Something Different than Diesels

Discussion in 'Action Photos' started by frisco1522, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    1507 picking through the puzzle switches at St. Louis Union Station.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2011
  2. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Supporter Supporter

    Very neat Don! Can you date the photo?


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Excellent. I'd love to be able to model that area. Talk about an interlocking! Sheesh! :eek:
  4. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Has to be late '40s.
  5. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member

    Too cool... :)
  6. Steve40cal

    Steve40cal Member

    As a signal maintainer, all those switches give me chills! I can't imagine having to test and inspect all those every month.... Steve.|-|
  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Cool photo. Dang! That's a lot of double slip switches. I think it would been easier to employ superman to lift the loco's from track to track than deal with all that.

    EDIT: The year would probably be 1950 or 51. I noticed something in the background. To me it looks like an SW7 that's pulling a cut of passenger cars. Any other input?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011
  8. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Anybody have any idea about the origin of that photo of #1507 at SLUS? I would love to have it for the book.

  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The gray diesel switcher in the background does indeed look like an EMD SW/NW type, in TRRA colors.

    It is likely either a SW1 or a NW2. TRRA SW1's (TRRA 501-508) were generally used to switch StL Union Station - they arrived on the roster in 1940-1947. TRRA NW2's also served the station - the NW2's (TRRA 551-567) arrived 1940-1948.

    TRRA had no SW7's. They did have EMD SW9's (TRRA 1206-1218) which arrived in 1952, and later, a bunch of SW1200's (TRRA 1219-1243) which arrived between 1955 and 1965. These types, however, came into service well after the fires in SLSF 1507 probably went cold for the last time.

    TRRA's diesel fleet wore gray and white colors until the late 1960's-early 1970's when they went to a red and white color scheme (about the same time the Frisco switched to the o/w scheme). TRRA hasn't been the same since!

    For those interested, the TRRA Historical Society Bulletin #51-52, Summer/Autumn 1999, featured the entire TRRA diesel locomotive fleet up to that time, with descriptions, pictures and full roster information. This issue is still available from the society.


    ps - Note the GM&O off to the left. Interesting speculation as to whose silver lightweight cars the TRRA switcher is working on - Southern? NYC? RI/CB&Q? PRR? B&O? Wabash? Certainly not SLSF, MP, GM&O, SSW, L&N, UP or IC. Any ideas?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011
  10. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Supporter Supporter

    Ken--The switch engine is working in the area where the Frisco trains parked. Those might be Meteor or Texas Special cars??

  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom - You are correct, the location is about right - the Frisco used tracks roughly in the middle of the train shed as I recall. MoPac was just to the east next to the Frisco. When #9 pulled out for Rolla, I used to always check out the MoP train next to us on the left to see if it had any E6's or PA's on the point. Back then, E7's and E8's bored me :)eek:), ..... unless they had horse names on them (;)).

    But, regarding the cars the TRRA is switching, I don't see any red between the windows or on the roof, so I ruled out Frisco/Katy. They look to be all silver (stainless) to me.

  12. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Supporter Supporter

    I think the red is (Could be??) muted because of the distance. My opinion...but on another note, does the 1507 have the larger "Hungerford" era, numbers on the tender or do you still see the pinstriping?? Is the sun shining on pinstriping or rows of rivets? Another thing I've spotted, 1507's cab roof isn't red??

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2011
  13. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    She retains her Doric striping; note the stripes on the dome
  14. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    You can see the stripping on the tender. It looks like the cab WAS red at one time, but has faded over time. Just my 2 cents

  15. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Absolutely fantastic picture of a beautiful engine and depot. Thanks for sharing. Terry
  16. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    As Karl noted, 1507 still sports the doric striping.

    Additionally, it appears that the "new" TRRA Tower #1 is in the background in the upper right. Some of the St. Louis folk can perhaps give a more exacting date, but I'm recall reading somewhere that this tower wasn't constructed until right at the end of WWII.

    Knowing when this tower was opened, and knowing that the "Hungerford" austerity paint schemes started appearing c. 1948, that could help narrow down to a precise year.

    Best Regards,
  17. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The TRRA tower in the right background of the SLSF 1507 photo is indeed the "new" TRRA Tower #1, officially named Perry Tower. It was the main interlocking tower for the maze of trackwork outside StL Union Station - it had 304 levers and was the largest interlocking system in the world at the time.

    Perry Tower was built on the foundation of the former TRRA Tower #1, which suffered a major fire in July, 1940. Perry Tower was opened on October 6, 1940 and was dedicated on November 30, 1940. It was by design fireproof - all brick with no wood in the building at all.

    Some interesting guests attended the dedication ceremony - William Barham, a St Louis police officer and noted photographer of steam locomotives (including many Frisco) - whose father was a Frisco passenger conductor, and Lucius Beebe.

    Perry Tower remained in service until after the time of Amtrak, when trains ceased using StLUS. The tower's interlocking track diagram board now resides here at the NMOT.

    So, we know the pic of 1507 stepping her way through the track maze was taken sometime after 11/40. I agree with Don's estimate of a late 1940's date.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2011
  18. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Ken, thanks for the background and history - very interesting! Dont' know where I got the mid-40s date for the new tower's dedication. Sounds like it was ready in the nick of time for wartime traffic.

    When we rode the Metro in to see the Cardinals in September, the tower was still there, but looking very sorry. It appears that the roof has completely caved in. :(
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011
  19. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Yeah, they need to do something with it. Either tear the building down, or renovate it into something useful - like a decent hobby shop!


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