Friday, February 19, 2016

CB&Q Roundhouses, Backshops and Coach Yard in Aurora, IL

3D Satellite
Other references:   HAER including 132 photos, TwoBrothersBrewing,  Clio,  ChicagoNow Blog,  AbandonedRaillines Blog

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Two of the eight photos posted by Kevin Piper with the comment:

Walter Payton's Roundhouse was in a historic building converted to a restaurant in Aurora, Illinois. It was originally constructed in 1856 as a roundhouse for the old Chicago & Aurora Railroad (later the Burlington Route/ Burlington Northern), and served BN until 1974. It was abandoned and neglected until 1995 and almost demolished.
A group of investors, led by Chicago Bears football legend Walter Payton, purchased it and spent millions restoring and converting it to an entertainment complex, brewery, and restaurant. Though technically it still exists, it is no longer owned by Payton family interests. Two Brothers Brewing Company acquired the property in 2011. It is now known as the "Two Brothers Roundhouse."

The building is now the oldest existing limestone roundhouse in the United States, and once housed the official Walter Payton Museum.


David Zachmeyer posted
I have been watching for some time now. I have decided to post some pictures. Both of my grandfathers and my dad were with the CB&Q. One grandfather was electrician supervisor, one was an engineer, dad was an engineer and I was a conductor on the BN. I'll start with the first engine assembled in the new Aurora Shops.

Redeker Rail Video & Photography posted

Frank Smitty Schmidt created a Facebook Album with 11 photos selected from the HAER photo collection
Frank Smitty Schmidt Some of the first Pullman cars were built in the CB&Q Aurora shops. Pullman in Chicago wasn't built until 1880. From page 16 of the HAER, CB&Q shops in Aurora were building cars for George Pullman as early as 1866. First hotel car "City of New York" in 1866 and first American diner car "The Delmonico" in 1868.

A Flickr photo claims Galina, but it is really in Aurora. The background of the photo provides a glimpse of the backshops in the 1960s when they were still intact.

John Smith posted
John's comment:
A 1939 view of the CB&Q shops in downtown Aurora showing the OLD full circle Rh the largest full circle limestone RH in the world and the NEW RH that is where the current parking lot is.
This complex also had some back shops. I took pictures of and in the old buildings in the 1970s. One room of the back shops had a dirt floor because that is where the heavy duty machines such as forging hammers were housed. Those machines would probably bust up concrete floors. Someday I need to look for those pictures again. There were other people taking pictures of a model in the old buildings, but they left fairly soon.

Ernie Julian posted
Aurora's roundhouse in a 1955 aerial photo, showing the original roundhouse building and railroad shops.
Rob Sterne Formally owned by Walter Payton. It is now Two Brothers Brewing Company.
Update: AbandonedRaillines dates this photo as 1930s. (source)
Raymond Storey posted
Joseph Francis Jaeger posted
Toad Brjkovich posted a brownish version

Stephen Hammons commented on Joseph's post

Joseph Miller posted two photos with the comment:
Constructed in 1856 to originally serve the Chicago and Aurora Railroad, The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Roundhouse and Workshop was the first limestone roundhouse in America. This roundhouse by the end of its time had close to 40 Stalls. The roundhouse was never destroyed, and was in fact added to the National register of historical places. It was bought by Walter Payton, followed by Two Brothers Brewing. Both companies used the building as a museum, restaurant, and bar. You can still visit as of today, in Aurora Illinois, as it is open as the Two Brothers Artisanal Brewing Tao House and Restaurant. Really cool to check out, especially for rail fans!

2, a duplicate of a photo that is already in these notes

David Daruszka resized an image posted by Dominic Battista with the comment: EOLA Round House Aurora IL Circa 1905. Today a great place for a Steak and a Beer. Two Brothers Brewery.
Karl M Andrews To be correct, that was the Aurora roundhouse. Eola Yard had a small RH.
Kevin Mengoni also posted
Steven J. Brown posted
Dad's photo of the CB&Q roundhouse and coach yard in Aurora, Illinois. Taken from the window of a passing steam fan trip (4960?). Slide mount dated October 1965. Photo by Martin Brown.

