Pennsy Steam Near Gibbard Avenue
Just about one mile south of the Grogan - Pennor - CA&C junction shown in the "Pennor" set of pictures is Gibbard Avenue which crossed the CA&C/N&W tracks that were so heavily used. This route went south from the above mentioned junction until it encountered the St. Clair Roundhouse where it turned west meeting with the Pan Handle tracks. Collectively the route then went further west past Ft Hayes where it turned southwest toward Columbus Union Station.
This was first the CA&C route into Columbus Union Station. When the N&W came along it built a track parallel to the CA&C also into Columbus Union Station. The two railroads decided it made sense to operate the two tracks as one double track line. As traffic grew the track count grew until by the 1950's there were four or more tracks along this route.
As you stood at Gibbard Avenue you could see the St. Clair round house and the 20th Street Shops to the east of the roundhouse. To the east of you were two small yards used to store steam for later use, store steam that wouldn't ever be used again and bad order cars. Steam stored serviceable usually had a cap on the smoke stack and other protective measures taken. Steam engines that were never to be used again often were missing parts and just plain looked forlorn.
Standing at Gibbard Avenue you might see the N&W passenger train from Portsmouth, Coal trains received from the N&W heading to Logansport via the PRR's Piqua line , or an N&W 4-8-0 heading for the N&W freight house. You might also see a string of C&O coal cars coming from Grandview Yard heading to Grogan yard for the trip to Sandusky, the CA&C freights going and coming from the Mt Vernon/Akron direction, and various merchandise trains going and coming from either the N&W or the Sandusky Branch. You would also see J1's and I1's running light between Grogan Yard and the St. Clair roundhouse. There was a lot of action at Gibbard Avenue.
The following photos were all taken April 4, 1955 by Donald A. Kaiser.
300dpi jpg (258K) - prr-dak-145
A matched set of Baldwin Shark Nose diesels with a string of coal cars heading north. They may well have come from Logansport and are heading to the N&W's Joyce Avenue Yard. To the right of the coal train behind the cross buck is a class I1, 2-10-0 with another string of coal cars, that would likely be C&O coal cars going to Grogan Yard having come from Grandview Yard, where the C&O interchanged with the PRR. Behind the Shark Nose the roof of the St. Clair roundhouse can be seen. To the left are four stored J1's and behind them are the buildings of the 20th Street Shops. Behind the I1 and almost impossible to see are another five stored steam engines.
300dpi jpg (204K) - prr-dak-148
Two General Electric 390 HP, 44 ton switchers (#9315 and #9351). They both have a crew so are presumably not running as multiple units. They are pulling a short string of cars maybe delivering to customers in the general area. The picture was taken between Fifth and Gibbard Avenues where there were houses which undoubtedly were used by PRR shop employees. Those GE switchers were probably replacements for the B6, 0-6-0's that have been retired.
300dpi jpg (252K) - prr-dak-147
Another view of the two GE 44 ton locomotives and stored steam engines. The camera is looking southeast across Gibbard Avenue. The track is curving toward the west where it will join with the Pan Handle track and head toward Columbus Union Station on North High Street.
300dpi jpg (233K) - prr-dak-149
Light I1s #4371 is backing across Gibbard Avenue. It was always easy to identify an I1 with those two air tanks on the front. You could also tell by the sound it was an I1 coming. They had a unique sound, especially when running light, caused by their long side rods.
300dpi jpg (258K) - prr-dak-146
The photographer has moved around the curve past the signal bridge seen in the first photo. Now it is in the forefront. This I1 is heading forward toward Grogan Yard. The roundhouse is off camera to the right. In the distance, with the peaked roof, is the 20th Street tender shop . The dead engine on the very right is a class K4, 4-6-2.