Monday, October 3, 2011


I've had a spot designated for the Bessemer Plant for some time, although, I never really had worked on developing a plan for the actual physical layout of the facility.   I've gone back and forth a few times, and up until just recently was thinking of doing an outdoor type plant like Lorrain.   Space as always is an issue, but by scaling down a bit and loosing one track I can fit a smaller version of Mike Rabbitt's Bessemer Plant in my space.  I've always liked Mike's plant, and at the same time having his plan set eliminates having to generate my own working drawings to use for the build.

A vertical 2x6 helping to support my ancient 1st floor framing is right in the middle of the Bessemer plant and will ruin some of the sight lines and photo angles, even after concealing it in corrugated material and painting it black.    The plans call for five tracks within the Bessemer building, but I have reduced it to four and that will be tricky using store bought turnouts and track.   I have Track 1 in and hopefully by later this week will have 2-4 installed too.

The building supports are spread out along mostly 24' intervals with 40' at the individual converters.  The plans appear to call for a combination of a 1/4" H-Column with an older lattice type box girder supporting the crane rail beam.  I'm not sure if they would have mixed styles like that, however, it works for modeling as I need to build the box girder sections from Central Valley kits- these are a bit delicate when adding a few lengths together, so the uniform Plastruct 1/4" H-column adds some rigidity to the structure. For these longer vertical posts I always try to use Plastruct as the similar Evergreen profile is much finer and therefore a bit weaker.    Extending the Central Valley box girders is simple but will take some time.  I try to alternate the joints to make things a bit stronger.  You also have to take the time to cut back the ends to get the lattice to line up - some filing is usually needed to get this just right.

Box girder section, extended and 1/4" H-Column cut and ready to assemble

Once I had both vertical posts cut to length, I added some 1/4" I-beam pieces, cut to about 3/8" long as spacers between the two columns.  I blocked in the bottom and top of the lattice work with 1/4"x.030 styrene.

Assembled Posts, one down 17 more to go.

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