After many, many years I finally have a true steel mill train. Nickel Plate Road 365 was the first MTH Premier Line steam locomotive in my collection. It is based on a standard USRA 0-6-0 switch engine. The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway originally built 365 as W&LE 3965 in the company shops in Brewster, OH. After the Wheeling was leased by the Nickel Plate Road it was renumbered to 365. Two Wheeling & Lake Erie 0-6-0s survive. NKP 384 and W&LE 3960.
Next up is the brand new Lake Terminal Railroad gondolas. Again these are from the MTH Premier Line. The Lake Terminal Railroad was a small switching railroad which served the steel plant at Lorain, OH. It facilitated the movement of cars in and out of the extensive operations at Lorain with the Nickel Plate Road, Lorain & West Virginia (Wheeling & Lake Erie), Baltimore & Ohio, New York Central and their successors. It is still in operation today.
The US Steel cars were made by Lionel Electric Trains in two productions runs. The first three slag cars picked up by the engine were cataloged in 2003 while the second three and the two hot metal cars were made in 2016. The new ones are equipped with LEDs but other than that there is not much difference between the two runs.
You may notice a few changes on the layout. Notably the ballasted mainline. I was able to get many of the required Fastrack Remote/Command Switches in place and I only have to get the ones required for the freight yard trackage. The station on the mainline has swapped its installed rectangular platform for one custom made out of Woodland Scenics’ Mold-A-Scene Plaster. A glimpse of NKP 755 sitting on a new engine terminal track can be seen at the beginning of the video but more on that later!