Steelton Engine house - turntable

gregory peet

While the Atlas 9" turntable indexes at 30 degree increments it can be altered for 15 degree also. Carefully cut the outside rim to allow the flanges to pass thru. The wheel face will ride on the outside rim. This will not index but can be manually aligned to give access to the extra stalls desired.

Greg Peet
Portage MI

On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 12:48:08 PM EDT, Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Well, the '75 roster would be GP7/9 and SD40/SD40-2, the only difference might be the number of functional GP7 units, as they slowly aged out, and before the rebuilds in '78.

The Atlas TT idea is interesting, but I've already got the 90' Walthers (early) product.  Because of the number of tracks needed internally, I wanted a 15 degree increment TT.  IIRC, people were sadly disappointed with this Walthers item(but the problems related to a mickey mouse drive add-on, mostly); I got it for a trade on an President's Choice IHC 4-8-2(returned from a nephew when he grew up, was in rough shape), so I figured I "won", as steam just isn't of interest to me.  I may well us it as is, with some form of manual crank and optical sensing for position so I can access the tracks for storage.  But it's a long way in the future, as we're just beginning to think about starting laying track south of Hawk, probably around Christmas.  300' of mainline later, we'll be entering Sault, it's hard to imagine that will happen before the fall of 2023.

I have portions of the Steelton roundhouse and backshop drawn up in CAD, but it's nowhere near detailed enough yet for use as a plan.  My plan is/was to make the roof removable, using magnets for retention and small brass corner brackets for alignment.  Hadn't gotten far, though; looking at Morgan Turney's interior photos, along with mine, makes me think I want to fabricate a bunch of steel trusses to form the structure of the roof, with the six peaks, and make that whole structure rigid enough that it should lift off as a unit.  But that's all providing I don't make other arrangements along that wall, or decide to forgo the enginehouse completely to allow more yard.  All conjecture at this point.

I'm busy now until 5, but I hope to return to the train computer this evening and retrieve the loco assignment sheet and stringline for you.

Take care


On 2022-05-16 21:40, David Stewart wrote:
30° was the old Atlas 90' decked turntable.  I was thinking of starting with that.

I would be interested in your engine assignment table - although the '75 roster was a little different than yours.  (But I picked up a gp38 at a decent price, I will probably put it on passenger train service).

I was thinking of using Walthers Union Shovel and Crane, triple wide and double long, approximately 20"x20".  I would need 3 kits for walls, and create more roof (or only half cover it).

On Mon, May 16, 2022, 9:25 PM Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Well, I once mapped out how one might utilize the loco fleet for the 14 trains on the 1982 lineup, assuming certain assignments for certain trains.  It looked to me like, if the whole lineup was rolling, there'd only be a couple of units left in the yard.  By 1980, they were down to the 9 rebuilt GP7's, a GP9, a handful of less-than-reliable GP7 units that didn't get rebuilt, and the 9 SD40 and SD40-2s.  There was a fair presence of units semingly stationed at Hawk regularly, too - lots of picture evidence of long SD lashups in the yard in the early morning/ evenings.  So I doubt there were a lot of idle units, except over night when there are only a couple of trains on the go.  Of course, in the business downturns, the 40's went leased to the CPR as well, so there's that.

Somewhere I've got a stringline that shows this, sort of, along with an assignment spreadsheet to back it up.  I'll see if I can dig it up tomorrow, bug me if you see nothing.

As for the TT, I get what you mean now.  The drawing in Forbes is interesting.  (not sure where the 30 degrees is coming from, read on).

If the spacing of the tracks were regular, I'd say there were 24 tracks, on 15 degree spacing.  But there is some variation in the spacing, and of course they omitted one side of the building, so six tracks don't exist within the building.  Of the tracks that existed, 2 lead through to the backshop, 12 are full length, and 4 are shorties, likely only for storage/maintenance of motor cars, temporary storage for a truck or two maybe, and similar.  So, a 12-stall building.


On 16/05/2022 20:51, David Stewart wrote:
Blair, my appologies, let me explain.

