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N&W Joyce Avenue Roundhouse


        This series of photos were taken on the south side of the Norfolk and Western's Columbus, Ohio, Joyce Avenue roundhouse in 1954.  This was a time when railroaders could be a little more tolerant of camera toting railfans.  It was possible to drive to a parking lot just across the tracks from the roundhouse and if you were careful you wouldn't get in anyone's way as you watched the action and got a few shots.

        The Joyce Avenue roundhouse built in 1913 had 27 stalls.  Ten of the stalls were later extended to handle the longer class Y and A locomotives.  As locomotives became longer the turntable had to be lengthened until the 115' turntable seen in the photos was installed in 1930.

        In the  middle 1950s there were six classes of N&W locomotives found in Columbus, though not necessarily on the same day.  These photos show the class A, their main road engine, and the class S1a switcher.  Notice how clean the locomotives are in these pictures.  The N&W always had well maintained equipment even in this outpost far from Roanoke.   



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        N&W class A 2-6-6-4 #1215 is ready to take a string of empty coal cars south to Portsmouth.  In 1954 class A locomotives used a second or auxiliary tender to carry extra water.  This allow them to make fewer water stops which were expensive in both time and fuel used to restart the train after each stop.   The N&W was always looking for ways to increase the efficiency of their operations.

        There is a second class A in the photo behind #1215's tenders.  The N&W's office building is behind the two tenders and the roundhouse behind the engine.  The multiple tracks include the main leading to Columbus Union Station about 2 miles to the southwest of this picture and yard tracks.  Freight cars especially coal cars destined for Logansport, IN were interchanged with the PRR from these tracks.

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      Class A #1229 is stopped on the turntable while the auxiliary tender is hooked up to the main tender after the engine was serviced in the roundhouse.  The turntable was not long enough to hold the locomotive with two tenders.  A second auxiliary tender is waiting for its locomotive to complete servicing. 

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A second view of Class A #1229.  You can see a switchman working to connect the tenders.

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Class A, #1229 ready for its next assignment to Portsmouth.

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Class A, #1203 is fresh in from Portsmouth.  The building behind the front of #1203 was the office for the Joyce Avenue yard.  The signal controls the through track that curves to the south heading for the N&W freight station and Columbus Union Station.  The  passenger train and the class M switcher handling the freight house use these tracks.  The tracks closer to the camera are used for the PRR-N&W interchange of freight ,mostly coal, headed for the PRR's Pan Handle Route.

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Class S1a, #241 with an auxiliary tender being turned.  This S1a was built in 1953.

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Another view of #241.

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A  photo looking east toward the Joyce Avenue yard tracks.  The roundhouse is visible on the left of the picture.  The coal dock and water tower can be seen in the background.  Class A, #1201 is between platforms used to give maintenance workers easy access to the locomotive.

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Class S1a, #214 working the yard.  The N&W kept several of these very powerful 0-8-0's busy in the yards at Columbus.  This photo also gives a fuller view of all the tracks in front of the roundhouse.


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This photo is looking west.  Class S1a, #244 pushing a cut of cars just to the west of the roundhouse.  In the background are box cars on tracks leading to Grogan Yard.  The CA&C main line is between those boxcars and #244.


        This drawing taken from a 1931 Railway Age, shows the N&W Joyce Avenue Yard on the right, the PRR's Grogan Yard on the left and the CA&C main running northward in the middle just to the west of the N&W roundhouse.  The PRR's Pennor Yard is the 10 tracks on the northside of the N&W yard.  The Joyce Avenue roundhouse is toward the center of the drawing.  To see a larger view of this map click here.

        The  photos shown here were all taken around the south side of the N&W Joyce Avenue roundhouse by Donald A. Kaiser.