Bridgeville is a the largest industrial center on the layout. Over the course of an operating schedule, about 95 cars are switched in and out of the various industries. This total does not include a unit train operation that is a coal train one time and an iron ore train the next. These industries are served by a resident switcher that spots the cars and makes the pickups. Several locals pass by to drop off cars for delivery and to haul away those that have been picked up. Click here to see a track diagram of Bridgeville.
As a sign that this layout is very much a work in progress, the largest industry in Bridgeville still has no name. It represents the materials going into and out of a steel mill without modeling the mill itself. What the photo shows is what I envision as the interchange yard for a steel mill. The mill is around the corner somewhere out of view. This mill receives five loads of scrap and ships five loads of steel coil each schedule. On alternate schedules it receives a coal train of 19 cars and an iron ore train of 37 cars.
The next industry is Bridgeville Tube. Loads of steel coil arrive and steel pipe is shipped in 65 foot gondolas. The structure is a blend of four Walthers kits: two (engine shops??) and two Allied Rail Rebuilders.
Yet another industry is Frothingslosh Beer. If you are from Pittsburgh or collect beer cans you know the name. If neither applies to you, just read this old NMRA Bulletin article to learn what it is all about. Shortly after that article was published, Frothingslosh had become so popular that an additional brewery was needed to meet the demand. As this web site is being prepared, the new plant is under development but looks like it will receive 8 covered hoppers of grain and ship 15 boxcars of brew each session.
In the corner behind Frothingslosh is a track leading to a connection with the Montour Railroad. In the real world the Montour interchanged with the PRR Chartiers Branch at a point just south of Bridgeville so it seemed appropriate to have something similar happen here. Early in the schedule a train of about 15 cars comes off the Montour. Its engines serve as the switcher in Bridgeville. We justify this as a joint switching district shared by the Montour and the Pennsylvania Southern. We are also looking at some sort of coal traffic to and from the Montour. There was a large coal preparation plant near the real interchange that serves as our inspiration.
Across the main from these industries is Bulk Chemical Terminal. This industry sees tank cars and covered hoppers of various chemicals transloaded to trucks for local delivery. The tracks and roads are laid out in a manner very much like team tracks of years gone by. Such terminals are common in larger cities, I have seen them in Louisville and Philadelphia. Bulk Chemical receives up to 15 cars each schedule.
87 Lumber is the next industry. The name came from my former wife. She said 84 Lumber, a real company, was too common. Since HO scale is 1:87.1, she dubbed it 87 Lumber and the name stuck. As you might imagine, 87 receives lumber. They also have a propane distributorship and receive a car each schedule.
Last on the list is a team track that gets up to 15 cars.
Handling all of these cars can be cumbersome. Bridgeville has a long passing siding and two setout tracks that are, in effect, a small yard. Each track holds about 25 cars so there is plenty of room to work. The one limiting problem is that the main line serves as the yard lead. To compound that, the main starts down a grade just south of Bridgeville. When switching, it is easy to pull south but can be a problem to push north. A good crew is a careful crew that thinks ahead!
This is an overall view of most of Bridgeville. The town is 32 feet long so it is hard to get it all into one picture. What appears to be a four track main line is a bit deceiving. the track to the left is the main line and the track next to it is the passing siding. The other two tracks are referred to as Setout 1 &2 in the Employee Timetable. Check the Operations page for that. Those of you who have been here before may be wondering if I subjected this shot to PhotoShop to remove the draperies. I did no such thing, rather, I walled off the window form the inside to present a more uniform backdrop.
This somewhat drab looking view is what the picture above could not include. This is the steel mill complex on the layout. Instead of dedicating space to a true model of a steel mill, I have chosen to model the interchange yard that serves the mill. The Pennsylvania Southern drops inbound cars here from the visible end while the steel company removes them from the hidden end. The steel company switcher also returns empty raw material cars and loads of shipments. Barely visible over the tops of the ore jennies are some steel coil gondolas. I am currently working on preparing a photographic backdrop of a real steel mill to make this scene a bit more appealing.
This is a view of Bulk Chemical Transfer. Its role is described above. I plan to finish this industry by adding an office structure, a place for the generation of steam, compressed air, and compressed nitrogen. These utilities will then be made available via a rack between the tracks. Pavement around the facility is also needed.
In the foreground we get a glimpse of 87 Lumber. The larger complex in the center of the picture is the site for Frothingslosh Beer. The inbound grain cars are on the near track with the outbound beer on the back tracks. Back in the corner there is a gap between the hillside and the wall. That is where the two track Montour Railroad interchange comes onto the layout.
This is the Montour Railroad staging area. It has two tracks and soars right over the throat of the Wheeling staging yard. It was fun to design without making Wheeling impossible to access. The acrylic sheet guards were installed after I knocked a bunch of those live loaded hopper cars to the floor in a klutzy move. Jerry Doyle gets all the credit for suggesting this addition to the layout.
Pennsylvania Southern Railroad
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