The Hoover Mason Trestle, at the former Bethlehem Steel Plant, used as a narrow gauge railroad to carry the coke, limestone and iron ore to make the iron from the ore yards to the blast furnaces. Now a public walkway designed to be a museum, community recreation resource and attraction. The trestle stands 46 feet tall and 2,000 feet long. Opened on June 25, the Hoover Mason Trestle located along the blast furnaces with one entrance at the Visitor Center and another at either end of the Gas Blowing Engine House providing access from the Sands parking lot or PBS 39 end of the campus.
The Hoover-Mason Trestle was completed in 1907 and named after the Chicago-based engineers who designed it. For over 80 years, cars delivered raw materials including limestone, iron ore, and coke to the blast furnaces. Men worked around the clock, in three shifts, emptying carloads of materials into storage bins below.
The blast furnaces operated continuously and required constant feeding of materials. Tons of limestone, iron ore or pellets, and coke would be loaded into the furnace in layers. Hot air was blown in near the bottom to fuel the reaction.
The Blower House generated the “wind” for the blast furnaces. Inside this building, rows of giant gas-powered engines pumped pressurized air out to the stoves. The stoves heated the air before it was forced into the furnace. This hot pressurized air reacted with the coke (fuel), producing intense heat and carbon monoxide.
Location: SteelStacks, 711 First Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015