since these pictures have been taken the siding that was created from the bomber spur off the main has been removed, as well as the grade crossing at vickery, the bridge over camp bowie, and im sure that one of the utility boxes has been removed, no sure about the second
Thanks! You can see some railroad tank cars parked in the background in the movie "Strategic Air Command" when Jimmy Stewart is first reporting at the Carswell gate.
I believe this old gate was on the small segment labeled "Lake Rd" on your map, that turns into "Desert Storm Rd" near the northeastern junction at "Depot Rd". On the satellite map, you can see the remains of a gate location.
The short spur on the south side of the bridge over Camp Bowie Blvd. served the Levitz Furniture warehouse seen behind the bridge in photo #11. There are numerous loading dock doors in the south wall of the building. I grew up in Ft. Worth in the 60's and as far as I know there was never any siding or spur north of the bridge, but could be a remnant of the bypass around the bridge construction area.as it was built in 1958. Same thing with the I-30 bridge, the first of which was probably built about the same time or slightly later when the west freeway extended only to the bridge and no further as I-20 was not yet built. All traffic exited the SH 183 off ramp in photo #16. Last but not least, Convair never built any B-29's or B-52's, both Boeing aircraft, in Ft. Worth. Only pB-24's, B-32's, a fallback bomber developed in case the Boeing B-29 being developed at the same time failed, the B-36 which was all but shelved in 1942 or 43 to build lots of B-24's for the awe effort, B-58's, F-111's, F-16's, F-22's, F-35's, and numerous upgrades to planes they built and electronics modifications to planes other manufacturers built.
That should read "war effort". Bruce, that gate is the main gate off of 183 / White Settlement Road. It's still there, but in a different incarnation. It's just north of the intersection of Military Way and Nimitz. Notice the parking lot in your linked picture is still there on the right on the Google Map. To the left of the gate on the Google Map, you can see where the tracks curved slightly to the NW where they ended up at the tank farm and runaround track which isn't shown on the map on this site or on Google Maps because they were demolished. I'm thinking the jet fuel pipeline was built in the 50's as the B-52's came on line and replaced the B-36's at Carswell. The reason the spur line slowly dwindled to nothing is be,cause av gas for piston engined planes still came by rail and as they were phased out during the 60's and early 70's so were the gasoline trains. I worked along the spur at a body shop on Alta Mere in 1982 and there was still a fuel train running two or three times weekly then. Carswell was a very busy place then and the train may have been supplementing jet fuel the pipeline couldn't deliver, those SAC B-52's and KC-135's were being constantly scrambled day and night and used enormous amounts of jet fuel.
Cool, thanks Mike!
What B-29 production occurred at Air Force Plant #4?
Hi Cap, in reference to your question, as far as I know, there was no production of either B-29's or B-52 aircraft in Ft. Worth by Consolidated Aircraft or later Consolidated Vultee. Convair and General Dynamics did modify other manufacturer's aircraft there in the late 50's and early 60's. One airplane that I know of being modded there was the Martin RB-57. I don't know whether they were updating the recon equipment or if they were modding B-57's into RB-57's. My dad worked there on the B-58 and F-111 projects, then after being rehired years later on the F-16. He told me about the RB-57's he saw in the flight line hangars. He said they also had a pristine P-38 Lightning in the main plant for a time. Hope this clears up some things for you.
Actually there was a very small spur to the north Camp Bowie Blvd. It went to the left side. If you go to Historicaerials.com you can see it. It was there in the 50's but seems to be gone/unused by the early 60's. There is a Furr's Family Dining there now.
Also as a side note, the property, before Levitz, was a drive in.
Thanks for the heads up on the vintage photo site, it showed me a few things I never knew about, like the drive in and that siding. First I need to clear up a thing or two. What is now named Camp Bowie West was originally HWY 80 West, the city changed the name sometime in the 80's due to all the noobs to Ft. Worth not being able to figure out for themselves that HWY 80 split off from Camp Bowie at a point 1/2 mile east of HWY 183. There was an old traffic circle ( I never knew this till now ) where HWYs 80 and 183 crossed. Sometime around 1958 a new RR bridge over Camp Bowie was built with 1958 cast in the concrete of the center pier between the traffic lanes. I figure this was done to widen Camp Bowie and put a median between the lanes when they built the new traffic circle 1/4 mile south of the old one at HWY 80/183. The old circle was replaced with the diamond shaped intersection that has changed very little to this day. Camp Bowie dead ends at the new circle. The drive in was between HWY 80 and Camp Bowie, it was replaced by the Ft. Worth Nieman Marcus store before the 1963 photo was taken. After Nieman's closed in the late 80's it sat vacant until it was converted into a magnet school. The Levitz building Is across Camp Bowie to the south of the drive in / Nieman's location and was built around 1970. I haven't looked at the early 70's photos yet, but I bet it shows a funky looking siding at the south end of the bridge that reverses directions once or twice and then curves around to the south side of the building and it's loading docks. Truck docks are on the north side of the building facing Camp Bowie. Judging from the shadow in the very blurry 1953 and 56 photos, the siding north of HWY 80 may have served a concrete batch plant, there are boxcars parked there in the '56 photo, so it's hard to guess. I know that as long as I can remember ( early 60's on ) there was another newer batch plant 1/2 mile farther north where Bomber Spur swings east and then back west, it was not served by rail. I worked between these two points at a paint and body in the late 70's while I was in high school and for a time afterward into the early 80's. I haven't walked the area where the short siding just north of 80 was, so I don't know if any remnants remain or not. Maybe when I'm poking around one of these days ill do it, that's a park next to it, so access is easy. Last time I was around there was last fall when I was poking around the old body shop while it was being demolished. I'll get back on here and report back after I do and let you know what, if anything remains.
I checked the vintage aerial photos, the photo from 1970 shows an empty field at the south end of the rr bridge over Camp Bowie, which is also US HWY 377 as stated in the original author's description of his photos. The Levitz building was built sometime while I was in middle school from fall 1970 until spring 1973, the school bus passed under the RR bridge every day. So maybe it was 1971. The vintage aerial photo from 1979 shows the building with its siding that is on the east side of the main and ends at the south end of the bridge. From there, the spur into the property was accessed by throwing another switch and moving south off the siding to the freight docks on the south side of the building. Probably couldn't move more than one or two cars in at a time because of the short distance between the end of the siding at the bridge and the switch into the property. The top deck of the bridge over Camp Bowie was about 20 feet above the road. Also from the north end of the bridge to the HWY 80 crossing was a high fill, as was about 500 feet doth of the bridge, this was the reason for the crazy switchback siding into the Levitz property. Please keep in mind that being an old timer from the neighborhood, HWY 80 will never be Camp Bowie to me just as nobody in this area refers to Camp Bowie as 377. Thanks for being patient and reading my long ramblings!
That should read about 500 south of the bridge.
Good stuff Mike! Even though I was never anywhere near this part of Texas in my Air Force days, I always tried to keep up with the old bases during my time in. This was one of the great spurs into a base.