Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

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Hotbox
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Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Hotbox » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:47 am

While reviewing 1919 Sanborn maps for another purpose, I came across the attached showing the location of the Ny,Chi,&StL freight depot and the Ft Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction RR freight depot west of Harrison between Pearl and the viaduct.

For years I remember wandering into that area during the Three Rivers Festival and wondering how such a large tract of under-utilized land found it's way into downtown Ft Wayne....and never really getting a convincing answer.
Now I know.

Makes one wonder just how much freight was transferred between the two for forwarding to it's eventual destination

Source available for download here https://spatialdata.iu.edu/DOQQS/state/ ... 8-0007.pdf
Attachments
FWNITRR.jpg

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by rrnut282 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:13 pm

I'm thinking something along the lines of a Chicago-Rubber-Tired-Transfer between railroads took place here as well. Back the wagon up to the dock. Load wagon. Pull ahead. Back into other dock. Unload. :roll:

p.s. I worked for years at Pearl/Harrison. Interesting to see prior ownership.
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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Hotbox » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:49 pm

I knew that the Randall hotel had once been there, but I had no idea that NKP had a freight house there......nor, evidently, did any of the people I asked over the years what was previously there.

What was the big hardware store at Pearl & Harrison back in the 1960's ? Was that Schlatter?

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Wayne Gest » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:56 pm

Didn't the NKP freighthouse stand until sometime in the mid-sixties, when it was either demolished or burned? Anyone know?

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by hibbard » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:38 am

Not sure, but I think the NKP freight house burned in 1968. I have never seen a picture of it before the fire. If anyone has a picture of either freight house I would like to see it posted.

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Hotbox » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:13 am

rrnut282 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:13 pm
I'm thinking something along the lines of a Chicago-Rubber-Tired-Transfer between railroads took place here as well. Back the wagon up to the dock. Load wagon. Pull ahead. Back into other dock. Unload. :roll:

Did the traction roads commonly have sidings with dock access at their customer's end locations? For some reason I'm having a hard time envisioning a "UPS guy" like presence delivering packages door to door while the train waits in the middle of the street.

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Hotbox » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:06 am

Here is a picture of the FW&NIT employees and one of their cars

http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/digital ... l6/id/2555

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Howard » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:44 pm

hibbard wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:38 am
Not sure, but I think the NKP freight house burned in 1968. I have never seen a picture of it before the fire. If anyone has a picture of either freight house I would like to see it posted.
I think I once read the NKP passenger station burned about that time, but I don't know for sure.

Here's a picture of the interurban freight station on Pearl Street. It's still in use as a photo studio. I have not seen one of the NKP freight house either.
FTW-Pearl St. Frt House.jpg

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by rrnut282 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:43 am

Hotbox wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:13 am
rrnut282 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:13 pm
I'm thinking something along the lines of a Chicago-Rubber-Tired-Transfer between railroads took place here as well. Back the wagon up to the dock. Load wagon. Pull ahead. Back into other dock. Unload. :roll:

Did the traction roads commonly have sidings with dock access at their customer's end locations? For some reason I'm having a hard time envisioning a "UPS guy" like presence delivering packages door to door while the train waits in the middle of the street.
I was picturing of an "interchange" between the two roads via the freighthouses since they share a driveway.
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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by Hotbox » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:51 pm

rrnut282 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:43 am
]I was picturing of an "interchange" between the two roads via the freighthouses since they share a driveway.
I'm with you on that, I intended the question I asked to be an additional curiosity....and not as any attempt to qualify or disqualify your comment.

Let me ask it another way. Given that I agree with you that the two freighthouses likely exchanged freight, it seems possible that freight coming here from Cleveland (example) might have been forwarded to it's final destination by FW&NITRR. Especially for final destinations that were adjacent to FW&NITRR tracks.

But, how would that final delivery happen? Did the traction railroads have sidings that they could push loaded freight cars onto located at their regular customers? Or did they stop the train out in the middle of the street while freight was off loaded onto dollies, etc?

And really at the core of it, I'm wondering if this might have presented opportunities for independent contractors who would (example) have a formal agreement with some local shipper to meet at the shippers dock, and escort a shipment on FW&NITRR tracks to the downtown location, AND THEN MAKE SURE the shipment is properly forwarded to the NKP depot. And vice-versa.

Basically some central figure willing to sweat the details, while not being a full time employee of any of the involved entities. i.e. "call me when you need me" type person

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Re: Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traction and NKP freight depots

Post by rrnut282 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:41 pm

HB

Since the traction lines did things a little differently, I can see them handling it many different ways. Some had "LCL" cars (like a baggage car) for parcels and freight. They could be parked at a station so the consignee can come and get it similar to a freight house on a steam line. For good customers, I can see them stopping in the street (provided the express wasn't close) to toss the packages to consignee. It would also depend upon how heavy the shipment was. Some interurbans, like the South Shore, had actual sidings at the shipper's location and could spot cars at their docks just like a steam road. Each line handled shipments differently, depending upon the amount of freight, and tracks available, and interchange agreements with the steam railroads.


Your final question sounds like you're looking for REA, Railroad Express Agency, that worked as a freight forwarder for small shippers.
[I wasn't around and these are my best guess based on working in commercial freight for a few years]
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