Sunday, December 18, 2016
The first review is another recent book by SMRR author Stephen M. Timko. Surprisingly this appeared in my local hobby shop at the same time as the latest SMRR Volume (Reviewed in Previous Blog) This is a paperback and not like the usual Morning Sun products with it's landscape format. The books content is along the lines with what I'd hoped to see more of in the SMRR books - mill photos, equipment, and more, along, or course with the standard locomotive shots. There are many pieces of unique equipment in the book that shout out to be modeled. The photos are organized by mill, however, at least the first half of the book are Canadian steel mills. Morning Sun or the author appeared to obtain a large collection of photos from the Steelco Plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Overall with the cheaper price and higher percentage of photos useful to a steel mill modeler, it's worth it to purchase for your library.
In another coincidence, the second book is written by the author of another book I reviewed it the last blog. This book, Palazzos of Power is by Joseph Elliot, the author of The Steel. I liked how this book, about the second generation power plants of the Philadelphia Electric Company, was organized much more than The Steel. Besides the arty photos, there is a very well done section of text, by Aaron V. Wunsch, on the history of these visually impressive plants. A lot of the photos were taken as part of the HAER documentation of three of PECO's generating stations. The hardbound book was a very reasonable $30.
A Sunday drive to nearby Bucks County, PA, to look at a house, led to a leisurely drive home along the Delaware River on back roads. Despite the foul weather we passed a few rare locomotive finds. In Morrisville, PA, the last remaining operational EMD NW-3, still switches a chemical plant. There were less than 10 of these locomotives produced in the late 30's - very early 40's. Most or all were purchased by the Great Northern. The longer frame than most EMD switches was to allow for a steam generator and a larger enclosed cab. Not exactly a steel mill locomotive, but would look at home at a mill.
Just down the road from the NW-3, sitting in the yard just at the entrance to the former USS Fairless works was a Fairbanks Morse H-12-44. This former USS locomotive was leased out to a few different local industries after the mill was closed. After breaking down in the mid 2000's it was purchased by an individual who aimed to repair it and put it back into service as a leased unit. Given it's location just outside the former mill, it might be about to be moved. The locomotive still has a remote control system attached and one side of the cab is covered with steel plate. Somewhere I think I read that Fairless liked FMs as they had better traction for the steep incline into the open hearth. Fairless had no BOF and used open hearths right up to closure in 1991.