Finally, after weeks of waiting for the weather to break, I made it out to the only extant ruins of a locomotive roundhouse left in the City of St. Louis. It is weed choked, and even in the winter much of the form of the of the building is obscured. You can see the roundhouse below, in the Sanborn map from the early 20th Century.
While the building is gone, the substructure is well preserved, and the actual turn table the locomotives would be turned on still survives. It seemed to be covered with blankets, but I saw no other evidence of people living on the site.
The large steel apparatus in the middle of the turn table perhaps provided electricity to the turntable, but I’m not sure.
What I found interesting is that I always had this image of the turntable being just that, a giant round disk that rotated all at once. In reality, the turntable, for lack of a better term, actually looks like more of a rotating bridge.
It is very cool to be able to see the round pit in which the turntable would have rotated, with a giant locomotive sitting on top of it.
It’s hard to see, especially since dirt has been dumped on to of them, but the original concrete footings, presumably where the locomotives sat in the roundhouse, are still preserved as well. I know some roundhouses featured maintenance pits under the tracks, so the concrete may have been the sidewalks in between the rails. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating and forgotten relic of the past, right under the elevated lanes of Highway 40.