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     Are there any good online groups/forums/SIGs for modelling Steel Mills of the Western PA area, and in particular the Union RR that ran/runs between many of them? I have seen the great layouts and models posted here, along with various discussions, but I hate to hijack any of those threads with questions. Heck, I was not even sure where to put this question.

     I grew up crossing over, under, and beside the URR while growing up, but being part of the great Yinzer Diaspora, it is not easy to take advantage of any local resources. Several of the sites I have come across have been dead or focused on smaller scales. My best resources so far, aside from posts here, have been the djstrains and pghrailfanatic youtube channels.

Any suggestions? 

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As far as learning anything about the URR, I would suggest obtaining (not free, except at a possible library) railroad books about steel mill railroads.  I believe several have been written about the URR, but understand that most of these are just photos of equipment in use.

For steel mill modeling, there is a free (to download) publication called The Mill found at this link:


Also, you can join the group called STEEL at  Many photos of old steel mills can also be found on the Library of Congress website, and many local historical societies (county and state) have additional photos.  There might even be a Facebook group dedicated to steel mill modeling.

Good luck in your search.



     I have a couple of the Timko Steel Mill books and have read through them multiple times trying to grok bits of info. I also have Dean Freytag's Bernard Kempinski's modelling books for Steel Mills.  Thanks for the other ideas. I have collected links and photos of URR.

David, and Allan,

     I did a few searches through facebook and weeded out the many many sites for that other big yellow RR and submitted a few membership requests. I look forward to exploring them and perhaps posting a few newb questions.

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