Indianapolis Traction Building Kit

The Traction Building has many ornamental artwork, specially on the upper floor. I hesitate to redesign this in all details, because I am actually not sure about the best technical process (2D or 3D). In the meantime, I will assemble a complete photomontage of each side of the Building without distort of a perspective view. This view can serve as a base for a final drawing.

With Illustrator clipping masks I create actually a toolkit of all architectural elements of the Building. With this elements, I could assemble flattened photorealistic views of all four elevations of the Building.


Download section for drawings added

I added a download section for drawings on the right bar. All files are editable pdf files. They may be upgraded with more written figures soon. This files could be edited with Illustrator up from version CS (ai11). Actually, I was unable to export them to dxf, as Béziers curbs of the arched truss are not translated and disappears. This question could be resolved later.  

The scale is 10 computer points representing 1 feet. The figures are now in decimal feet. Scale 1 : 100 is obtained by reduction to 86.399 %, HO or scale 1 : 87 by reduction to 99.309 %. Those who want to try out Z can scale to 39.272 %. If anybody has questions or corrections to make, don't hesitate to send a mail.


Indianapolis Traction Terminal
Searching the right figures

Next step will be a session of extensive drawing of the Terminal Building and Station including artwork. But some main figures remain not secured by sources.

I do not know the exact height of the Building. After intensive exploration of many photos, I think that 130 feet could be (nearly) exact.

In this blueprint (PDF version here) , the figures secured by sources are marked green. Those who are calculated from known parameters are blue. Figures that are only estimated or extrapolated are red. This time, all figures are in decimal feet.


Indianapolis Traction Terminal - Shed trusswork

Drawing was made for the trusses of the station shed.

Trusses on the front ends and inside are not of the same type. The front ends are fitted with x-trusses and ornamental rosaces. The insides trusses have only diagonal trusses.


Indianapolis Traction Terminal - Block 47 [4]

I made some improvements on the map of block 47. The station and the building were aligned 10 ft behind the property boundaries on Market Street. 

Sidewalks 20 ft wide were added, and Hotel St.Denis, later called Hotel Stratford was added. The location of this hotel is important, because it figures on some interesting photographs.

All figures are written in feet.inch, not in decimal feet.


Indianapolis Traction Terminal -
Question from a sidewalk superintendent

Walking virtually in West Market Street, I was impressed by the large sidewalks. But how large they was really in early years, before the automobile invaded the streets?

According to the Indianapolis Baist Atlas from 1916 , streets were 90 ft wide between the property boundaries. But this Atlas don't mention the sidewalks. Thanks to this board message , I found this
photo dating from 1906, taken from the top of the Sailors' and Soldiers' Monument.

The perfect alignment in the centre of West Market Street permitted it to me to draw some helper guidelines. According to this photo, the sidewalks were exactly 20 ft wide; 50 ft remaining for the paved road.

The curves of the wye junction in front of the State Capitol are very sharp. But this will be the next question for the sidewalk superintendent...

Extract from a photo of the Indiana Historical Society


Indianapolis - Walking around Block 47 [3]

The time is ready to place the station, the building and shed of the Traction Terminal in my master-blueprint. Calculating and recalculating, there is still a gap of 8 inch in front of the ITT building and Illinois Street. Anyway, it should be like this. The track centrelines are not really in place. Before, I must achieve some research.


Indianapolis - walking around Block 47 [2]

Looking to the terminal through Market Street, all photos shows at evidence: the shed and the traction building where not aligned to the same baseline as the shops and buildings west of the station. The terminal was build some feet behind the property border, probably to avoid curved tracks under the shed. But I have found no indication about the width of this unbuild strip. 

To resolve this enigma, first some simple maths: the company property between Market and Wabash Street was 195ft wide. the Terminal building was 164ft 163.8 wide. So a total of 31ft 31.4 ft are remaining north and south of the building. If the strip north oft the building was perhaps 21.4 ft wide, the distance to the alignment in Market Street could be 11ft 10 ft. Does anybody have more exact data?

There is one photo (http://www.shorpy.com/node/3084) who gives me a chance to try a check. This image is of considerable interest, not only for the street scene. As this photo was taken in 1943, tracks were removed, but the terminal was not altered. No other photo shows the "dead angle" of the terminal like this one. 

I draw some auxiliary lines over the photo. If the man with his hat was 6ft high, the strip south of the terminal was 10 or 11 ft wide. Experts will calculate more exact, perhaps using the diameter of a vintage Greyhound bus wheel... 

Indianapolis Traction Terminal - the shed

To start this new theme, a small but delightful detail extracted from this extraordinary photo http://images.indianahistory.org/u?/P0130,1623 : one of the ten cast iron rosettes who orned each front of the terminal shed at every cross section of the trusswork. The rosette looks like this after treatment in Photoshop and Illustrator:

Indianapolis Traction Terminal - sources & forums

The internet site http://indianarailroads.org is hosting a forum with a rubrique about interurbans in Indiana: http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?board=6.0.

One topic is specially dedicated to the Indianapolis Traction Terminal: http://indianarailroads.org/board/index.php?topic=2250.0 . This topic was opened by Matt Austin from Australia who wants to create an MS Trainsim version of the terminal.

