Hinton roundhouse in the 1940s reflected the many changes on the railroad since
the C & O first picked Hinton to be its division point between the
New River and Alleghany Subdivisions. The first roundhouse at Hinton was apparently
built in the 1870s. Only one photograph
of it is know to be extant.
It was located toward and backed up to the
New River at the foot of
No plans have yet been found in C&O documents in the C&OHS
Archives. Two different roof truss plans
(one of wood and one of iron) have turned up among available drawings, the wood
truss arrangement matches photographs of the second roundhouse built circa
1900-1905. The iron truss could possibly
have been used on the original roundhouse and re-used on the second. A early fire
prevention map of Hinton which were typically prepared by the fire insurance
companies (not the railroad) indicates iron trusses over a portion of the
second roundhouse in the area of stalls 12 through 17.
second roundhouse at Hinton also reflects the many changes which took place on
the C&O from the turn of the century until 1980 when the last six stalls
were razed. The roundhouse was built at
the turn of the century to replace the earlier 1870s roundhouse. The probable reason for the new roundhouse
was to clear space for enlarging the west yard.
Based upon notes on drawings of the proposed end walls dated 1903, the
round house was built in stages and originally had temporary wood end
walls. However long it took to build,
all 17 stalls were apparently complete by 1903-05.
The "as built" appearance differed only slightly from the planned
improvements reflected in the company drawings. The proposed glass in round gable windows was replaced with louvers
which remained until the end, and the double door in the east end wall was
moved toward the rear wall (R.R. East) from the middle of one panel. The original turntable, 75 feet long, was
replaced approximately 1916 with a 100' turntable which in turn was replaced
approximately 1924 with a 115'
Bethlehem twin span turntable. The original doors of the roundhouse were 80'
from the center of the turntable and the leads were spaced 10° apart.
addition to the roundhouse, a new machine shop and oil house were built. The machine shop was attached to the
roundhouse at the end of stall Nos. 1 and 2.
Shortly after the machine shop was built a shed addition was added to
its rear and the end of stall No. 3. The
boilers for steam were initially outside to the rear of the machine shop.
Before 1916 two separate additions had been built and the shop boilers occupied
the machine shop addition to the rear of stalls 2 and 3.
|Original Roundhouse End Wall
reconstruction to Monitor Roof circa 1910
Sometime after 1905 and before 1916 the original pitched roof was replaced with
a monitor roof which was cantilevered ten feet beyond the roundhouse doors
toward the turntable.
The unbalanced appearance of the end walls is the most prominent feature
of the Hinton roundhouse. Outlines of
the trusses which supported the monitor roof are shown on several company
drawings. CSPR photographs Nos. 211 and
212 show trusses which only partly correspond with the drawings at least so far
as construction is concerned. Whatever the actual dimensions, the monitor
roof should have significantly improved the atmosphere for the roundhouse
laborers by drawing the smoke which did not exhaust from the small smoke jacks
out of the round house more efficiently than the original small cupolas placed
above every even numbered roundhouse stall.
west wall of the roundhouse also reveals other changes which took place over
time. As built, the windows were placed
in the center of each of the three end wall panels. At some point in time the panel toward the
turntable may have suffered a collision, as the wall was rebuilt back to the
window and the window replaced with a smaller window. The modification is quite visible in a
photograph I took in 1976. At some point
the bottom half of the rear panel window was bricked up. The brick color is close to the color of the
1916 addition and may have taken place about that time.
in 1916 the first of several additions to extend the roundhouse leads were
made. Each addition was a direct result
of the increasing size of the new motive power used on the Alleghany
Subdivision. The 1916 expansion would
have been the result of the increasing number of H-2, H-3, and H-4 2-6-6-2
Mallets which the C&O beginning in 1910 was using on the grades of the
New River and Alleghany subdivisions. The mallet engine house was originally built
in late 1911 or early 1912 to provide maintenance for the mallets, but by 1916
the number of mallets had increased so much that the two tracks in the mallet
house could not have provided the necessary space to do all the maintenance
which would have been required. The
first extension of the roundhouse extended Stall Nos. 12 through 17. A two-level shed roof was added to the rear. The end walls were partly of brick and partly
wood siding and the rear walls were brick. The extension was done by knocking
out the rear walls, and leaving the original brick pilasters as columns to
support the monitor roof trusses. The
bases of those brick pilasters are still visible projecting to the top of the
roundhouse floor. Those brick columns
were replaced in 1930 with wood columns.
1920 a new power house was also built. The power house stood until 1980 when it
was razed with the last six stalls of the roundhouse. The air brake shop built in 1921 was a 32
foot by 29 foot brick addition to the east rear of the machine shop. It was retired with the machine shop in 1961
and sold to a private contractor to demolish.
