Rural stations apparently has no way to off load large items such as automobiles. "To the Railroad and Warehouse Commission, state of Minnesota, a filing (19 February 1916 to 28 February 1916) was issued by the Auto Service Company ( J. A. Hawkinson, Copas, MN) with Minneapolis, St. Paul, & Sault Ste. Marie Railway Company. The application was for an unloading chute for handling Automobiles. Adjusted by railways company's agreement to erect unloading platform as soon as weather in spring would permit. "
Not particularily to do with automobiles but years ago when we moved out of Houston to the burbs the three small towns near us all had huge concrete ramps on the rail tracks in the downtown districts for businesses to off load freight from rail cars when their orders came in. The local feed store would get in bulk fertilizer on pallets, the hardware store huge wooden boxes with hardgoods and the Ma and Pa tractor dealership actual tractors from the flat cars. Even witnessed flat cars of bricks being manually unloaded with brick tongs 6 bricks at a time. All this has been replaced by semi truck deliveries and the huge concrete ramps are now gone.
Michael - For what it's worth, you mentioned,.....those "huge concrete ramps on the rail tracks in the downtown districts for businesses to off load freight from rail cars when their orders came in".
The railroad facilities you mentioned were very common all over the country and were referred to as "team tracks". Businesses, farmers, whoever, did their business with the local RR station agent, and the nearest (most convenient) RR team track facility was used both for loading and unloading between horse drawn wagons (originally) and motor trucks later. While many are long gone, there are still team tracks here and there, and a few are still in use, however as you say Michael, the modern trucking industry is responsible for the disappearance of most. FWIW,.....harold
Not only the trucking industry,it's all that commie crap in large containers!! I remember all those trains with the new tractors!! Our tractors had the same bright paint but it was under grease and dirt! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.