From looking at the archives in my pictures folders, I am pleased to see that on Saturday 17 December 2005, I took no pictures at all, meaning that I may have actually done something productive and meaningful with my life, but the railroad photography started again the next day, as seen in this article, and with the next two weeks off of work, I’d be getting plenty of train pictures, though my goal then would be to get the weekday trains that I normally can’t get when I work normal working hours – and to do so in the great winter lighting.
So, these pictures – thankfully, not many – were taken on Sunday 18 December 2005, and they, like many of my images from that time, include some increasingly rare sights, things that were becoming rare even back then; in this case, today, I am mostly specifically talking about an SD40-2 leading a mainline road manifest train. Our train today is the Union Pacific Railroad’s MNOHO, a manifest train from New Orleans to Houston, terminating at Settegast Yard, the Missouri Pacific Railroad’s big yard in Houston.
We catch him at Schriever.
Yeah, the heat distortion kills that shot, but we’ll do better, like this.
That’s okay. Next, we get the Chacahoula broadside.
Next, we do a rare shot for me, one that I don’t often do because it’s not that great and because there are better shot options nearby, not all of which I had yet to discover.
That is Bayou Ramos, east of Morgan City, and Morgan City is where our next shot will be, since we have time to get ahead of the train because the Berwick Bay Bridge is not yet available.
That’s the first time that I can recall that I do that shot, one that I’d do more often in my tour-of-duty in the area almost seven years later.
There must have been a communication error here; normally, westbound trains don’t come into Morgan City until they know that the Berwick Bay Bridge is available for their use, as coming into town causes several crossings to be blocked.
The delay in having to wait for the bridge to come down gave us plenty of time to get ahead of the train just across the river in Berwick, and, 42 minutes later, we get this shot.
That’s different, and different is often good.
Let’s get a few shots of some of the cars before we get out of here and call it a day.
Remember that Sandersville hopper cars, which arrive in New Orleans on Norfolk Southern Railway train 393, are often found on this train.
Let’s get one more shot, and then we’ll be done.
Okay, that’s all for today! See you tomorrow on a rural branchline railroad under thickly cloudy skies.