These pictures were taken on Saturday 2 April 2016 at Raceland, Louisiana. The images in this post don’t have good photographic quality, but they tell a news story of happenings in the southern Louisiana railroad scene.
In the first four images below, the track in the foreground is that of the Lockport Branch that is now operated by the Louisiana & Delta Railroad; the tank cars are parked on the track of a new customer.
Sometime in the days preceding the taking of these images, the first unit crude oil train arrived via the Union Pacific Railroad at the new Genesis crude-by-rail facility in Raceland, except that things were not what they initially seemed.
This facility was completed just in time for the crude-by-rail market to, no pun intended, tank.
So, in a somewhat sad irony, the cars in this “first” train to the facility were empty. Why would a bunch of empty cars be going to the facility designed to offload crude oil from railroad cars?
The fact that I am finally processing these pictures and posting them to the internet more than two months after I took them, and the fact that all of these cars are still there should tell you.
Quite simply, these cars in this trainset were sent here to be stored. That’s it.
How is that for an inglorious fate to a big local construction project that took two years to complete?
Of course, it’s still possible – and even probable – that the demand for crude oil will pick back up as such in order to make this facility function again, but, for now, it seems like millions of dollars down the drain, with the only payback being the probably paltry amount of money that the facility is earning from car storage fees.
The below image shows a loaded potash car sitting on the Lockport Branch with the tank cars at the new facility off in the distance.
The potash is offloaded at the Post Office Track just to the west (left) of here.
We are, here, at an area significant for me and my family.
Much of my paternal ancestral history is in or near these fields, and I don’t like the imposition of such an industrial facility on the land.
The funny thing is that I actually worked a few days for a contracting company at this facility, earning some income in the process.
I’ve been thinking more and more about how, in a world of increasing abundance of resources, it’s a bit silly that a human being’s survival should depend entirely upon his ability to generate monetary ‘income’ in some ‘job’ provided by some ‘employer’; plenty of people in oil-rich areas are out-of-work, and it’s going to only get worse with ever increasing automation. It is time for a universal basic income; it’s time for the government to issue everyone a check for a small amount of money every month. This would help human beings survive, and it would keep money moving through the economy, helping anyone who owns a business or has a job and how otherwise might lose that business or job.
And, for now, that’s that, and I guess that that is okay.