Ohio Steel 2

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The Making of Ohio Steel 2- Dover and Massillon Divsion

Below are most of the items found on the news page while Ohio Steel 2 was under construction. Lots of pictures and information was presented. And for posterity sake this page has been created so those who would like to revisit this undertaking can revist a small snapshot in time in the making of Ohio Steel 2. It was in mid-November of 2010 that Ohio Steel: Dover Division was released and while the plan to extend to Massillon was immediate, mitigating factors like learning a new modeling program, and expanding a route in Railworks, had to be learned.

What most people didn't realize about Ohio Steel: Dover was the mill, the original steel mill in Massillion that is, was already in place on Dover. The track to the original Massillon mill was removed so it wouldn't suggest there was anything north of Dover. But it was there. However, on my copy of Dover everything was still intact and it was from that the Massillon extension grew from.

Actual construction of Ohio Steel 2 began in late January and moved quickly on up to Massillon Steel Mill. But new information regarding the presence of a blast furnace in Massillon resulted in the old version of the steel mill being scrapped and a new one built. This even resulted one month later in a oops of a newsletter release promoting the release of Ohio Steel 2 as early as June 2011. I wished! Almost every building had to be rebuilt and many more were added. Bear in mind that the older version of the mill buildings had been created over a year before that!

The new version of the steel mill was a difficult and long undertaking but eventually I had access to building plans as well as information to better understand the steel making process. One of the bigger difficulties in building the mill was that most of the references in books are fantastic at explaining steel making and the history of steel. But none of them explain what the buildings look like. Creating more difficulty is no one photo could ever capture a whole steel mill structure because they are so large and close together. It took looking at many photos to give enough of an idea to create a composite of what the different steel structures (except the blast furnance and coke ovens) looked like.

When the steel mill was finished I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The route was done because I had previously skipped over the mill area and placed scenery to Massillon Interchange. So with the mill complete and the route finished the end game began. The end game is where traffic is added, last minute scenery touch-ups are added as well and mistakes are corrected. And importantly, the manual is written. But things were not to get easier as the announcement of Railworks 3 was made.

Railworks 3 was said to be adding new features in Railworks which I thought would be appealing to be inclusive on Ohio Steel 2 route when released. So the decision to delay the release was made and to continue with the endgame. It turned out that many of the scenarios from Dover needed some reworking due to the step from Railworks 2 to Railworks 3. That kept me busy while Railworks 3 made its presence known.

And then that glorious moment where the last item on the to-do list was crossed out and the route was finished only to then learn there was a significant problem that the Ohio Steel 2 couldn't be released. The solution was to move the route to its own folder and abandon the original Ohio Steel: Dover completely. No easy task the makers of Railworks said, so I called Marc Nelson who knows Railworks better than anybody and cried for help. Instead of taking six weeks to repair the situation it was fixed in about 45 minutes.

One last issue arose after the release of Ohio Steel 2 which was a quirky one at that. Unbeknownst to me, a Steam version of Fort Kent slipped its way onto my harddrive and locked out a number of assets from being written into the Ohio Steel 2 install file. Most didn't know this had happened but on a couple of installs tracks and objects were missing. It took longer to deduce the culprit as I wasn't aware of the Steam version of Fort Kent. And so Ohio Steel 2 is moving its way into All Aboard history and the newer projects are being worked on. Going from the most recent to the farthest back in time, the posting belows are most of the news items reported on the News page here at All Aboard Rails about the creation of Ohio Steel 2 as it happened.


Finally and at last, Ohio Steel 2 is now available from All Aboard! Please see the Ohio Steel 2 webpage for more information and pricing. You can reach the Ohio Steel 2 page via the menu above. Stay tuned for when Ohio Steel 2 will be available from other vendors.


