In its heyday, the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad yard was a beehive of activity. Four different railroads including the Deadwood Central, the Black Hills & Ft. Pierre, the Grand Island & Wyoming Central, and the Burlington & Missouri Railroad operated and were maintained at this location. Local newspapers had a special column devoted to the railroads. In 1900, the Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times stated that 325 trains had, in October entered and exited these yards. This was due to the extensive amount of freight entering and leaving the Black Hills. The CB&Q yard also serviced and conducted routine maintenance on mainline and branch line locomotives. The service and maintenance buildings were highly specific in their purpose and each building is further described on the reverse side of this panel.
For ninety-three years, the CB&Q operated in the Black Hills. By the late 1940s, the steam engines were replaced by diesel locomotives. In 1949, the last Burlington passenger train left Deadwood for Edgemont, South Dakota.
In 1970, the CB&Q merged and became the Burlington Northern. Sixteen years later, the last Burlington Northern freight train in the Black Hills left Custer. South Dakota for Edgemont on October 29, 1986.
In 2008, Deadwood Parks Department employees discovered
this 21 inch close faced wrench while cleaning Whitewood Creek. This wrench, prominently marked with the CB&Q logo, is one of a few objects directly associated with the railroad yard.
In the early 1880s, the Chicago Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) Railroad began a western campaign to acquire a foothold in the Black Hills. This was accomplished through land acquisition and construction of a standard gauge railroad through the center of the Black Hills. The parking lot surrounding this interpretive sign was once part of Deadwood's Chicago Burlington & Quincy railroad yard.
Maps as prepared by the Sanborn Insurance Company show the evolution of the yard and prominent buildings for the year 1915. Locomotives were stored in the roundhouse until the construction of the engine house in 1930. This building (not shown in the map) was specifically constructed to house the large T-2 Mallet locomotives which were, with their tender, 83 feet long.
RAILROAD SHOPS AND ROUNDHOUSE
Several prominent structures made up the Chicago Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) railroad yard. The 1915 Sanborn Map shows the location of each building listed below.
1. OIL HOUSEThis building provided storage for the various weights of oil and grease, vital for the operation of the locomotives.
2. TURNTABLEDeadwood's CB&Q
turntable was manufactured in 1900, by the Lassie Branch of the American Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois. It was used to rotate and position a locomotive for entry into one of the roundhouse stalls.
3. ROUNDHOUSEThe roundhouse contained a series of stalls and below ground pits providing the mechanics access to the underside of locomotives. Deadwood's CB&Q Roundhouse was constructed in two phases beginning in 1895. In the 1950s, this building was disassembled.
4. MACHINE SHOPThe machine shop housed equipment such as metal lathes and drill presses necessary for maintaining the engines. Typical engine maintenance included turning the tires on the drive wheels for trueness, working to correct undue wear, and boiler maintenance. Major repair work was performed in the Burlington's larger, more complete facilities in Alliance, Nebraska.
5. COAL STORAGE FACILITIESWhile the first narrow gauge locomotives were wood-fired, later locomotives on both the narrow and standard gauge lines were coal-tired. Each T-2 Mallet locomotive carried 13 tons of coal. The coal used in the locomotive came from eastern Wyoming near the cities of Newcastle and Sheridan. By 1919, all of the Black Hills CB&Q engines were converted to oil.
6. SAND HOUSESand was loaded into each locomotive to be fed to the track adjacent to the drive wheels
for added traction on steep grades and in slippery/icy conditions.
7. FREIGHT HOUSEIncoming and outgoing freight was handled at the freight house. This structure contained a large loading platform adjacent to the tracks and an office for the freight agent. In the 1990s, this building moved to its current location, northeast of this interpretive sign.
8. POWER HOUSEThis structure was once used to supply electricity to trolleys which ran between the cities of Lead and Deadwood. By I920, the electric trolley system and power house were dismantled.