This article appeared in the City of Dayton Annual Report for 1942, pages 44-45
Car Rail Removal
Fred C. Scharrer
Due to the urgent need for scrap steel for the successful prosecution of the war, the City of Dayton, in conjunction with the scrap metal drive, started a program of removing car rails from streets on which street cars had been replaced by trackless trolley coaches.
The work is being done by WPA labor, supervised by the City Engineering Division. The car rail removal projects are certified by the War Department, thus enabling the WPA workers to get in six days of work per week. This is done to speed up the work and get the steel as quickly as possible. The materials for repaving are furnished partly by the City and partly by the WPA.
The rails are carefully removed, disturbing as little as possible of the old paving. If the old paving is to be covered by asphalt later, the trench formed by the removal of the rails is filled with concrete. Where the shoulders of the brick paving are in good condition, the old bricks between the car tracks are removed and after the rails are taken up, new or reclaimed bricks are used to replace the paving, and in some instances asphalt is used.
The rails, which are disposed of through a broker selected by the Federal Government, are divided into three classes:
Scrap rails used by foundries and steel mills.
Re-rolling rails used to make reinforcing steel.
Re-laying rails used for constructing tracks in other locations.
The rails found in the worst condition are taken mostly by local concerns, although
some were shipped to Hamilton, Ohio. The next best rails are classed as re-rolls and are shipped out of Dayton to steel mills. The best rails are used for re-lays by the Government in various places throughout the country. A large part of the rails from North Main Street, Keowee Street, and East First Street were taken to Patterson Field. The Federal Government sends the City of Dayton allocations for the different classes of rails, the amounts needed and where to ship.
The following is a list of the [p. 44] streets from which car rails have been removed, together with the amounts of the different classes:
North Main Street from Locust Street to Mary Avenue, 135 tons o scrap rails.
North Main Street from Miami River bridge to Locust Street, 184 tons of re-laying rials.
North Main Street from Beechwood to Corporation Line, 38 tons of scrap and 106 tons of re-rolling rails.
Arbor Avenue from Wayne Avenue to Wyoming Street and Wyoming Street from Arbor Avenue to Phillips Avenue, 20 tons of scrap and 84 tons of re-rolling rails.
Apple Street from Main Street to Patterson Boulevard, 5 tons of scrap and 23 rtons of re-rolling rails.
Valley Street from Ohio Street to Keowee Street and Keowee Street from Ohio Street to First Street, 58 tons of scrap, 81 tons of relaying, and 36 tons of re-rolling rails.
East First Street from St. Clair to Keowee Street, 21 tons of scrap, 30 tons of re-rolling and 110 tons of re-laying rails and 71 tons of rails to be classified later.
Miami Chapel Road from Cincinnati Street to Brockton Street, 8 tons of scrap, 10 tons of re-rolling rails, and 23 tons not classified.
Cincinnati Street from Miami Chapel Road to Bolander Avenue, 47 tons or re-rolling rails.
Grand total of rails removed, 1090 tons.
Car rail removal on Wayne Avenue from Fifth Street to Anderson Street has just been started. Bolander Avenue from Cincinnati Street to a point 320 feet west of Campbell Street and Washington Street from Miami River bridge to Cincinnati Street are included in a project already started. There are also several projects contemplated for the near future, such as Lexington Avenue from Broadway to Rosedale Drive and Wyoming Street from Main Street to Wayne Avenue.