Roundhouse, Chouteau and Vandeventer

All throughout St. Louis locomotives needed somewhere to park, and the roundhouse, a type of structure almost entirely vanished from the region (except in East St. Louis, which you can see here and here) provided the much-needed space to store multiple locomotives in a small space. This one, located at the end of the railyards west of downtown parallel to Chouteau Avenue, leaves no trace of its existence.

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  1. Until diesel units came along, steam power units, whether road engines or the little switchers, needed a LOT of room for storage and easy reversal – there was the length of the locomotive plus the tender.We even had a turntable in Kirkwood, now immediately under the Farmer Market on Argonne, just East of Kirkwood Road and next to the UP (nee MOP) tracks. It was used to turn around the commuter engnes which ran from kirkwood to downtown (there was also a "through" train from Pacific to Downtown).It was disused from around 1940when only the "Pacific trains" were used. I recall seeing it in operation a few times in the later '40s; it was so well-balanced that only two men were needed to move the engine and tender – true! Dunno when it was razed, but I seem to recall it was still there in the later '50s.

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