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Pittsburgh Railway Pics


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I've been in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the last week. It's a great town and I've really enjoyed myself here. There are lot's of cool things to do and a lot of great food and coffee shops. Of course, I've can't help but notice rail attractions wherever I go. Below are some of the rail related things I've seen this week.


There's a great light rail system. Only three lines. They have to tackle some impressive inclines and are a great link between the suburbs and the center where they go underground.




A working funicular from 1870. Originally there were 13 of these here. Two are left. It's a nice ride.






Pittsburgh was once the center of the US steel production. The remnants of on of an iron foundry have been made into a great museum. On this schematic the shaded parts are the parts that are left standing. The original rail network within the foundry and the steel mill across the river (connected by its own railbridge) were about 28 miles.




An old shunter.




This is a "Slag car". Slag is basically lime that has absorbed the impurities out of the iron ore and is basically molten rock.




This is a "Torpedo" car. Newly smelted iron was poured into these. They were then hauled across the river on a designated rail-bridge. to the Steel mill on the other side. One side of the bridge was super strong to handle the weight. The other side was regular light construction for returning the empty cars.








This is the brick-lined interior of the torpedo car.











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Pittsburg is a really nice city, lots of interesting stuff. just not fun winter time! looks like you are having fun.



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Yes, it's a great city. Really interesting infrastructure. Lot's of hills, tunnels, an bridges. The roads are super twist & turny. It feels a bit like a European city. We've had a lot of fun. Heading back home in the morning.


This is me and they boy at the Iron foundry in our hardhats.




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Lots of entertaining places and good food as well. Not sprawling either. My niece and nephew were there for about 7 years and really enjoyed it and it was fun to visit them.



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Thanks for sharing!  


One of my friends works for CN and sometimes gets the job hauling those torpedo cars in the Chicago area.  She says you can feel the heat in the engine even with the spacer car when they're loaded.

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maihama eki

I've always been fascinated with steel mills and of course the unique rolling stock that they have. I think I have some of both those slag cars and the hot metal bottle cars in HO down in the basement in storage from my HO days.


There is a small steel mill in Pueblo Colorado south of here. I think they process scrap steel. One of their primary products is rail for railroads. They just broke ground on a new mill that will be capable of making rail in ~1/4 mile (~400 m) sections. It will be powered substantially by solar. They have a museum down there on the history of the mill that I need to go see sometime.

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