will be tapped with the iron. View shows loaded slag cars, a bottle car and hot slab cars with cooling load. See the workers, despite a full set of heat-resistant "silver" insulated suits, still stands a good 15 to 20 feet away. After the furnace is taped and excess gas blows from the hole, the hole is resealed using a mud or clay gun that delivers a slug of plastic clay into the tap hole and the heat bakes it solid as the furnace continues in operation..

24. Aerial view of Coke Ovens –. In addition to 1500 pounds of coke per 1 ton of coal, this will also produce 100-200 pounds of coke breeze, 9,500 – 11,500 cubic feet of coke-oven gas, 8 - 12 gallons of tar, 20 - 28 pounds of ammonium sulfate, 15 - 35 gallons of ammonia liquor and 2 ½ to 4 gallons of light oil.

25. Coke loading facilities is where coke is loaded into special design hoppers.

26. Coke hopper - These are special high-capacity hoppers to move coke to the High line.

27. Coke quench car - This is a custom built car that will take the hot coke to the quencher and douse the hot coke with a measured amount of water. Then moved to the coke wharf and dumped to allow further cooling. Here it is loaded into special hopper.

28. Hot slab cars are used to move hot slabs to the different roll mills to be rolled to customers specifications.

29. Treadwell slag car is an older type of slag car. One ton of iron will produce 1200 pounds of slag.

30. Waffle top slag car is a newer style. One charge would produce 15-20 cars of hot slag.

31. Walthers slag car is a generic type of slag car. Granulated slag is used in Portland cement, concrete and used to make masonry mortar. It is also used as soil conditioner, because lime in the slag neutralizes acids and traces of other elements stimulate plant growth.

32. Pollock hot metal transfer car is dumped with a pig machine. These are used to fill ingots and castings.

33. 80 ton Treadwell bottle car.

34. 80 ton Pollock bottle car

35. 168 ton Pollock bottle car

36. 175 ton hot metal bottle car - Mixer ladles have small openings for heat retention

37. 200 ton hot metal bottle car - the modern mixer type ladle car is better known as a submarine or sub, torpedo or bottle car. They come in 12, 16 and 24 wheel versions to support the weight of refractor-lined vessel and 80 to 225 tons of molten steel.

38. Hot metal ladle car is equipped with wings for pig machine service, so a crane can lift and tip the vessel clear of the car at the base of the pig machine.

39. Ingot mold car -After cooling to 1200 - 1700 degrees the stripper crane removes the mold and then the ingots are place into the soaking pit to reach a uniform temperature of 2250 degrees F before they are sent to the rolling mills to be rolled to customer specifications. Ingots can weigh from 2.5 to 20 tons. .

40. Idler car was used as a spacer car between the hot metal cars.

41. Hot metal cars, slag cars and ingot mold cars.

42. Two types of hot metal cars

43. Hot coil cars were used to move hot coils to the different finishing mills.

44. Track side view of hot slab cars and hot metal car. Background structures are scratch and kit bashed to fit the area.

45. Duquesne Heights over looks the WORKS and is the top of a 60" helix that connects to the lower lever.

46. Track side view of the interchange tracks. tracks.

47. B&O Junction

48. Point of Rocks Station

49. Point of Rocks Front

50. Point of Rocks

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