The topic contains many interesting links to online photo sources, specially in this post of Nathan Bilger .


Indianapolis - walking around Block 47

I started to quickly. I first drawed the elevation of the shed on Market Street. And then I tried to build a trackplan around. But figures are somtimes unknown, sometimes there are conflicts between sources. There are 2 inch missing here and a feet in surplus there. Not so important, but I want to build a set of drawings who are coherent and scalable from scale 1:10 to 1:500. Before building up, I need to draw an accurate set of ground plans. To avoid errors converting imperial to metrics, my basic drawing scale will be 10 pixel for 1 foot from now on.

The Indianapolis Traction Station was located in "Block 47", a rectangle between Market, Illinois, Ohio Street and Capitol Avenue. Each side of this block was 420 feet long. The surrounding streets were 90 feet wide. To build up the station with the freight depot and adjacent tracks, I need to handle a rectangle of 600 x 600 feets (182,88 meters).

In scale HO, this will give a square of 6,89 (decimal) feet (2,1 m) , in Z scale only 2,72 ft (0,831 m) wide. If somebody want to tryout scale O, you need to have enough space for a square with sides of 13 ft 1/3 !

But first we make a walk around Block 47 :

His surface is cut in the middle by Wabash Street, 30 ft wide, into two equal parts. This sections north and south of Wabash Street were 195 ft wide. This two sections are cut in the middle by a small street 15 ft wide, but this street was discontinued following the edification of the Terminal.

The space covered by the terminal is marked in yellow. Soon, I will lay tracks and build up the station, the shed and the freight depot...


Indianapolis Traction Terminal - the trackplan [2]

Yesterday, I found this nice Indianapolis Baist Atlas from 1916 in the Digital Collections of the IUPUI University. That is not a real track plan, because there are nine tracks going into the shed from Wabash Street, but only seven coming out in Market Street.

But this map gives a good position of the three freight depots and some indications about the freight tracks. With the help of some photos, it would be possible for me to draw a complete track plan of the Terminal Station including the freight depot.


Indianapolis Traction Terminal - isometric 3D draft

Here comes a very first draft of an isometric 3D drawing. Many, many things are still missing, some are simplified or even wrong.

But this shows the way to go

Indianapolis Traction Terminal - the blueprint [2]

Drawing was made for the trackside elevation. Some details are extrapolated from photographs.

This drawing also needs still some refinement and a version with measures. Colors will be checked with the one and only color photo I knew from the terminal, taken a short time before demolition.


Ohio Electric

The Ohio Electric Railway Company, formed in 1907, was a consolidation of 14 smaller interurban railways and one of the largest interurban systems.

It connected Toledo, Lima, Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati, providing passenger and express freight service to scores of small towns in western Ohio.

Beside my special interest for the Indiana traction lines, I am doing much research on the Ohio network, as both were connected and tried a last modernisation campaign in the 1930s.

A list of Interurban Railways in Ohio is here .

Indianapolis Traction Terminal - the trackplan

The second step of the virtual reconstruction of the terminal is the design of the trackplan. I made this trackplan as of published in the Street Railway Review Vol XV, 1905, page 34. Later additions like the freight terminal are not shown.

This is a first drawing, some improved versions with (imperial and metric) measures and more details will be posted soon.


Indianapolis Traction Terminal - the blueprint

Since a lot of time, I am fascinated about the Indianapolis Traction Terminal, and I want to recraeate it in one way or another.

I have no idea what I will do, perhaps a model in scale HO, N or Z, a simple paper-model, or a 3D reconstruction.

First of all I try to redesign all views of the station in Illustrator. This is the elevation from Market Street with the train shed spanning over nine tracks:

About this blog // Sur ce blog // Über diesen Blog

This page is dedicated to early electric railways called "Interurban" or "Traction Lines" who connected numerous towns and agglomeration) in the United States. These lines crossed cities or villages in the middle of the street as a streetcar, but got through fields and landscapes outside the towns.

You will find links towards documents seen on the Web, notes of my readings and some projects of modelling or model making. The languages used here are English, French or German.

Cette page est consacrée aux réseaux de chemins de fer électriques appelés "Interurban" ou "Traction Lines" qui relièrent des nombreuses agglomérations aux Etats-Unis. Ces lignes traversaient les villes ou villages en pleine rue comme un tramway, mais passaient à travers champs hors des agglomérations.

Ce blog réunit des liens vers des trouvailles sur le web, des notes de mes lectures et quelques projets de modélisation ou de modélisme. Les langues utilisés son le français, l'anglais et l'allemand.

Diese Seite ist amerikanischen Überlandstrassenbahnen gewidmet, die " Interurban " oder "Traction Lines", die zahlreiche Großräume in den USA verbanden. Diese Linien durchquerten Städte oder Dörfer wie eine Straßenbahn, verkehrten überland jedoch wie Eisenbahnen.

Sie finden hier Fundstücke aus dem Web, meine Lesenotitzen aus der einschlägigen Literatur und Hinweise auf meine Modell- und Zeichenprojekte. Ich schreibe auf Deutsch, Französisch oder Englisch.