Refurbished Antique Railroad Scale on Display at Kirkwood Train Station

On the scale of such things, a rusting, 100-year-old, wooden contraption, covered in cobwebs and looking like it’s only good for running over toes, may have seemed destined for a landfill or a scrap metal recycler.  Kirkwood and the region at large are lucky that Bill Burckhalter, the Kirkwood Train Station manager, saw "the contraption’s" value and resisted that temptation.

When the City of Kirkwood purchased the Train Station back in 2003, it inherited a variety of old furniture and equipment, including one cast-iron-and-wood, 100-year-old railroad scale, which Bill found in a storage closet.  It was manufactured around the turn of the 20th century by Fairbanks-Morse, a company that still makes scales.  Even the manufacturer was unsure exactly how old the scale is, but they were able to furnish some important details that helped in its refurbishing.

Bill enlisted the help of fellow City staff in Fleet Services, and they went to work on its restoration.  First, they talked to representatives at Fairbanks-Morse, who donated new decals and provided the original paint colors.  The scale was then disassembled, bead blasted (similar to sand blasting), painted, its brass polished, and then re-assembled.  Ace Hardware in Des Peres donated the paint.

Most modern scales are metal, but the Kirkwood scale is largely made of wood (everything in blue in the photo is wood).  It was likely used by the Missouri Pacific Railroad to weigh freight.  The fleet staff constructed a wooden platform to secure the scale and prevent it from rolling so it could be kept on display at the Train Station, where Kirkwood residents can visit it any time the station is open.

Shutting Water Off


The Kirkwood Water Department does not provide the service of shutting water off so that customers can perform routine, non-emergency plumbing repairs. If you need to shut water off to the building to perform a routine plumbing repair, you may find the following information helpful.

Your particular building may have a shutoff valve at one or more of the following locations:
  • Inside shutoff valves are usually located on the water service line shortly after it enters the building. This type of valve is the easiest and fastest way to shut off water to your entire building. If you have an inside water meter and you do not have this type of inside shutoff valve, the only alternative valve that will shut water off to the entire building is most commonly referred to as a “stop box valve” (described below).
  • Stop box valves are located outside, typically within the right-of-way, between the street curb and sidewalk, although it is not uncommon to find them elsewhere. Stop box valves require a long-handled tool for operation. Most plumbing contractors have this tool available. Stop box valves are part of the customer’s private service line and are not installed or maintained by City personnel. Since stop box valves are not accessed on a regular basis, they tend to get covered with dirt and debris and may not be visible. If you need assistance in locating your stop box valve, we encourage you to review our Stop Box Location Services Policy to become familiar with the location service that the Kirkwood Water Department is able to provide to you. Stop box lids are made of cast iron and are 4” in diameter.
  • Outside meter pit valves are located outside in a meter pit in the ground. Customers with inside water meters do not have this option. This type of shutoff valve is more easily accessed than a stop box valve and does not require the long-handled tool for operation, as in the case of the stop box valve (described above). You can shut water off to the building with a crescent wrench, applying slow, steady pressure while turning the valve. Meter pits lids can be round or square and are at least 12” in diameter.
If both the main shutoff valve within the building and the shutoff valve within the meter pit are non-functional, your only option for shutting water off to the building would be to operate the stop box valve.


In the event of an emergency only such as a broken or frozen water pipe, or a severe leak that is causing significant property damage, we will shut off water service at the customer’s request as follows:
  • During normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) for a $25 fee. If you feel you have a plumbing emergency and feel you need immediate assistance during normal business hours, please contact us at (314) 984-5936.
  • After normal business hours (after 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and on holidays) for a minimum charge of $101.00. Additional charges will be assessed as necessary. If you feel you have a plumbing emergency and feel you need immediate assistance after our normal business hours, please contact the Police Dispatch at (314) 822-5865.
The Kirkwood Water Department does not provide reconnection of your water service once the repair is complete. Your water service will need to be reconnected by your plumber.


If you need to shut water off to a building for the winter months (due to relocation or temporary vacancy), the Kirkwood Water Department will provide this service for a fee of $25. To have your water service reconnected, you need to contact the Kirkwood Water Department, at which time an additional $25 fee will be charged to you.

Water shutoff fees are attached to the customer’s utility bill.


If you wish to have water shut off to a building due to discontinuation of a utility account, please contact the City’s Customer Service Department at (314) 822-5843.