3 Valley Gap Railway Roundhouse

While in the Ghost Town, be sure to visit the Railway Roundhouse - home to more than 12 pieces of rolling stock.

A roundhouse is the building where the day-to-day maintenance of steam locomotives would take place. This included regular greasing and oiling, cleaning of the alkali from the boiler tubes, and cleaning of the flues.

Naturally, the locomotives would be very large and difficult to move around, and the amount of equipment required to maintain them was tremendous. As well, unlike the modern diesel locomotives of today, a steam locomotive was designed to go forward, and seldom backed up. To solve this, a turntable mechanism was utilized to rotate the locomotives to various specialized workshops in the roundhouse.

Most of the steam locomotives were designed for specific services - freight or passenger, mountain or prairie, and as such, steam locomotives seldom ventured more than a few divisional points from home. Thus there was usually a turntable and roundhouse built approximately every one hundred miles (to a maximum of two hundred miles).

The number of stalls in a roundhouse varied from as little as two up to about sixty or so. This depended on the location of the divisional point and the number of locomotives working in that portion of the railway.

The Roundhouse at 3 Valley Gap, is home to the largest fully operational covered turntable in North America. It has 24 bays and is approximately 300 feet in diameter. The complex contains a Back Shop, Pattern Shop, and a Railway Coach Repair & Carpentry Shop. The lobby entrance to the Railway Roundhouse is a replica of The Arlington Court building from Revelstoke, B.C. This stately building has items that you would expect to find in a lavish home in the early 1900ís. Thoughtfully displayed are antique pianos and organs, hats, dolls, clothing, and a wedding collection.

*All facilities are a division of Three Valley Lake Chateau Ltd.