After our marathon of a day yesterday on the Lockport Branch in Lafourche Parish, this set of pictures will, thankfully, be brief; there are only three pictures in this article, all taken on 4th Street in Gretna, Louisiana, on the afternoon of Thursday 29 December 2005. Two days before, on Tuesday 27 December 2005, I got what I think is one of my better sets of action photographs on the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway, showing three instances of street-running, including a southbound train on Madison Street. Today, I photograph only one train, but this is one of my favorite shots that I’ve done on the NOGC, I think partly because I like that grey Qwest paint scheme.
One of NOGC’s GP7s, the 504, had previously worked on the Qwest train and still wore its grey paint scheme (minus the word Qwest) from that time of laying fiber-optic cables; I had seen and photographed – on black-and-white film with my father’s old 1960s Pentax camera – that train when it was based in Schriever in 1999 and thus had a sentimental attachment to it. So, when the GP7s left the NOGC for the final time in early 2013, the 504 was the one that I was saddest to see go (though the page with the set of pictures linked earlier in this sentence does not show the 504.)
Remember that, as explained in detail at the beginning of yesterday’s article, this was a time of the year that I took plenty of photographs, and the pictures that you will see today are the first of at least four consecutive sets of December 29 pictures for me; one year to the day after I took these pictures, I got a good set of pictures – many of them train pictures – on my first full day back in Mexico; two years to the day after I took these pictures, I got several pictures in central Mississippi and in Hammond, Louisiana; three years to the day after I took these pictures, I visited for the first time the Bogalusa line of the former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad and got some action pictures there.
So, here comes our train down 4th Street.
I think that what I like most about this shot is the interplay between the greyness of the locomotive and the yellowness of the leaves, but I think that the parked-against-traffic minivan helps too.
Note the blue tarp on the roof of the building at right, a result of temporary addressing damage that Hurricane Katrina caused here four months before.
The wider view is nice, as is the fact that the camera is not more than about two feet above the street in these images.
That’s all for now. I’d head to bayouland that night in order to get one more foamday Friday, an attempt to photograph railroad activity that can’t be photographed on a weekend. I was hoping that the Louisiana & Delta Railroad would make another run to Valentine Paper, but as I’ve already suggested with my statement that yesterday’s marathon Lockport Branch set is the last that you’ll see of the Lockport Branch in a long time, this did not happen; however, there was plenty of other good can’t-do-this-stuff-on-a-weekend action to photograph in the form of Amtrak, the Union Pacific local, and the Louisiana & Delta Railroad’s Schriever Job. Stay tuned!