Roundhouse or Engine House
Whilst the CWR Engine House is rectangular it is referred to as the Roundhouse. A roundhouse is a building used by railroads for servicing locos. Roundhouses are usually large, circular or semicircular structures that were traditionally located surrounding or adjacent to a turntable. The defining feature of the traditional roundhouse was the turntable, which facilitated access when the building is used for repair facilities or for storage of locos. The CWR Roundhouse utilizes a wye for turning their engines around.
In the late 1950's the machine shop and storage portion of the Roundhouse was moved from the northwest corner of the building to new quarters on the east side. The new addition also houses the electrician's shop and the Roundhouse Foreman's office. At the same time the west pit was extended the full length of the building – providing for the servicing of three locos on one track. An electrically powered door was installed on the north side of the track.
Today the Engine House is in need of a few panes of glass and, we are told, a new roof - see left.
And what does it look like inside?
Here's one view.
What happens in the engine house when the locomotive returns at the end of a day’s work? This page from the June/July 1949 Noyo Chief, the in-house magazine of the Union Lumber Company, explains.
See photo left.
California Western Railroad Enginehouse
at Fort Bragg– a Photographer’s View
The Enginehouse has never looked like a work of art to me. However, there are those who see beauty in the most mundane of objects. The photos in this Gallery were taken in April 2012 by Sabine who was visiting from England who was fascinated by the colours and textures she saw in the Skunk Yard.
As Sabine said, “There is a lot of difference in looking and seeing”.