Re: this nice shot of the GM&O freight house

William Hirt

For those that have been to Kansas City, 12th Street from Downtown into the West Bottoms (where the GM&O freight house was) was and is a double deck viaduct. The photo is looking southwest from the top level of the viaduct. The tracks seen on the southwest side of the freight house did not continue to the west side of the freight house (except for one which was far enough west to allow truck access). Access was from surface level below 12th Street to the west side for trucks etc. The roof seen on the lower left corner of the image is the Frisco freight house. The CB&Q freight house was 3-4 blocks west at 12th and Mulberry Street and the ATSF Freight House at 13th and Hickory Street.

The tracks in the background on the west side of the freight house: GM&O nearest, then SLSF, the KCT, and then the remaining half the tracks belonging to the CB&Q. Prior to the CB&Q building Murray Yard in North Kansas City, this was part of the area of their primary Kansas City yard. I've seen 1948 maps of the area and it's hard to imagine today how much railroad activity was going on in such a small area. The 1951 flood in the West Bottoms changed it all.

Bill Hirt

On 4/29/2019 6:34 PM, Claus Schlund \(HGM\) wrote:

Hi List Members,
Consider for a moment this nice shot of the GM&O freight house surrounded by steam era freight cars...
I have a question about how this all works regarding delivery of goods to the customer. Freight cars get parked here, they are unloaded into the freight house by fork lift or hand truck or elbow grease, right? Then what? How does the customer get their goods? Presumably they show up wuth their comapny truck (or in earlier days, with their horse-drawn cart). But I don't see any good street access to the building. Is it on the side of the building we cannot see? I'm thinking maybe not, since there are probably tracks there.
This is not the first time I've seen freight houses with what appears to be inadequate or non-existant street access. How was this handled? Presumably every inbound carload of items that goes INTO the freight house has to leave as well, and it's not leaving in a freight car, right?

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