Annotated aerial photos of Raceland, Ky., car shop; Huntington, W.Va., locomotive shop; and Parsons Yard in Columbus, Ohio.
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To handle maintenance and repairs on its substantial hopper-car fleet, coal-hauler Chesapeake & Ohio in 1930 built this systemwide freight-car shop at Raceland, Ky., at the west end of its massive Russell Yard, a facility built to classify coal cars moving west to Cincinnati and Chicago, as well as north to Lake Erie docks for forwarding by boat. At the time of this October 1946 photo, C&O owned 60,000 coal hopper cars. Cars moved east to west during repair at Raceland. Depending on the nature of repair, the cars were stripped and moved from one station at the shop to another. Steel hopper cars needing simple repairs (e.g., renewed side sheets or slope sheets) had them cut away outside by torch-wielding carmen called “burners.” After new steel was installed inside, the cars were spray-cleaned and prepped outside before moving into the paint shop for a coat of gloss black. Raceland also handled other car types, from boxcars to cabooses, and even in today’s bathtub-gondola-car era for a coal-hauling, still builds and repairs cars for C&O successor CSX Transportation.