The Big Four South Anderson Yard was busy as well. The big Mohawks would soon run out their last days here running on the North-South line from Elkhart to Louisville and on the double track East-West main. There was a lot of local switching using smaller locos running from North Anderson to Container Corporation and the various plants on the West side. This was the city job. It went on duty 7:30 am and started at the wire factory and progressed all of the way to the box factory, stopping at all industries on the way. This included setting off to the CI in the passing track west of the depot where the Michigan Division turned to go north. It was an easy job for the fireman because it was just shifting cars. It had about 35-40 cars out of the South Anderson yard.
The Roundhouse and turntable were still in use in South Anderson with the coaling tower standing tall and proud. The roundhouse had 16 stalls in 1951. By 1965, it had been reduced to 8 stalls and then later would be torn down except for a maintenance area that was burned by vandals about 2008 or 2009.
The Pennsylvania's coaling tower was north of Anderson about a mile or so, but there was a water tower at 5th and Main with their freight station and the White Frost ice plant. The ice plant had been used to ice refrigerator cars back when they were used. It sat across from the freight station. Up the track to the south of that was the old Norton Brewery/Purina Feed mill, the jail and the passenger station. South of that was Everybody's Oil and St. Mary church. Traffic was frequent on the Big Four and the Pennsylvania. You could expect a train at any time.
Crossing Gates were just being electrified from the operator having to crank them down and the winter downtown night would be shrouded in mist from the steam from the RPOs (Railway Post Office) and waiting passenger cars early in the AM at the Big Four station. Walking to school at St. Mary's from the south was always a neat experience passing through the swirling mist of the train cars.
My active interest in trains date from my living a couple blocks from the Big Four crossing on Madison Avenue when I was less than 10 years old. That was supplemented in the brief ride that I got on a Pennsylvania switcher at 5th and Main when I was about 12 or 13 and then there was the long walk I took north out of Anderson past the DOW Tower to the Pennsylvania coaling station about a mile north of Cross and Indiana Avenue. The DOW was at the intersection of Cross Street and Indiana Avenue. The DOW Tower had already been shut down by the time I went for my walk. Delco Tower now controlled the switches out here and the coaling station was nearly out to Florida Station. There was nothing out there except the coaling station and several Maintenance of Way cars parked along the siding. MOW cars were used by track work gangs to live in. They would follow the work and supply food and lodging for the workers.
In 1995, I began my web site with a couple of railroad Web pages and then began to accumulate photos and information. Since then, the web pages have grown to in excess of 318 pages and over 5500 photos. I pick up photos of the Big Four, the Pennsylvania, Penn Central, Norfolk & Western, Conrail and the Central Indiana railroads. I am also working on photos of CSX and NS. In other words, if it ran through Madison County I am interested in it.
My traction photos have come from a number of sources. There is much information about traction and early railroading, all of which have come from my research.
This page is written, maintained and hosted by: Roger P. Hensley, email@example.com