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Round Trip: 1943

Round Trip: 1943

March 1943. "San Bernardino, Calif. Engines at the roundhouse." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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In Altoona

When being pursued in Altoona, which had two of these, we'd always say, "Head for the roundhouse. They can't corner you there."

Disappeared between 94&95

Using Google Earth's archival photography tool, you can see the remaining semicircle of the roundhouse was demolished between 94&95. In the 95 imagery, the rectangular buildings are in the process of being demolished. The old station in the background exists as a railroad museum.

This tool in Google Earth is really useful. Just click on the clock icon on the toolbar to bring up a slider to index through different dates. It's obvioulsy weighted towards more recent imagery, but some areas go back quite far. My home town of Houston has imagery from 44. It's great for this kind of thing.

Intermodal Facility

It appears that the portion that was the roundhouse area is now an intermodal facility.

Re: Current Location

More or less where the smokestack is, near the intersection of N Mount Vernon Ave & 5th St:

Past and Present

Apparently, they started dismantling the roundhouse sometime in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the remaining structure (less than a semicircle) was being used as a battery shop. As best I can tell, the last vestiges were removed by 1995.

Current location?

This railyard now houses a museum but the roundhouse appears to be long gone. Does anyone know where it use to be located? I'd love to know what is on that spot today.

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