Tuesday 20 December 2005 was an interesting day for railroad photography for me, and on this day I got a few more firsts, as I was continuing exploration of this area to which I was new. Nearly all of today’s pictures are of action on the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway.
Starting right off with the firsts, today was the first time that I photographed a train along Belle Chasse Highway north of Belle Chasse, but even more specific than that, it was the first time that I photographed a spot being made at the pipe distributor in Fort St. Leon, which is the small part of Plaquemines Parish between the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Jefferson Parish.
Perhaps even more noteworthy than that, it’s the only time I ever photographed this customer being spotted, which means that it’s the only time I ever photographed a train crossing Belle Chasse Highway.
Apparently, this customer stopped shipping within a couple of years, and Google’s satellite imagery shows that pipes are being stored on the tacks themselves.
So, this is it! This is the only time that I ever see and photograph this!
I like it, and I also like this flatcar, apparently some maintenance-of-way movement, tucked behind the locomotives.
That’s it! As far as I know, with that customer no longer receiving shipments, the only remaining customers on the old New Orleans & Lower Coast Railroad (reporting marks NOLR), the line extending from Gouldsboro Yard down the bank of the Mississippi River, are the two petroleum refineries south of Belle Chasse and the grain elevator below them. The NOGC (which succeeded the NOLR and in 2003 leased all Union Pacific trackage east of Westwego) is an interesting railroad, but most trains are nothing but tank cars, which gets boring fairly easily!
Now with the train being put back together, it’s time to chase it northward, and I position myself in Terrytown for this view.
Please note the two bridges in the background in the above image; both bridges span the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The bridge at left is the railroad bridge, and the bridge at right has the northbound lanes of Belle Chasse Highway; the southbound lanes of the highway go through a tunnel!
The above two images were taken with the telephoto zoom lens, and the below image was taken with the normal zoom lens, but in what is a nice lesson in optics, all three images were taken from and-or at the same location.
I suppose that I ate lunch and did some other things after this, but two-and-a-half hours later, I am on 4th Street in Gretna getting this image of a switcher locomotive leading a train on the street.
This is my second-ever image of a train on the street-running of 4th Street, the first being a month before during Thanksgiving week.
Next, we see the train in West Harvey, a scene that may already be becoming familiar to you.
In the above image, the control shack at the far right is for the highway – 4th Street – unseen to the right of the frame.
I’m not sure what is happening here with the issue of which track the train is on.
A little bit further to the west, I am now in Marrero, though the train is still in Harvey.
Since more than one town can be shown in one image, the location given for each picture is where it was taken.
Next, we are in Westwego, and I am doing another first, doing this shot for the first time.
That’s the old Celotex plant in the background. Over the next year, I’d photograph here a few times, but not much if at all after that, and the view of the plant is no longer there due to some new developments in the space in between.
That’s all for the action on the NOGC today, but, over in Avondale Yard (by now, I’m close to there), there is something worthy of photographing.
Check that out: a solid Conrail blue power set in 2005. I always loved the Conrail paint scheme.
Okay, that was interesting.
Before the day ends, I swing by Gouldsboro Yard; the light has faded, and there is not much to photograph there but this.
Yes, that is a large, modern, six-axle locomotive sitting in Gouldsboro Yard, an occurrence that stopped about a year later; the reason for the locomotive’s presence in the yard will be revealed in the form of some memorable pictures in two days. Stay tuned.