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March 2002 - Page 28

The Burlington Northern (ex-CB&Q) coach yard at Chicagos Union Station appears here in September 1973. The near tracks are being used for short term storage of commuter gallery coaches and in the background is Amtrak equipment.
John Szwajkart photo

saries, 80 storerooms, 113 sub-storerooms, six repair and maintenance shops, one factory, and 5,300 cars on regular lines plus 1 ,600 reserve cars. The Pullman facility should include a building for storing linens and other supplies, and perhaps a laundry.

Each railroad had its own commissary to restock diners in a city like Chicago. Each railroad had its own central kitchens, bakeries, grocery warehousing, laundries and meat coolers. Ice was also a needed major supply. You will need another building for your passenger terminal complex to service d iners. It is not clear from the literature whether car types having auxiliary eating facilities such as buffets in lounge or observation cars were also switched to the commissary for restocking at the end of a run or if they were treated as coaches and serviced in the coach yard (if railroad o wned and operated instead of Pullman o perated). Pullman did own and operate diners and combination cars with food service for some railroads. In these cases, Pullman diners were probably switched to the same facility that serviced the sleepers.

e xpress tracks to one side of the station platform tracks. A long shed or warehouseappearing building paralleled the platforms. A n unresolved question is how individ ual baggage cars for outgoing or incoming trains were placed without disturbing the ones already alongside the building. Perhaps a large number of crossovers from a parallel lead track were used (as is common with wharf trackage). At some terminals, the express facility consisted of numerous short spurs at a diagonal to a switching lead serving several express companies in separate quarters (prior to formation of Railway Express, companies such as Adams, American, Southern, and Wells Fargo express served various parts of the country and in competition).

A facility for mail was often combined with the baggage and express facility. However, many major terminals had a sepa rate post office facility within the complex (sometimes the main city post office was built right over the tracks as at Chicagos Union Station). Assuming the mail was handled in sacks in mail storage cars (indistinguishable in appearance from baggage cars) w hich were switched to the mail facility and that full-length RPOs without mail storage space were used, where did one store the RPOs? Combination RPO-baggage cars with 15' or 30' post office compartments

probably had to be docked at the mail facility if significant amounts of sacked mail were kept in the combination car. Mail handling at terminals where the cars did not get switched directly into the post office facilities (which was a common arrangement in several cities) was accomplished by transfer of the mail sacks from post office trucks to carts of the four-wheel baggage wagon type. The carts/wagons were towed to the platforms, and the mail was loaded in the cars at trackside. In some terminals, there were tracks at the station that were used largely for mail loading and unloading (at least at certain times of the day). Access from the street to the platform was either by paved crossings at rail height (when the mail facilities were at the side of the terminal), from the station concourse (when mail facilities were in the head house [station]), or by tunnel under the tracks with elevator or ramp access to each track. Moving baggage wagons on platforms was done at the risk of causing interference with either passengers or train movements. The railfan going to the end of the platforms for a picture of the motive power became adept at avoiding the activity around the head-end cars.

Express and Baggage
Baggage and express facilities were often located in the station or very close to the station platforms. A typical pattern appears to have been a set of baggage and

Car Washers
Mechanical car washers replaced hand washing of cars in the coach yard as streamliners came into use. Fixed-location mechanical car washers (see photos) were usually


MARCH 2002

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