Baltimore & Ohio Railroad - Roundhouse & Shops Repair Facility - Washington, Indiana - Aerial View - 1941
This is an original aerial view of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad "Shops" facility that was located Washington, Indiana, circa Summer of 1941. This image truly shows the enormity and how important this facility was not only to the B&O, but to the communities in and around Washington.
In this very busy view, there are many steam engines inside and out of the roundhouse. The classification yard is also busy. In the far upper left hand corner is also the "Relay Depot", which was a Victorian styled two-story building that was were all crew orders were given, crew change occurred, and it is believe it also was a point were passengers could board one of the B&O's trains.
This location was also the St. Louis division headquarters point between Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Louis, Missouri. From Washington to Cincinnati the line was referred to as the Indiana Sub. From Washington to St. Louis it was referred to as the Illinois Sub.
Shops had a massive roundhouse and backshop for servicing and the repair of steam engines. A classification yard was also located near the shop's buildings, which all east and west traffic was reclassified once arriving at the yards.
Not only did Washington support a rather large roundhouse, but it was set-up to handle heavy engine repairs and had a car building and repair facility there too. Shops constructed many boxcars and also constructed several cabooses for the B&O during the early to mid 20th Century. In the early 1980's, Chessie System closed most of the Shops facilities, in addition to, the classification yard after the new consolidated Queensgate Yard was opened in Cincinnati.
Today, all of these structure are now gone with the remaining original O&M buildings being demolished in February of 2017. Both lines at Washington, the Indiana Sub. and the Illinois Sub. have been reduced down only to local traffic. In August of 2015, the Illinois Sub. was truncated in two places to the west of Flora, Illinois, ceasing it ability to act as through route from St. Louis to Vincennes.
But from looking at this image and then seeing what the Shops are today, it is almost impossible to believe that Washington at one time was such an important location for the Baltimore & Ohio.
This original matted image was purchased several years ago, which it carried the date of 1941 on the matted paper. This image came from an estate of retired B&O railroad employee. Copyright: Union Depot Archive Collection - All Rights Reserved. This image is also part of a creative package that includes all associated data, text, photograph, and information. None of the creative works in its entirety or individual components may be reproduced, copied, or downloaded without prior written permission from Union Depot.