While I still got your attention..., if you're wondering what happens to Ohio Steel 2 after Massillon in the long run, this is my plan. Eventually, Ohio Steel will get to Canton, Ohio, which is approximately ten miles due east from Massillon. But before I can do that the next phase of Ohio Steel 2 (which would be Ohio Steel 3), is Brewster Yard. When you get your copy of Ohio Steel 2 you'll note some extra tracks paralleling and then crossing the Dover and Massillon mainline about a little farther than half-way up the Dover and Massillon mainline. Those tracks come from Brewster Yard and actually connect up to the tracks that run in front of Eaton Wire which resides close to the south end of the steel mill. The function of Brewster Yard will be to be a 'repository' for incoming/outgoing rail freight coming from Massillon Interchange, Dover and Canton (when built). Those who are already familiar with Brewster Yard will know this is only a fraction of whom Brewster Yard serviced. Just when Brester Yard actually begins will be discussed shortly but here's a Google Earth pic of this area:

Ohio Steel 3- Brewster Division

So, referencing the pic above, the yellow highlighted track is the Dover to Massillon mainline which is part of Ohio Steel 2. The red outline circles to what will be Brewster Yard. It's a large yard and very close to the Dover and Massillon mainline that I feel belongs a part of the Ohio Steel route. Currently there is some issues in RW3 preventing the inclusion of Brewster right away so the beginning of the Brewster extension is some months off. In the mean time another small route is planned, which will be announced soon.


Finished Ohio Steel 2 yesterday.


Many of the previously written Ohio Steel: Dover scenarios have been upgraded to include more AI trains, better written text messages or just to better incorporate the Massillon expansion into them where it was necessary. Below are three pics from one of the SCF scenarios.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Player train in black is holding at a signal for abandoned track while SCF southbound train enters spur.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Player train heads north to Dover after AI train clears.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Closer to Dover Yard the player train continues northward.


Some new pics below with traffic and tree depth added (winter, summer and fall represented).

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division


Work continues on the Massillon expansion for Ohio Steel. Much has been accomplished and presently the Ohio Steel manual almost complete. Doug Smith of Smittyslocomotive Shed is working on his own scenario package for Ohio Steel and he has sent a couple more picturess to add to his picture collection already below. Information regarding Doug's scenarios can be found at Smitty's Locomotive Shed (below are the Doug's pictures).

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division      Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

The Sinter Plant is finally 100% complete. On the 12th of August I started and nearly completed the unloaders but decided against the version I had shown and stripped the unloader down to a single unloading track and then decided the ore contents would be conveyed to the Sinter Plant via an underground convey. The pictures below are taken from the back side of the Sinter Plant with the unloading ramp and unloader shown. Also, a rudimentary signalling system has been added to the steel mill using dwarf signals. Hopefully, and I do mean hopefully, this will allow some AI traffic flow within the steel mill as scenarios are performed. Leaving the mill unsignaled would mean only the player train could move about through the whole steel mill as the AI won't allow multiple train movements within a single block. The last picture shows the mill trackage signal placement.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Route update: Much of the work for the route is now complete with only environment sounds, road traffic and scenarios remain to be completed. Likewise for the steel mill, most of buildings are in place with only a structure or two remaining. The latest addition to the mill is the rotary dumper facilities. Mills located near a river would offload the various ores from ship to the ore pit via a large Hewett unloading crane. Massillon instead had its ores brought in by rail and hence used rotary dumpers to roll-over the ore filled cars emptying the ore contents into a bin which then, via a chute, emptied the ore to the ore pit below. The grade for the bridge elevating the trains to the rotary dumper is approximately 3%.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
(above left) Looking from the Ore Pit rail yard to the Rotary Dumpers. (above right) The length of the Rotary Dumpers equals that of the Ore Pit, about 1200 feet long.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
(above left) The bridge to the Rotary Dumpers is about as long and at 3% grade. In the background is the Coke Ovens and Sinter Plant. (above right) From the Blast Furnace Hi-Line, the Rotary Dumpers can be seen amongst the steel mill's skyline.

Today's news item includes the Scrap Shredder Facility and something like Picture Of The Day type pics.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Above is the Scrap Shredder Facility which is already in the game but I forgot to get some pics of it while taking snapshots. So I included this development picture instead. This was probably taken a day or so ago. The building itself is actually made up a building made earlier this year and an old MSTS scrap building I featured in Thompson for Canton. I modified it some for steel industrial purposes so I could add the conveyor belt. Scrap metal was used in steel mills to charge the Open Hearth furnaces.

And below are some quick "let's see what this mill looks like since I've added more detail".

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
(left) Looking south from Mill #3. (right) Looking south from Mill #5.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
(left) Looking south from Mill #7. (right) Looking at the Open Hearth Complex from the mainline.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Looking from the Stock Platform grade to tracks below (Mixer Bldg to the left).

One of the last structures to be added to the steel mill is the Structural Steel Building. This is an enclosed storage area for the basic steel shapes shaped in the rolling mills. Steel is unloaded from the rolling mills and then loaded onto rail cars to be shipped out. The model itself measures 400' x 400' and includes an interior seen in picture to the right (in X-ray mode).

