Roundhouse Doors and Floors

I enjoy thinking ahead about some of my model railroad projects that will be down the road a bit.  Frequently I try to work out all or most of the details way ahead of the actual construction.  Or sometimes I just think about concepts and mull over different approaches to the project.  And some things, I just think about how I would like it to function or look, but don’t go much further than that.

Recently on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forum, there was a bit of discussion concerning roundhouse floors.  While I think most of us assume that their floors are concrete, the prevailing thought in the discussion thread was that back in the steam era, concrete wasn’t the dominant floor type.  Some of the things folks mentioned were dirt and/or cinder floors, brick or stone pavers and large wooden block pieces that were put down with the end grain facing up.  I had not heard of that type floor before.

I’ll have a small roundhouse on the Louisiana Central, and before reading that MRH thread, I just assumed I would be using a concrete floor in it.  But now I’m having second thoughts.  The roundhouse will be located in a small town in southern Mississippi (near the actual town of Gloster).  Any of you “old timers” remember seeing the interior of older roundhouses that were still in service in the 50s and 60s?  I’ve been in several roundhouses and rectangular engine houses, but with the exception of a few, don’t remember anything about the flooring.  I remember an engine house I saw up in north Louisiana that had a dirt floor in most of it, and some wood plank flooring along one side where some machinery resided.  And I remember the steam era engine house that used to be in the GSA depot at North Sharp in Baton Rouge (where the bauxite was stored for many years).  It had a concrete floor.

And speaking of roundhouses, I’ve seen a couple (down here in the South) that had no doors on the engine stalls.  Was this done commonly in the South, or was it somewhat of an exception?

Anyone?  Feedback would be appreciated.

-Jack

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