MCDONALD, Ohio (WYTV) – There is not much left of the old U.S. Steel Ohio Works that operated for 90 years along the Mahoning River in Youngstown.
Much of it was demolished or scrapped. But one things that is left is a 70-year-old diesel locomotive that once moved the hot metal cars from the blast furnace to the open hearth.
The Alco S2 type diesel locomotive, once used at the Ohio Works, sits outside McDonald Steel, which took possession of it after the mill shut down in 1980. In its day, it was known as U.S. Steel 73. McDonald Steel renamed it Triple Seven, perhaps for good luck.
“It is probably one of the last remaining pieces of the Ohio Works still in existence,” Rick Rowlands, executive director of the Youngstown Steel Heritage Musuem, said.
The Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation preserves the industrial history of the Mahoning Valley. Two months ago, McDonald Steel donated the locomotive to the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation. At the time, it was not running, but now it is.
“I really did not know what to expect. I was happy that it was in such good condition that it did take very little work to get it operational again,” Rowlands said. “And you know, this thing after 70 years is still a very good engine.”
Recently, WYTV 33 News anchor Stan Boney climbed up into the cab and joined Rowlands as they made their way along a short stretch of track, all the time mindful of the history below their feet.
“They said these will do probably 50 miles an hour. But not anymore,” Rowlands said.
He said the locomotive can tie the steel industry and rail history together and help them tell the story of the local steel industry and how materials were moved for it.
For the time being, the locomotive will remain at McDonald Steel.
“We are still looking at our options to see what we can do with it. Right now, we just wanted to get it operational again and make sure it worked and then we will go from there and find out what we are going to do with it,” Rowlands said.
Though they are unsure where the Triple Seven locomotive will end up, Rowlands and his team of volunteers are pleased that the former U.S. Steel locomotive is in tact, running and preserved as a reminder for future generations to remember that Youngstown once made steel.
The Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum is located on Hubbard Road in Youngstown.
Copyright WYTV 2016