The 15° turntables with 2.2 inch track clearance means that the closest the engines could park is equivalent to 120' turntable, which is the size they often are.  (That was in my mind on previous remarks). 
  But, the 30° turntables would have clearance at 64' - much smaller than the typical 90', so you can certainly gain from shrinking this size of turntable.  Like you say, that provides more parking length.  I like it!
  Any idea how complicated that is?

As to the SD40 in Steelton, I don't know what normal operations were.
  Did the southbound crew drop the train and hook up to the ready northbound?  I gather from my gleanings that northbound was the start of the shift, so the proper caboose would be placed on the track first.  With it being a new crew I supposed it would be a new power group, thus the engines themselves would have a layover.  Much of this is speculation and supposition. 

On Mon, May 16, 2022, 7:26 PM Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:

Certainly, I'll be trying it before deciding.  Of course, adding 10' of diameter reduces each stall track by 5', if I build it to scale.  Then again, I suspect I'd mostly be burying GP7/9s in there anyway, the SD units will either be in service, or leased to the CPR via Franz or SSM connections.  The GP38-2s technically shouldn't exist on my 1980 layout, but...

Cruising the web, I see:

"The SD40 has a length of 65 feet, 9 inches whereas the SD40-2's 68 foot, 10 inch frame..."  So either would easily fit on an 80' table, it's just that you need exacting control to get them on without under/overshooting the process, particularly as you'd be doing it 'blind'.  Need either a small camera, or some well-positioned sensors for feedback.


On 16/05/2022 19:10, David Stewart wrote:
  If you try an SD40 on the turntable and spin it, you might find that parking it properly is a challenge on a less than 90' table.  And you don't really gain space, because the track clearances don't change.

On Mon, May 16, 2022, 7:02 PM Blair Smith <smithbr@...> wrote:


I said post-2000, but I can really only say between 1998 and 2001, based on my photos. 

The real TT was 80' 3", according to that drawing; I haven't seen a usable one at that diameter in HO.  I picked up a cheapie Walthers 90', which I may try to reduce and build a pit for, or use as is, we'll see.  Right now, my plan for the enginehouse has it as a half-structure against a wall(other side of that wall is my workbench and mech room); that has potential for access from the back.  But building that far south may be a year or three away, depends on circumstances.

Take care


On 16/05/2022 18:42, Blair Smith wrote:


West side through tracks, post 2000.  I have photos from before that was installed, and I first visited in 1993.

Through track across the TT, exiting on the North side - shows faintly in plate 26b of "Algoma Central Railway", by O.S. Nock, which was printed in 1975; the photo is undated, but presumably from before that time.

Do you have the building floorplan, which was published in "Enginehouses & Turntables on Canadian Railways 1850-1950" by. E.F. Bush?


from 1911 build.

On 16/05/2022 18:22, David Stewart wrote:
  Has anyone modeled the engine house with turntable?  I am hoping to start on it shortly.  I am planning to use the 11 track atlas turntable to save space.  Also I will only have single entrance track from the south, and single track to the maintenance building.
  I want to have a lift off roof, for many reasons. 
  I'm aiming for 1975, and have a couple questions:
  When was the west side straight through car servicing track(s) installed?
  When was the north exit (to the west of the engine maintenance building, from one of the turntable spurs) created?

Thanks guys!


On Thu, Apr 14, 2022, 11:01 PM Kris Roenigk <mxz_kris@...> wrote:

Story about the mill spur there. In the winter of 2006 we took the 'Tracks to Trails' train to Hearst. When we got to Limer, the train stopped and backed up the spur. A few minutes later, a northbound freight backed up past the switch and stopped. The passenger train then proceeded north. I'm not sure how many people got off at Hawk Jct, but a brand new vaccum cleaner (in a box) was unloaded from the baggage car.


------ Original Message ------
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2022 10:24 PM
Subject: Re: [AlgomaCentralModeller] Wawa OSB Reopening

Yes the mill is just south of limer on the acr