When the first plans were laid for the construction of the plant it was the intention to transport all materials and work in progress over railroads. Later, however, a number of shipping houses were designed to be served by truck. The B&O Railroad laid out and supervised the construction of the railroad system, and the construction of the work was done by George Vang, Incorporated.
The railroad system has a classification yard known as the ‘Ridley Yard’ which was separated from the plant proper by a 7-foot cyclone fence. The yard consists of 11 tracks for freight classifications, 4.5 miles of track. The classification yard and receiving siding will accommodate 425 railroad cars and the coal unloading and storage sidings handled 65 cars of coal. Illumination of the Classification Yard was provided by four 125′ fabricated galvanized steel towers, each having 3 flood lights mounted on top of the tower. The towers were erected by the Miller Construction Co. and weigh 9,949 pounds each.
The railroad system has 32.86 miles of 40-pound rail and 36.60 miles of 100-pound rail all standard gauge, as no narrow gauge was laid.
The rolling stock provided for handling the plant business was as follows:
65 ton diesel locomotives 2
48 ton diesel locomotives 2
8 ton gasoline locomotives 37
Rifle powder box cars 103
Rifle powder flat cars – 6 ton 24
Maintenance flat cars – 15 tons 8
Packhouse flat cars – 25,000 lbs 36
Transfer trucks 38
Water dry cars (120 cu. ft. wet powder 50
Dryer flat car – 6 ton 23
Nitrocellulose cars 216
Solvent recovery cars 420
In order to weigh outgoing and incoming freight, a Fairbanks type-S suspended platform scale of 120-ton capacity with wooden frame weigh house was installed.
In order to transport material to the isolated rifle powder finishing area it was necessary to cross Jenny Lind Run. A 700′ viaduct was built across this gully that carries the plant trade waste to the river. It was a steel viaduct consisting of six 75′ and five 30′ alternating deck truss span on 5 steel towers and one 50′ deck guider span, either end on concrete pier and abutment. The track was laid with 100 pound rail (standard plant track, 40 pound rail across structure and approximately 100′ beyond each end.
The five steel towers set on concrete piers were standard steel tower with 10″ W.F. legs, battered laterally, with standard horizontal and diagonal bracing. The maximum height of the towers was approximately 65 feet.
The deck trusses were standard 8′ deep, flat Warren trusses, with standard cross-frame bracing. The deck plate girders were standard web plate and flange angle type 3’8″ deep.
Bearing plates on piers and abutments were milled and slotted to provide for expansion. Expansion in trusses was provided at four intermediate points in the length of the viaduct.
In order to provide for maintenance of the locomotives a locomotive house, Building #718, was constructed. The building is brick on concrete foundations, 31‘-7″ x 106′-7″ and has T & G roof planking covered with 20-year bonded built up roof. The building has two transfer tracks each with a concrete drain pit 3′-11″ by 31‘-6″ and 5′ deep. Auxiliary units include three underground fuel oil storage tanks with steel frame car loading platform.