Steel Mill Pocket Crane

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Milepost 840

From time to time, I feature work done by other model railroad friends of mine and today is one of those times. My friend, Paul, a steel mill modeler from “that state up north,” recently sent me some pictures of his latest steel mill project, a pocket crane. The photo above shows the model in its infancy… while he was still moving parts around and trying different combinations to give that proper “feel” to the model.

The other photos show the finished model complete with a nice coat of grungy weathering and other steel mill debris all over it. During our email exchange, I was teasing him about steel mill modeling; I told him that anything would pass as a presentable steel mill model IF it had enough dirt, grunge and other “stuff” on it! Steel mills are indeed very dirty places.



Paul mentioned that the pocket crane was designed for pure strength and to be used in very confined spaces. The prototype could easily navigate the tight spaces inside, around and even under various components of the mill. In the first photo, you will note that the crane is no taller than the ingot molds on the flatcars in the background. If they could get in someplace, the crane could get in to rerail them or even pick them up if necessary.

Paul’s model like so many of his other efforts was built with simple toys from the toy store and of course, parts from the scrap box. While the model may not pass the critical eye of the real rivet counters, it is refreshing to see someone actually “model” something. Based on his efforts, I’m more than willing to put Paul into that ever dwindling group. Great job, my friend…




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