Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Google Doodle and The Union Railroad Round House Turntable

Today's Google Doodle is the 160th Anniversary of the Worlds Fair.   The doodle is animated (not here).  If you move your mouse over the doodle a large magnifier appears and magnifies an animated image under the glass.

Yesterday, while I was supposed to be cutting grass at my mother-in-law's house, I returned back to the Union Railroad and got some pictures of the round house turntable.  With the better look, I am not so sure that they still use the round house or not.

Click on images to see full size. 

My apologies for so many pictures of the same thing.  The hillside is well treed and it is impossible to get a clear shot.  So I took shots from different angles.

Note the power cable, attaching to the housing on top of the superstructure.  My guess is that the superstructure rotates under the housing.  I have a vague recollection of there being guy cables running from the end of the bridge on each side to the top of the superstructure, but I see no evidence of them now.

Looks at lot like a bridge is one that rotates. If you look closely at the bottom of the back wall of the pit (click for full size) you will see a circular rail mounted on shallow ties.  Note the keystone segments of the concrete floor of the pit.  I wonder what is in the buckets?  

The same hillside as last week, just from a lower elevation.

Zoom in on the trees.  The foliage has grown quite a bit from last week.

I wonder if this tank is a left over from the old steam engine days.  The track goes under the tank.

If this is what retirement is like, screwing off, taking pictures when I should be doing chores, I think I am going to like it.


  1. Just got back from lunch, and I see you have posted yet another excellent piece on the turntable and roundhouse photos. I just did a quick google of URR roundhouse in Monroeville Pa and this is what I got...

    have a look...I think it was taken April 2002...if you scroll down at all pics..there is some of the roundhouse, with doors open and stuff inside.
    Love those tree pics.....
    Now that would be a place to take a tour of....
    and on your last pic of the tower....I am not sure..but it could be a sand tower...doesn't seem to fit for a water tower ( but I could be wrong ).or could be fuel oil, but nah......I'm sure the answer is on Google somewhere............
    see..retirement is loads of

  2. And the rust patina on the side of that steel shed........excellent.....
    ya gotta get into that rail yard and spend a few hours photographing that entire yard......

  3. I checked out the site, COOL! Thanks for sharing. There is definitely an engine in bay 15. The guy was taking his pictures from the same exact spot I was, on the other side of the No Trespassing sign. I will have to go down there with my unipod if I ever catch the doors open. My Canon has some hellacious zoom on it.

  4. Although that turntable is in all likelihood not used anymore, I am thinking it could be put into service in short order. It would be interesting to know more about that URR operations in Monroeville. ie; what goes on there today, last time turntable was used, what the tower structure is actually or was actually used for etc etc etc.
    Very neat complex.
    I used to dabble in model railroads...HO scale then N for me, railroads will always hold a special place for me.....whether in pictures or scale models or REAL LIFE.

  5. There are still operations at this location. There are cars there even on Sundays. I think it may be scaled back. I would rather imagine that the turntable is still operational. I will have to keep an eye on it, but the trouble is I have to go several miles out of may way to see turntable. I don't normally travel this section of the road.

    I fiddled with a Lionel train as a child and young adult, but probably haven't put the train up since my son was 10. But I love railroads, bridges, rivers...just about anything that you can see outdoors and doesn't have an admission ticket.