1930 after the arrival of all the H-7 and H-7a 2-8-8-2s stall Nos. 5 through 11
were also extended with the same type of two level
shed roof which was used in 1916. The
decision was probably a result of the increasing tonnage which the C&O was
carrying in the 1920s and expected to be carrying into the 1930s. Each of these additions extended the stall
track length by approximately 48 feet.
Stalls numbered 1 through 4 were not extended at the rear. In 1941
8" was added to the roundhouse doors to increase the clear height of the
entries from 16' 6" feet to 17' 2" (C&O
This was done by the simple expedient of adding 8" to the tops of
the existing doors, removing the brick work above the doors, and replacing it
with wood beaded siding.
1942 roundhouse stalls numbered 14 through 17 were extended again with a
addition to permit maintenance on the newly arriving H-8 2-6-6-6s with their
125 foot overall length. It was this
addition which gave the roundhouse its characteristic roof line which remained
until the end and the new roundhouse office beside and at the end of stall 17
which replaced a free standing office.
Stalls 14 through 17 also received RO-WAY overhead garage type doors as a part
of the rebuilding. The plans of the 1942
modification indicate that the west wall was 13 inches thick, but a note on the
1903 drawing of proposed eastern end wall indicates that both walls were to be
17" thick. Based on a photograph
the west wall was only 13" thick -- 17" with the outside
pilasters. In 1943
tail tracks were also
added to the turntable to deal with H-8s over running the end of the turntable.
At this time a welding shop was also added at the rear of stall No. 15.
1930 and 1946 a small shed roof was added to the overhanging roof to stalls 1
through 13 and the doors moved approximately 10' toward the turntable pit.
The shed roof was not added to or was removed on stalls 14 through 17
which used the garage type overhead doors after the 1942 roundhouse addition. I have anecdotal evidence that the
shed was added in the 1930's, however, C & O drawing #14549-A which
reflects the work done to increase the door height 8" indicates the doors
were still hung on the original cast iron posts in 1941.
1946 a brick firewall was erected between stall Nos. 11 and 12.
This brick firewall replaced a wooden partition which had been erected
in 1921 to help the poor ventilation caused what was then an asymmetrical roof.
It projected approximately 3' above the roof and is a
prominent feature of photographs of the roundhouse taken between 1965 and 1980
after stall Nos. 2 through 11 were razed. Only one automatically closing sliding door
penetrated the wall at the rear.
in 1946 a ladies toilet was added to the roundhouse office and one of the
windows of the 1916 addition filled with concrete block when the toilet was
added to the roundhouse office. In 1950 the last addition to the roundhouse was
made when a wheel lathe shop was added at the end of stall number 14.
the end the roundhouse was an amalgam of bits and pieces from each of its
incarnations. Except for the drastic change
in appearance brought about by the change to a monitor roof between 1905 and
1916, stalls 1 through 4 changed little over their life. A concrete floor was added and openings in
the rear walls were opened up and bricked over, but the essence of the 1903
roundhouse remained until stall No. 1 was retired in 1959 and razed.
a roundhouse large enough to service H-1 through H-6 mallets is needed the 1916
to 1930 roundhouse or a portion of it will provide a
modeler with an interesting prototype.
With the stalls extended by the simple expedient of knocking out the
rear walls and extending the tracks with the parts of the wall remaining to
support the old roof, one could build the model with the walls knocked out, the
tracks, floor, and pits extended, and the new rear walls and roof just under
construction-- a model scene which, it can be argued, is supported by available
documentary and physical evidence.
In 1958-59 the east end wall of the roundhouse and stall number 1 were retired
and razed to permit for the first time the Hill Track (outbound east) to line up
with Number 1 track (outbound west).
What type of construction, if any, was used to create a new end wall
next to stall No. 2 is not known.
A drawing of a proposed wall of concrete block has turned up, but it unknown if
the wall was built before stalls 2 through 11 were razed in 1965.
1965 stalls Nos. 2 through 11 were razed to the firewall which had been erected
between stall Nos. 11 and 12, and in 1980 the last six stalls of the roundhouse
were razed along with the power house.
The turntable remained until about 1988, at which time the it was removed and the pit filled. The only remaining sign of the roundhouse is
the expanse of concrete floor and back-filled inspection pits which give only a
hint of what used to be.
Note: The foregoing is still very much a work in progress, and will be revised
as new and/or additional information becomes available. It does represent my best compilation of the
information available to me as of the writing.
The four jpg files hyperlinked here as Eudaly1,
Eudaly2, EuDaly3, and
show a model of the Hinton Roundhouse built by James EuDaly on his O Scale
layout from author's plans and notes.
Copyright 2004 - 2007
William E. Simonton, III