Friday, March 28, 2014

Turner UniDrive Company

Industry Review continues with a look at spot #342, the Turner UniDrive Company.

The building's physical location corresponds with the one identified on the 1972 track diagram as spot #342, but the industry list shows that spot as "Open".  I presume that's the Frisco's way of saying we don't provide service there any more.

According to the company's history, they've been in this location since 1940.  The business line is industrial gearboxes and transmissions.  In the early years, it is quite conceivable that they received raw stock for machining by rail.  Trucking probably later took over this raw materials delivery, but it's also plausible that rail was still viable for some specialized inbound component or outbound finished assemblies.

The overview shot of the Terrace St. side of the building above reveals where the three rail served dock spots were located and these close-up shots show the detail of the brick work:


The building is built into the hillside and a basement level is accessible from around the south end of the structure:



One certainly gets a feel for the grades involved on this spur -- The main Fairgrounds branch track is just out of view to the left of the photo above and sits about three feet lower at this point.  The upper level track following Terrace St. was immediately to the right of this building and ten feet higher.  These two tracks joined together about four-hundred feet south of where this photo was taken.

I'll close with a few detail shots showing the special brickwork on this structure and the fact that at the southern tip, it isn't very wide.


One final shot showing the relative location of this property to its neighbors.  The docks in the foreground are the remains of an oil dealer that used to have tanks at the upper left (along Terrace St.)