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division     Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Pertaining to the construction of the mill, much of the filler detail is being added at this time giving the mill a more complete look.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Looking into the direction of Rolling Mill #7.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Looking up to the Stock Platform Ramp.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Behind the coke ovens is a small refinery operation which uses the gases produced in the coke operation to make many products hauled by tanker car. This makes for a picturesque scene looking back towards the Blast Furnace complex and Open Hearth Complex.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division   Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

(Above left) Ingot molds for the Mold and Strip Mills are placed. The ingot molds are the retainers for hot melted steel from the Open Hearth process. In the Strip Mill the mold tops are released from the base and the ingot is shipped to a nearby Rolling Mill. Because it could take hours before a hot ingot is moved some of the Rolling Mills have Soaking Pits. Soaking Pits have nothing to do with soaking but rather reheat the ingot so the metal is pliable and can be shaped more easily.

Above right) One of the last of the Open Hearth features to be added was the ramp to the Stock Platform. This caused some difficulty as to keep the bridge elements to match, the original bridge section had to be imported into the modeling program and then remade so the smaller sections could be made. And then finally a bridge support was made to fit the narrow specifications needed to fit in amongst the crowded placements in the area. In the picture above the sw1500 would be transporting shredded scrap metal to the Stock Platform. Below is a GP9 pushing scrap metal into the scrap metal storage yard beside the Open Hearth Mill.


First, a couple test shots from northside of the mill...

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division  Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

And next are pictures from the southend of the mill, plus one pic of the mill trackage.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division  Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division    Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

From left to right, Sinter Plant and Coke Ovens (upper row), Blast Furnace complex with Blower Facility and track overview of Massillon Steel Mill.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
(Ore rotary dumper, still incomplete but futher along, pictured with Sinter Plant (see 8/8 posting) in background)

Moving on from the Sinter Plant, both the Ore Pit and the Sinter Plant need a way for the raw materials within the rail cars to be emptied respectively. Many steel mills used the rotary dumper to do so. A rotary dumper turns a hopper upside down while clamping it to the tracks as the dumper turns. This is what you see on the upper level. On the lower level is a mini hi-line inwhich a hopper dumps its contents through the rails to the bin below. Via underground conveyors the raw material is conveyed to the plant.

Next week I plan on moving the models from the Blast Furnace Blower to the model above into Railworks. Look for those pictures to be posted here in the coming days.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Pictured updated 8/8. Moving on to the next building complex, the Sinter Plant in many mills is located off-site and is brought in by rail. In Massillon's case the Sinter Plant was onsite. But for reference I used a 'typical' Sinter Plant to represent what might have been there. The picture above shows a completed model with textures in place. The Sinter Plant is one of the early processes in steel making where iron ore is brought to and purified for Blast Furnace usage. The approximate length of this building complex is almost 600' long and almost 280' wide. An incline for dumping the ore in receiving bins will widen the plant to about 300' when its added.


Texturing of the Coke Oven complex went fairly quick yesterday, below are some quick pics. Shortly, the Coke Oven complex along with the Blower Facility will be placed on the route.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Looking from the south end of the complex northward, this is the Quench building or the last building worked upon before texturing. It is here the red hot Coke is doused with water before the coke is sent to the Ore Pit.
Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division The positon of the camera is where the track for the Quench card will be placed. The Coke Guide opens the oven door and from the other side of the ovens, the Pusher Car rams the Coke forward through the guide and then down into the Quench Car.
Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division From the back side of the ovens the Pusher Car is awaiting the signal to ram the Coke from within the ovens into the Quench Car. In the picture the Larry Car is just above the Pusher Car.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Above Left: A quick screengrab was taken while examining the dimensions of the varying components that make up the model. The Coke Oven complex is now completely modeled and what is next to do is the texturing. In this pic you can view the entire process of making coke from the receiving grate, crusher, coal storage, ovens and finally the Quench building.