In addition to the roundhouses, CB&Q had an extensive repair facility with several backshops. Heavy industry does still exist on the north end of this property --- Fox Valley Forge Co.
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Kevin Mengoni posted
Unkown Date, Round House CBQ Aurora IL. Now Current MetraStation and Two Brothers Restaurant.
Jerry Hund posted
I took this photo of the CB&Q roundhouse in Aurora in 1987 prior to its restoration.
Timothy Leppert When I started in 69, you would get your east facing E unit here, back up the Incline to the Aurora Depot and tie on to the commuter cars for the Eastbound pull trip. Always a good sunrise.
Jerry Hund Timothy Leppert, do you mean West facing?
Timothy Leppert Jerry Hund No. The Am & Pm commuter parades both ran pull. Upon arrival at the 14st Coach yard, E's were turned on the turntable first before being spotted on the pit.
Jerry Hund posted
CB&Q roundhouse in Aurora, Illinois. I took this photo in 1987.
Jerry Hund I read that it predates the Civil War. Is this true?
Jacob Fischer Yes, built in 1856
Joe Novak If what I heard years ago is true, it was one of few complete circle round houses.
Jerry Hund posted
Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad roundhouse     Aurora, Illinois.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad roundhouse and shops, Aurora, Illinois, circa 1874-78.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad car shops, Aurora, Illinois, circa 1880-88.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad shops, Aurora, Illinois, 1898.
[Note the transfer table.]

Burlington Northern Railroad switcher passes the old Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad roundhouse and shops, Aurora, Illinois, after 1968.

Ray Speerly posted two photos with the comment: "You can see both roadhouses in these photos and part of the shops in Aurora, Ill. The building in the upper middle of the photo is the old Supt. office and where the doctor was. The shops, for the most part, looked like this till into the '70s."
1, already included above 

Philip W. Lancaste posted
CB&Q Roundhouse. Aroura, IL.
James Myers Spend many days wandering thru with my dad.
That crappy looking white building with the ladder was the office.
David N Lammers The tall building in the background is Leland towers. I used to live there in early 70's. 13th floor

Joseph Clayton posted 14 photos with the comment: "Chicago Burlington & Quincy Roundhouse in Aurora, IL. The wheel bay shop closed in 1974. BN was in the midst of tearing it down in the late 70’s. But the city had a vision that took decades to accomplish. It is a great place to visit at the end of the Metra line."

Mark Harrington posted three photos with the comment: "Roundhouse in Aurora."



David Zachmeyer commeted on Mark's post
From my grandfathers files, the first engine assembled at the new Aurora shops.

Marty Bernard posted
CB&Q 5632 in the Aurora, IL Coach Yard on August 27, 1960 with an excursion (fantrip) train. I'm standing up by the mainline. This is the only time I saw her down there with a train. On a weekday the yard would be empty with all the commuter cars in Chicago.
Bob Campbell: 1960 NMRA national convention in Chicago. NMRA/Kalmbach sponsored trip Chicago - Earlville & return. Stop in Aurora to inspect the shops. Photos needed of this train on the wye at Earlville. NMRA magazine, "Bulletin" from 1960 had photos of this trip, but none at Earlville that I recall.

Marty Bernard posted four photos with the comment:
CB&Q 4960 and the Aurora Coach Yard
In the first three shots she is on the ramp from the Aurora, Illinois coach yard to the mainline and the station. In the fourth shot she is up on the main tracks with the yard beyond and below and almost out of sight.
The first shot was taken May 27, 1962 before the auxiliary tender for water was added and the others on June 20, 1965.
Marty Bernard shared


[Colorado & Sothnern was a subsididary of CB&Q that ran between Denver and Texas.]


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