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B&O RR Service Facilities


B&O facilities at Columbus Union Station   

        The B&O's locomotive servicing facilities in Columbus remind me of a New Orleans shotgun house.  A long, narrow lot located between the Fourth Street viaduct on the east and yard tracks on the west.  The buildings were lined up with the turntable behind the engine house.  It was a very efficient use of a small piece of land.

        In the photo to the right, Fourth Street is the wide north-south street with the Pennsy freight house on the east side and the B&O locomotive servicing facilities on the west side. To the west of that is a small yard and the B&O freight house which faced on Naghten Street.  Columbus Union Station and the platforms for the eight passenger tracks are located in the top left of the photo.





        The engine house with E-27ca #2835 and #2759.  These 2-8-0 Consolidation type locomotives were used on the Columbus-Midland City local.  There was also a local from the east that worked out of Newark and came to Columbus once a day.  If a locomotive needed repairs this facility couldn't handle, it would be sent to Newark.  Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - July 26, 1953

        Back to the front (north side) of the engine house.  You can see the double slip switch that allowed a locomotive to enter either stall from any of the three tracks shown in the fore ground.  At one time there was a turntable in front of the engine house.  The clearance was so close here that a cut out was build into the Fourth Street viaduct retaining  wall that allowed the front coupler of the locomotive to clear the wall when being turned.  The new turntable doesn't have that problem. 

        You can see two views of the turntable lead track on the far right of the picture.      Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - July 27, 1953

        The turntable behind the engine house.  It was unique in that half the turn table pit was above ground.  It wouldn't do for the  hostler to run an engine off the turntable.  The roof of the PRR freight house is visible in the background on the far side of North Fourth Street.    Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - August  10, 1952

        A work train is located just north of the servicing area.  The cinder catcher and stand pipe used to water the tenders are on the right.  The many tracks are leads going to the B&O freight house and Pennsy Produce yard located between the B&O and High Street.  The Produce yard also faced on  Naghten Street.    Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - February 24, 1953

        The same work train is on the right.  On the left the B&O tracks go under Fourth Street where they intersected with the Columbus-Newark main line.  The B&O and Pennsy shared the main line between Columbus and Newark.  The  B&O staffed the many stations and towers along the route and the Pennsy provided the signal system. 

        That pesky diesel that shows up in two photos was probably used to switch the yard.    Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - February 24, 1953

        A Q-4 getting a fresh supply of sand.  The Q-4 2-8-2, "Mike" was used as a helper engine on freight trains through Columbus.  They were added to the front of the road diesels at West Broad Street worked the freight until Summit east of Columbus.  In the late 1940's the helper was added to the rear of the train.  That changed when a caboose was crushed by a pusher on some railroad in Ohio.

        The hopper car behind the  front of the engine is supplying coal for the locomotives.  In 1955 a conveyor was used to fill the tenders with coal.  The large pipe behind the smoke box is explained in the next photo.  Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - July 26, 1953

        Left to right Mr. E. S. Kern, road foreman for B&O Railroad, and C. P. Smith, engine house foreman, demonstrated the inverted funnel on the locomotive stack to members of other railroads. Each railroad had a representative present. Its purpose is to arrest cinders from the trains while fires are being cleaned. The demonstration was held at the B & O roundhouse just west of the Fourth Street viaduct.  That rail in the right bottom corner of the photo was for dumping cinders into rail cars.

        The locomotive is a Q-4, 2-8-2.  Behind the Fourth Street Viaduct is the Smith Brother's Hardware which is still there and can be seen from I-670.  Photo taken August 9, 1950, from the Citizen Journal Collection at the Grandview Library.

        This is the spare E-27ca, 2-8-0 Consolidation kept behind the turntable.    Photo by Donald A. Kaiser - August  10, 1952