Above Right: This picture is of a cross-section of the ovens so the specialized rail cars can be more easily seen. On top is the Larry Car which deposits the crushed coal into the battery of ovens below. On the left side is the Pusher car which is used to level the coal inside the oven as well as push coke out after the coal has been baked at 1900 degrees for about 19 hours. The Guide Car is simply a portable chute when the coke is expelled, and guides the red hot coke into the Quench car (not shown). A quench car looks something like an elongated trash dumpster for the railroads. On a secondary note, the Pusher Car was modified somewhat last night to better suit the mechanics represented in this oven battery. Note: The specialized rail cars are only colored orange for these pre-texture displays.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Pictured above and waiting placement for the mill is the Blast Furnace Blower Building. The Blower Building pushes air into the hot ovens seen by the Blast Furnace.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Much of the past week and effort has been on the north side of mill. The picture on the left is the mill area looking south to the Blast Furnace complex. The Blast Furnace complex can't be seen as the area covered in the picture is close to a mile. The next picture over is a map overview of the entire mill with most of the trackage in place. The labels in yellow suggest finished structures while those in pink are yet to be built.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

(newest) With the new exporting routine, things are speeding up. Presently the blast furnace, hi-line and Ore Bridge/Pit is in place with trackage in place, mostly.

(new) With the Open Hearth complex in place it was time to begin re-laying the track in the steel mill. Laying track in Railworks is pretty quick especially if the ground is flat and so a good portion of the steel mill track has been relaid.

(old) The past week and a half took a turn of events when halfway through the process of exporting the models to Railworks I realized there was a simpler and more stable protocol to use when exporting. Like any new procedure a few tests had to be ran as well as the familiarization process so the steps can be done in my sleep. But what was taking hours to do, if not days, now takes an hour or so to get from finished model to a placeable model in Railworks. This new process also gives me a simpler path for fixing issues found on models imported into Railworks as well. The time savings is so stupendous it took me a few times running the tests to believe the process is for real.

Picture Explanation:

This picture (upper left) displays the Blast Furnace, Hi-Line and Ore Bridge/Pit in place. Behind the Blast Furnace complex is the Open Hearth Mill complex. While the picture may suggest the Open Hearth facilities are right behind the Blast Furnace complex, look at the picture beside it and note between that the Blast Furnace complex and the Open Hearth complex is some considerable distance apart.

The picture (upper right) is one half of the steel mill complex at Massillon. Much of the Open Hearth/Rolling Mills is in place with only the Structural Steel Stoarage Yard and RR facilities needing placed or built. The area blob in the middle is track to be re-laid yet at the RR facilities. As far as I can tell movement in this area is still pretty smooth so I believe that's a good sign the fps in the steel mill area will be adequate.

The picture (lower left) is the Open Hearth just before Rolling Mill #5 (shown in the picture to the right). Approximately 865' long the Open Hearth is the heart of the steel mill and its associate buildings are to be imported next. In this picture the smoke can be seen coming from the different smoke stacks. From where this picture is being taken now the rest of the Open Hearth buildings will be stacked. Much of the track already laid in this area will have to be disposed of or relaid once the buildings are in place.

The picture (lower right) is of one of the rolling mills in the Massillon-Dover route originally completed a year ago (and shown in below in the previous update), now rebuilt from scratch and revamped with much more detail than the original. Several of the other rebuilt buildings are in this picture and in the background, but because of the extreme length of this building (close to 1200 feet)it's hard to see them. More pictures will be forthcoming but the addition of the blast furnace complex and open hearth complex much of the existing track will have to be relaid to accomodate the newer structures which I estimate to take a couple of weeks.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

In this next phase of the steel mill the models are prepped and finalized before exporting the model to Railworks. It's a slow process for buildings this large and detailed. The picture above is of one of the rolling mills being prepped for Railworks.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
The Hi-Line is under construction and it is located between the Blast Furnace and the Ore Bridge/Pit. Beneath the Hi-Line is two bins. One for limestone and the other for Coke. A Scale car measures an amount of ore from each bin and then transport those materials to the Skip cars which travels up the incline and then dumps the content into the furnace. Much of this process takes place below the hoist housing and underground and so it can't be seen.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Close-ups of the hi-line/hoist housing area.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Nearly complete! For fun and to demonstrate the size of the Ore Bridge, I placed a scale person in the forefront of the picture to the left. The model size is approximately 360' wide by almost 1200' long. I'm hoping to have time at the end of this project to add a rotorary car dumper model to the mill as this is how the raw materials end up in the Ore Pit.

