The Roundhouse

Over the next several days I’ll be posting more images I made at the NC Museum of Transportation in Spencer, NC. I had so much fun the day I was there, looking at and photographing some of my most favorite things…old trains. I’d never been inside a train “roundhouse” before, so when I discovered that the museum had an original which was open to the public, and that it was filled with all sorts of old trains…all of the steam variety, I was overjoyed.

A roundhouse is a building used by railroads for servicing locomotives. Roundhouses are large, circular or semicircular structures that were traditionally located surrounding or adjacent to turntables. The defining feature of the traditional roundhouse was the turntable, which facilitates access when the building is used for repair facilities or for storage of steam locomotives. The images which follow will provide you with a sample of what I saw…starting with an outside view of the turntable and tracks headed to the adjacent semi-circular building.

Inside looking out toward the turntable.

A view of several historic steam train engines sitting in the roundhouse, awaiting servicing. I imagine this scene was much different when the facility was in operation. Noisy, dirty, steam filled air, with lots of men doing all their work to keep the trains running.

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