Re: Sanborn maps [Was historical maps}...

Tony Thompson

Dennis Storzek wrote:

The Sanborn maps show railroad tracks, since proximity to the track could affect fire hazards, however, there is no guarantee that the track arrangement is correct. I found this out by accident after I obtained a copy of the sheet that showed the terminal of the Soo Line Eau Claire branch. It showed the main track coming off the Eau Claire River bridge, the turntable, and the turntable lead CROSSING the main track and continuing as a dead end spur, with no other connection. Luckily, at that time I still had an 'old-timer" I could interview, and specifically asked about this track arrangement. Turns out both tracks joined the main with turnouts, the switch points being only a couple feet apart. The cartographer obviously had trouble interpreting the field notes, and just drew it as an acute angle crossing, since it was the location of the track that was important, not the actual arrangement. So, beware.

     Well said. And anytime there is a yard or any reason for very many tracks, a Sanborn will often just label the area "full of tracks," which from a fire insurance perspective is all you would need to know. Not a lot of help to a modeler though.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
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