Ore Bridge under construction.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division The showpiece of any route would be the blast furnace. Massillon's Republic Steel Blast Furnace (built in 1926) was a 600 ton a day hot metal producer. Built from pictures of the furnace as well as plans from "like" blast furnaces of that era this model will find itself the showpiece of the Massillon extension. Parts of the model extend over 160' feet high. Most of the major systems within the blast furnace complex are modeled. The blast furnace itself is the prelude to an assorment of other structures to be completed such as a hi-line, blower facility, ore bridge, ore pit, sinter plant and small coke oven facility. Stay tuned as more news to come.

Finished Blast Furnace model.


Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

The Steel Mill is begining to take shape with much of it being rebuilt from its previous version which I had nearly completed when I began the Dover Division. Because the Open Hearth complex is central in location to the entire mill, I thought it was best to focus my efforts on it and hold off on the blast furnace for a time. Here are the results. The above left picture shows the Open Hearth Furance in one of its variations. The only thing missing from the picture is the ramps up which lead up to the Stock Platform. Some of these buildings come with interiors like the Mold Preparation building pictured above with its exterior hidden away. The entire complex in this variation is approximately 1200' x 600'.

Here is a brief explanation of the Open Hearth. Hot molten iron is brought from the blast furnace to the Mixer building. The hot iron is then mixed with materials and taken the short distance to the Open Hearth Mill. Before we can continue this explanation it's also important to know that what also happens within the OH complex is shredded scrap steel is brought into the Stock Yard where it is then lifted from gondolas into buggies. This scrap is destined for the furnaces via the raised Stock Platform. There the scrap is pushed into the furnaces to charge the furnace. And as well, ingot molds for the purposes of holding the hot steel are prepared in the Mold Preparation building. These different processes come togther inside the Open Hearth building culminating in the hot steel being poured into the ingot molds and then moved by rail to the Strip Mill. At the Strip Mill the molds are stripped from the ingots which now resemble a large slab. These slabs of steel are then moved to the different rolling mills or roughing mills found elsewhere in the Massillon Mill complex. At the rolling mills the slabs will be heated in what are called soaking pits to make the steel workable to be shaped into basic structure shapes. These shapes are not end of the steel making process though. These basic shapes are then moved to Finishing Mills like those found on the Dover route.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division 5/10: The last of the "rough draft" for the Dover to Massillon extension of Ohio Steel is finished. The past few days have focused on the scenery north of the Massillon Steel Mill where interchange and drop-offs are made in what is an intense urban environment. From here there is still much to do but next week will concentrate on the construction of parts of the steel mill, especially the blast furnace. Other aspects of the route not normally done while in rough draft made will commence as well.

5/5: The last remaining tiles of the extension have been reached and scenery placement in these tiles has already begun. This area is of interest as three railroads intersected at this junction. One line, I believe once PRR, extends east and will hopefully be the focus of the next extension. And to of all places, Canton - Ohio. A large steel mill populates Canton and features a modern and still "in use" Basic Oxygen Furnace. A massive structure, to put mildly, it dwarfs the Massillon blast furnace which in its day was rated for only 600 tons per day, built possibly around 1926. Concerning the Massillon Steel Mill, this week, besides studying plans for the blast furnace, I've also acquired plans for an Open Hearth. The Open Hearth has opened up a whole new front in getting the Massillon Steel Mill to be more authentic. More trackage as well as the building itself will have its own extensions to include a Mold yard, Stock building and platform and a Ingot Stripping building. The amount of learning and detail that goes into the making if not the operation of an Open Hearth Mill is about as steep as that of a blast furnace. Stay tuned as more news to come in the finishing days of the Massillon extension to Dover.

4/29: Progression on the Massillon extension of Ohio Steel continues where the steel mill has been passed over to continue populating the remainder of the route while the steel mill is constructed. Noteworthy news includes the Massillon Steel Mill owned by Republic is being expanded to include a blast furnace, ore pit, ore bridge, coke ovens, etc. Recently pictures and articles of the Massillon Mill have been found and the information is being incorporated into the route. Pretty exciting stuff as these finds now double the size of the mill. At the same time it's exciting to be able to see the end of the route from where I'm working at presently, just north of Massillon. The Massillon extension has also been mentioned in the latest Railworks newsletter. The ETA mentioned in the newsletter was established before the significant find of a blast furnace at Massillon and the additional buildings to be constructed for the blast furnace may delay the release of the route.

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Summer pictures from north of Massillon (above)

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Summer pictures from 'just' south of Massillon (above)

Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division Ohio Steel - Dover/Massillon Division
Autumn pictures (above)