Union Tank structure

ddm502001 Jul 29, 2019

  1. ddm502001

    ddm502001 TrainBoard Member

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    https://goo.gl/maps/4QjrXJCjBZaaHU8UA

    As a kid this building was built as Union Tanks fab shop, they built the older smaller less than 20,000 gal cars. Was busy in the early sixties then the larger 200,000 lb tankers were designed and the shop could not handle them so closed. Sat empty a long time then Watco began rail car rebuild services in it and has expanded since. This is on the Old St. Louis Road in East Alton IL.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Interesting building. Not the outward appearance I might expect. At least it is still in use. Re-purposed, but still railroad.
     
    ddm502001 likes this.
  3. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    That was the second one UTLX built. The First was in baton Rouge, LA:

    http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4598050

    https://architectureindevelopment.org/project.php?id=125

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/firechickenta99/3217683795/in/faves-58004678@N06/lightbox/

    Buckminster Fuller's engineering firm was involved in the design, but there is considerable evidence a contract engineer actually drew the building using Fuller's ideas. UTLX stopped using the BR dome in the 1980's because of the longer tank cars and the lack of ability to expand it internally (Why the Alton dome didn't suffer the same fate is an issue I can't run down). The dome sat empty and decaying until Thanksgiving weekend 2007 when KCS demolished it over the weekend, claiming it was now an industrial hazard and no historic preservation effort had been mounted (a claim still disputed in BR). The foundation of the Dome can still be seen in satellite images of the WATCO/Baton Rouge Southern classification yard:

    https://goo.gl/maps/F1TSHV8pb6bRX7Cb6
     
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