The Mission Statement
The mission of this WEB site is to document locations of roundhouses/turntables.
However, related issues of interest to the contributors are also shared.
These images are an inventory of roundhouses/turntables taken
from Google Earth, MicroSoft, and other similar imaging systems.
These images represent what is still standing; what is partially
left; and finally what is GONE as indicated by some evidence, e.g.
the fan shape footprint of the roundhouse foundations or the turntable
pit. Once a turntable is removed often a circular imprint is left
behind, but not always. With the roundhouse, the floor is usually
made of concrete with the tracks/engine bays radiating out in a fan
like pattern. Often when a roundhouse is demolished or has burned down,
this tell tail fan pattern is left behind. You will see this pattern
in many of the images where the roundhouse is GONE. If your
Windows system is setup just right, all you have to do is to double
click the image to display it at full resolution. In addition,
sometimes the images seem fuzzy; this is due to the original
image resolution and is nothing that we control. At the bottom of
a Google image is the latitude and longitude so anyone can go
back and explore the location if Google is used. Also of importance
are the dates of the images which range from about 1985 to the present. So
what is portrayed in the image may not be present now. As an example
see the images
(an MSN image which is displayed in a separate window so you can
compare to the next later image for the same location) and
(the later Google image is also be displayed in separate window).
The MSN image has an earlier date than the Google image and
the roundhouse that present in the MSN image is GONE in the Google
image. Matter of fact, after the roundhouse/turntable was demolished,
the area was cleaned up so well that we could not find any evidence that
it even existed and it would not have included it in our inventory. We will
provide before and after images such as this where and when we find them.
We will use the convention of appending the word "GONE" to the later image
Sometimes we will append the word "UPDATE" to indicate a change
in the conditions of the roundhouse or it's surrounding area. Sometimes
other infrequently used discriptive words are appended to the image names
that indicate an
unusal events; for example, in the Germany directory there is a roundhouse
that has the burn down, i.e.,
Finally, we generally captured the roundhouse/turntable site in the middle
or near the center of the image unless there were other surrounding
details of interest. Details such as urbanization encroachment or near
by abandon tracks that could indicate a roundhouse/turntable site
maybe at risk for development (urbanization) or land reuse.
For a particular location, sometimes we have multiple images from
different imaging systems. A feather of interest maybe more viewable in
one imaging system over another, and we may have multiple features of
interest in a particular location or scene that we think maybe important.
The underlying reasons for our
use of multiple images from different imaging systems is due to the
difference in imagery used by each of the imaging systems. As an example,
MSN has a perspective capability (but not in all locations) which allows us
to look at the sides of a roundhouse and see its detail. However, for the
same location Google may have a nice color
image which allows us to look at more of the surrounding area and
see things like development encroachment and adjacent land reuse. For the
same location, MSN's orthognal maybe gray scale but provide additional
information like street names which maybe important if you want to visit the
location in person. However, imaging system capabilities will very from
location depending on what imagery was used or collected for a particular
imaging system and what spatial algorithms were applied to the imagery.
In certain cases we felt that an image needed to be enhanced, so we may
have changed the contrast/brightness. Although, this tends to be a
subjective issue - sometimes things are obvious. However, often we did
not have "time" to enhance the images that we felt needed it. In this case
you are viewing the original raw imagery - as it comes from the imaging system.
If we have not had time to enhance an image that is of interest to you,
send an email to us and we will attempt to make it more viewable.
You can not use these images to determine if a specific roundhouse/turntable
is "still" standing; all you can really do is use this inventory to
determine a roundhouse/turntable general location - could be still standing
or it could be GONE. Google images provide general lat/longs, however the other
imaging systems do not and you will have to look at the other landmarks in
the image to help with the geographic location of the roundhouse/turntable you are
seeking. Probably the best thing to do is to use the Inventory as a guide.
If you find something of interest in the Inventory, then go to the image
system yourself and search that city for the roundhouse/turntable. If we
had time to research the lat/long for each roundhouse/turntable we would, but
we don't. Actually this Inventory was originally designed for a few
knowledgeable railroad people and we were not intending to offer it to others.
So use it only if it is worth something to you.
Robert T. Kelley (RK) - NRHS Baltimore Chapter - Railroad historian/modeler/mapper
James J. Stapleton (JJ) - Railroad historian/modeler/mapper
Stephen P Shivers (SS) - Geographer/mapper/railroad historian/photographer
Donald J Porter (DP) - WM Railroad historian
John Robb (JR) - CN Railroad Historian
James L Abney (JA) - Third-generation (in-family) Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway employee,
retired Amtrak employee, and Railroad historian/Railroad Engineer (see MT Rainier Scenic Railroad/)
Lawrence LaBranche (LL) - Railroad historian
(see TIMBER HERITAGE ASSOCIATION)
Fred Swain (FS) - Railroad historian/photographer
(see Fred's discussion on RH/TT)
Alan P. Sweide (AS) - Gold Mining Geologist/photographer
Robert G. Clark (BC) - WEB Master/railroad modeler/mapper/photographer(email@example.com)
Note: Kelley, Stapleton, Shivers, and Clark had worked for the former US Geological Survey's National Mapping
Division (now the Geography Discipline). Clark has also been a computer scientist and physcial scientist working in research.
As with most things on the WEB, our WEBsite is evolving.
We are constantly updating and adding data and procedures to
this collection in order to maintain the highest quality that
we can. I suggest, if a WEB site is not dynamic then it is
stagnant and going to be out of date at some point. We
strive to be dynamic. (BC)