The History, Making and Modeling of STEEL

by Dean Freytag
The National Model Railroad Association Chattanooga, TN

1995 Wm. K. Walthers, Inc.
164 pages

ISBN  978-0-9647050-9-8 (hard cover)

Retail prices are $47.95 per volume for NMRA members and $65.95 per volume for non-members. Shipping costs are $8.95 in the U.S. and $12.95 to all other countries. TN residents must add 9.25% sales tax. Payment in U.S. funds only, with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover accepted. Dealer inquiries are welcomed.

Orders can be placed online at,
by mail to
4121 Cromwell Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421,  
by telephone at 423-892-2846, or
by fax at 423-899-4869.

First published in 1995 by Wm. K. Walthers, Inc.

From the Back Cover --

To the men and women who toil here it's called "The Works." It's a place where your senses are hammered by 3000-degree heat. By the ear-piercing shriek of oxygen blown into molten iron. By the constant thunder of towering machinery. Few outsiders dare enter this nightmare world. For this is where steel is born in the red-hot glow of a hundred suns. And since no other industry relies so heavily on railroads, it's ideal as the theme of a new layout or as an add-on industry to your present operations. You'll go behind the scenes, for a firsthand look at the fascinating process of steel making. Your journey starts in the dust of the ore and coal mines, the limestone quarries and the scrap yards. You'll feel the intense heat of the coke ovens and the blast furnaces. Ride along with the switcher crews moving glowing hot metal cars. And to really give you a taste of life on the inside, we spend a day at the USS/Kobe Steel Company works at Lorain, Ohio. We'll also look at how the steel industry and America grew up together. Plus, a detailed glossary explains slang and technical terms you'll hear inside "The Works." Finally, we'll show you how you can recreate what you've seen for your model railroad. Practical ideas help you plan large or small operations, using easy-to-build structures, rolling stock, locomotives, vehicles and other kits. Remember, steel works are off-limits to visitors and photographers, so this is an essential reference for your model building!  Now, join us inside "The Works!"

About the Author --

In the November,1950, issue of Model Railroad magazine, Bill Rau and Bruce Alter broke new ground with their article "Steel Mill Railroad." One of their many readers was an Ohio modeler named Dean Freytag. From that single article, the HO Scale Davies Steel and South Ridge Lines were born, with layout construction beginning in 1961. Traveling on business throughout the "Ruhr of America," Dean was able to visit and extensively photograph numerous steel works and equipment in operation. He began sharing his knowledge and modeling skills through magazine articles and numerous award-winning entries in NMRA contests. Major Freytag retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1964, following 22 years of both active and reserve service. In the early 80's, Dean retired from his full-time job in consumer finance, and was able to devote more time to the hobby. He has served the National Model Railroad Association in numerous roles, including nearly a quarter century as National Contest Chairman, and has assisted several hobby manufacturers in research and development of new products. Today, Dean and his wife, Ann, make their home in Ashland, Ohio, although the "man of steel" is known and respected around the world for his scratchbuilt replicas of the machinery and structures of the steel industry. Work continues on the South Ridge Lines, and Davies Steel has been modernized with a Basic Oxygen Furnace and other improvements. It was only natural that this, his first book, cover a subject that he knows so well, allowing him to share with still more modelers. From all of us who love model railroading, thanks Dean!

Dean Freytag


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