First post: Help I.D. a chunk of rail- St Louis Steel 1883 is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
I have a 3ft piece of old rail, in great shape. It has "St LOUIS STEEL 1883" in raised letters on the side. I can't find any real info on the Internet, and don't know the best place to post my question. Can anyone help me I.D. it's possible history? I suspect it was made for the Missouri Pacific Railroad(?) This is my first post, so have lenience... lol...

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
I cannot help you identify the rail, but I do want to welcome you aboard. A photo of the rail might be of interest to viewers.


Forum Host
Staff member
Unless it's a rather unusual type of rail, we won't be of much help. "St. Louis Steel 1883" where and when it was made. There will be other numbers on it (probably) that identify what size rail it is.

However... St. Louis Steel probably rolled a lot of rail for a lot of railroads. More modern rail has "heat numbers" that can help you track it. You might, if you had access to those records, be able to identify who bought rail rolled recently. Even that would be difficult as best.

As for rail from 1883... It's a lot like saying "I have a 2 x 4 from Lowes dated 1997. Who bought it?"


New Member
A few of the markings, and overall rail. I've learned after an Internet search that the vertical hash marks are month of manufacture- 11 marks= November

full length.jpg1883.jpg11 month marks.jpg is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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