This is madness, surely, or, probably more accurately, some less-pronounced problem; regardless, on Sunday 23 October 2005, for the second consecutive day on one weekend, I decide to chase a train ridiculously far distances, all at a time in my life when I should have been more frugal.
To be fair and forgiving to myself, I had just “gone digital,” had just gotten another telephoto lens four days earlier, and was marooned at home due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina; furthermore, an increasingly rare spartan-cab GE leading a train gave me another reason to rationalize a long chase; furthermore, so too did the beauty and coolness of a late October sunny and breezy day, as this is such a holy season. Also in my own defense, perhaps this was no more a waste of time and money than spending the weekend drinking beer and watching football, as many Americans do this time of year.
Our catch this afternoon was one of my favorite trains on the Lafayette Subdivision: Union Pacific’s MNOHO, a manifest train from New Orleans to Houston, the former Missouri Pacific Railroad’s Settegast Yard, a heavy train that had a great preponderance of railroad-owned cars, something very welcome in a world of lease hopper cars and lease tank cars. Much of the MNOHO was comprised of part of Norfolk southern train 393, and the other part of it came from one of the CSX-to-UP trains, either the Q601 or the Q605. The MNOHO was abolished when UP rearranged its trains in late 2008 after the start of the Great Recession.
Our first picture of the MNOHO today comes to you from my famous Chacahoula location, and this is apparently my first-ever digital picture from Chacahoula.
Well, that’s nice, but, apparently, it is not nice enough, as I felt the need to chase this thing; so, here we are coming into Morgan City.
Yes, I was here about 24 hours earlier in getting yesterday’s shots.
Berwick might have made a good place to get the next shot, but that’s if I could get there in time, and that’s if the train was taking the siding, which would both make the shot better and allow me time to get there; apparently, however, there was no meet happening, and I did not catch up to the train until after Patterson. This may have been the first time that I do this shot at Calumet.
Likely, it was also the last time; I just don’t recall ever having done this shot again.
Man, I like that C40-8 face, don’t you? Here are some cars.
Like I said, this train had plenty of railroad-owned cars.
On this train – and on the NS 393 that entered New Orleans from Birmingham – were this distinctive Sandersville hopper cars, apparently carrying kaolin.
Thanks to those of you in the forums who offered me information about these cars.
This train also had plenty of steel.
I like seeing plate steel moving by rail.
This very much should have been the end of this, but for some nutty reason, I decided to chase this thing further west; a big part of the reason that this is nutty is that there really is not much in the way of shots for a good way west of here, at least not to my knowledge.
So, a whopping 62 minutes later, here I am in New Iberia, photographing the MNOHO coming through.
Well, at least that that’s a different view of the power.
Let’s get some boxcars and be done with this.
Gosh, I am ridiculous. I hope that you enjoyed it. I’ll see you tomorrow – yes, tomorrow, dammit – with ever more pictures. Not only that, there is only one day in the next seven that I did not take pictures; I guess that there really is not much rest for the wicked.