Freight Shed on Main Line
#1
Hi Folks,

Once again I ask for stupid questions. I've often seen that most freight station were located directly on the main line track, a few feet apart from the passenger station. My guess is they handled the LCL traffic. However, on most insurance maps, there's no siding serving the shed to unload a full car. In some case, the shed is quite large and you wonder if it wasn't a little bit too big for handling LCL on a branchline.

In other circumstances, they are often located directly on the passing siding. Once again, if the siding is used to store cars, it defeats its purpose...

I'm just curious to better understand why almost half freight sheds were built on the main.

Matt
Proudly modelling Quebec Railway Light & Power Company since 1997.

Hedley-Junction Club Layout: http://www.hedley-junction.blogspot.com/

Erie 149th Street Harlem Station http://www.harlem-station.blogspot.com/
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#2
Freight cars where not spotted at these sheds because all freight came and went by passenger train. Passenger trains of that time could have as many as 2 or 3 baggage cars on the head end and as many as 4 or 5 express box and reefer cars as well. Express box baggage cars were box cars painted in passenger train colors and fitted with high speed express reefer trucks and steam lines. Most of these trains had a baggage man and an express agent on the crew.

Everything from food, machinery parts and everything sold by merchants in that town came in on the train. And farmers would ship out milk, cream and eggs. All perishables used the express reefers.

In those days their where no Currier services only the Railroads. And they out performed today's carriers. One could phone an order to Eaton's in Winnipeg on Monday morning and it would be in Saskatoon Tuesday afternoon. That is about a 12 hour drive by car today.

The express agent on the train back then was also issued a 38 caliber revolver to protect the shipments from robbery.

This is how it was done on the Canadian National Railway in western Canada. Other railroads may have done things differently.
Robert
Modeling the Canadian National prairie region in 1959.
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#3
As far as the U.S. in my eastern Ohio local I don't remember seeing a freight station without a track next to it. Even today the places where the sidings were are very visible and many of the track bumpers are still in place. Even the old interurban lines had sidings at freight stations.
In this picture of the East Palestine, Ohio station taken in 1977 you can see a portion of the track that was used to unload cars directly into the station, and a team track was to the right corner of the station, evidenced by the track bumper, the other track closest to the main could hold cars to be unloaded to the walkway, or with a ramp through other cars on the track nearest the freight station which saved switching cars around. The passeger station was torn down in 1975 but we still have the freight station without tracks.    

Charlie
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#4
Matt
Each RR did these things to meet the needs of the customer being served & the particular circumstances of the location. To know those answers you'll have to do alot of research. And that can be as rewarding as building & operating your MR!
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
ATSF/LAJ Ry Fan & Modeler
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#5
Thanks for the answer!

@Prairie Trains: I think I underestimated the amount of LCL that was transported by railways back then.

Matt
Proudly modelling Quebec Railway Light & Power Company since 1997.

Hedley-Junction Club Layout: http://www.hedley-junction.blogspot.com/

Erie 149th Street Harlem Station http://www.harlem-station.blogspot.com/
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#6
sailormatlac Wrote:Thanks for the answer!

@Prairie Trains: I think I underestimated the amount of LCL that was transported by railways back then.

Matt

Matt, I will share this tidbit. Some local passenger trains carried LCL in baggage cars like a Warm Morning stove, a ice box and other like things. These would be unloaded during a regular station stop or in some rare cases at a rural road crossing..

Also even today there is a small amount of modern LCL being ship.. Ever see a bulkhead flatcar with a small stack of plate steel in the center of the car? Some boxcars isn't loaded to capacity either.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#7
Thanks Larry!
Proudly modelling Quebec Railway Light & Power Company since 1997.

Hedley-Junction Club Layout: http://www.hedley-junction.blogspot.com/

Erie 149th Street Harlem Station http://www.harlem-station.blogspot.com/
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#8
Think of it this way...ALL LCL, fast freight and express items were shipped in express baggage cars in the beginning, so while the passengers were getting out at one end of the train, the freight was unloading from the other end. There was no conflict between the two.
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#9
MountainMan Wrote:Think of it this way...ALL LCL, fast freight and express items were shipped in express baggage cars in the beginning, so while the passengers were getting out at one end of the train, the freight was unloading from the other end. There was no conflict between the two.

Yep, and it makes running "passenger" trains much more interesting than just running around and stopping randomly at station. I've read a little bit more about mixed trains in the last weeks and it was really eye-opening.

Matt
Proudly modelling Quebec Railway Light & Power Company since 1997.

Hedley-Junction Club Layout: http://www.hedley-junction.blogspot.com/

Erie 149th Street Harlem Station http://www.harlem-station.blogspot.com/
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#10
sailormatlac Wrote:
MountainMan Wrote:Think of it this way...ALL LCL, fast freight and express items were shipped in express baggage cars in the beginning, so while the passengers were getting out at one end of the train, the freight was unloading from the other end. There was no conflict between the two.

Yep, and it makes running "passenger" trains much more interesting than just running around and stopping randomly at station. I've read a little bit more about mixed trains in the last weeks and it was really eye-opening.

Matt

Matt,Usually the train crew switched out any cars to the team track or local industries while the freight handlers unloaded the stove,ice box or whatever Aunt Millie or Uncle Joe ordered from Sears & Roebucks. During the unloading of the LCL from the baggage car or combine that car was blue flagged.

Operating a daily except Sunday mixed train can be fun-don't forget a occasional stop at a road crossing so a tractor tire or some other item can be unloaded onto a waiting pickup truck.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#11
The nasrrow gauge trains to the mountain mining communities in Colorado were often, and in many cases almost always, mixed consists with a baggage combine, freight cars and one passenger coach. This was the most practical way to serve isolated communities which did not generate much passenger service.

Often, the baggage car was a combine carrying passengers as well while the rest of the consist was mixed freight, which was always in demand by the towns and mines.

When the railroads begin to decline and they went to the Galloping Geese, the front end carried passengers while the large rear body carried freight and express items. These "Geese" turned out to be far more economical and efficient than even short trains would have been.

Again, this made the freight shed on the mainline even more practical.
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#12
Again, this made the freight shed on the mainline even more practical.
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Most branch line/short line stations had a attached baggage/express area attach like the Rico Station.The combine baggage door was spotted by the dock and was unloaded while the passengers (if any) boarded or got off.. Some times the engine would take on water or do any local switching.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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