FEBT Restoration – Roof Canyon

The Roof Canyon is a long section of roof between the Car Shop and the Locomotive Shop. It was created when the walls of the two buildings, formerly about six feet apart, were merged with a low roof. About two thirds of the canyon was drained by a drain pipe, while the rest drained off the canyon’s south end. The area under the canyon was used for storage of locomotive-servicing parts and tools and as an office for the Car Shop.

Over the years the drainage system in the canyon has proven to be flawed. The roofing around the drain pipe was subject to damage from ice and standing water and the pipe was easily blocked. The sheer volume of water that drained into the pipe from the two shop roofs was tremendous. As time had passed, the roofing material had broken down, allowing huge amounts of water to spill into the Locomotive Shop. The roof of the canyon had rotted around the pipe area, and one of the Locomotive Shop posts had rotted at the bottom. Unique equipment inside the shops was rusting away from the water.

In 2004 a plan was put into place to address the issues in the Roof Canyon. It was decided to build a new roof above the existing roof that drained all the water to the south end. This would leave the historic appearance inside the shops, but provide a reliable weather barrier as well. The work commenced with the attaching of ledger boards along both sides of the canyon. Custom-cut V-shaped joists were installed between the ledger boards and sections of plywood were cut to fit. This causes water to tend to travel down the center of the roof. A rubber membrane roof was applied over the plywood, and the membrane sections attached together. The following year the membrane was permanently applied.

This solution has worked wonders to correct water leakage in the canyon. Although substantial nearby leaks needed to be repaired to get all the water into the canyon where it belongs, the canyon itself no longer leaked. As time allowed, the nearby leaks were also repaired.

Future work will include closing up of window openings in the canyon.