Here are our 10 images for the month of June 2006; since I have started doing these monthly samplers starting with January 2006, this is the first one for which the selection process for the images has been difficult, a function of the large breadth of images and large variety of subject matter that I photographed that month.
Remember that caption information for each image is found in the image’s filename, which can be read by positioning your mouse arrow on the image.
In June 2006, I both started a new job that had me fairly near the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s riverfront trackage – after having just lost a teaching job due to large population decreases caused by Hurricane Katrina, as described in my long “New Orleans Introduces To The World – 17 April 2004” piece seminal to the rest of my life - and took a trip to northwestern Louisiana and northeastern Texas.
Our first image, however, has me back home in bayouland on the 5th, showing one of my favorite trains, the Chip Local, in this case, coming out of the siding at Schriever with only a locomotive.
Hey, Chip, you left the FRED on the front porch! That’s not good! Only now that Chip has retired (he retired in late 2012) can post this picture without the fear that he’ll get in trouble for this.
Our second image, taken on the 9th, has me in my very new stomping grounds, showing what passed for the Kansas City Southern Railway’s post-Katrina interchange train with the CSX in New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina wiped out CSX’s mainline east of New Orleans in southern Mississippi, but even once service on that route was restored, CSX and KCS continued to route their overhead traffic via the Meridian & Bigbee Railroad until 2007. During that time, KCS operated what you see as the above train between its yard in Metairie and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s Cotton Warehouse Yard, and that’s why I call it an “abbreviated train 54″; at KCS’s yard, this transfer run – or most of it – would be put into KCS train M-NOSH, which would usually depart some time after 22:00.
Coincidentally, a decade later, I am refamiliarizing myself with this part of town!
Coincidentally, our third picture was taken very close by, showing, on the 17th, MPEX 2003 of the NOPB stopped by Cooter Brown’s with two cars.
If you’re in New Orleans and want to sit in the outdoor portion of a good bar and drink beer and watch trains, Cooter Brown’s is the place to do it, and I even twice did it with the late Shawn Levy.
On the next day, shortly after dawn, I was in Chacahoula to photograph the Monsanto unit train, seen here in our fourth image.
This is a train that Union Pacific would occasionally run – often on Sundays – from Monsanto’s plant in Luling, Louisiana, to its plant in Chocolate Bayou, Texas; this one has an HLCX locomotive previously owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad in charge.
The remaining pictures are from my trip to northeastern Texas and northwestern Louisiana, the only time that I have been to the Dallas-Ft.-Worth area alone as an adult, though I met and stayed with a friend there.
We went foaming north of town on the 21st and caught this Q-AUGSBD6-21 coming southbound south of Krum.
I like that. Next, for our sixth image, we’re out on the Wichita Falls Subdivision the next day, and, man, I really wish that we could have gone farther northwest. That is one of the most fascinating stretches of railroad past Wichita Falls, with the wide-open, gently-rolling plains, and I remember as a kid in the 1990s long Burlington Northern trains out there, my introduction to the west, and it was great; the Fort Worth & Denver seems to be such a fascinating railroad. Anyway, here is an empty coal train – the E-SLPJRM0-80 – heading west west of Rhome.
I love that compressed perspective! It’s so Wichita Falls Subby! This ain’t southern Louisiana or Mississippi for sure!
It was a good experience; I got to hang with one of my Texas foamboyz and meet another one: Whiskey. Those were fun times, with trips to Buffalo Wild Wings and the Texas Pit Bar-B-Q!
Next, I am, two days later, back in Louisiana, now in Shreveport, for the Kansas City Southern Historical Society’s annual convention, and we are convening at the KCS yard for a ride on the railroad’s business train on the 24th; seen here in our seventh image are the late Shawn Levy and the still-alive-at-the-time-of-this-publication Gerald Hook, who spent many years with KCS’s marketing department.
The train ride was interesting, and I am honored to have been able to take part in it. The next day, Sunday the 25th, was our tour of the yard, and that’s where our eighth image was taken, as I got this shot of some colorful old beauties at the locomotive shop.
The KCS surely doesn’t look like that anymore! I miss that KCS, and, two years before, I got to see plenty of those blue things when I spent the summer in northeastern Mexico.
The convention then ended, and I then headed east on my own. I got to Sibley where I caught this local working with some interesting power, the Gateway Western locomotives!
To what customer would those boxcars be going? Somewhere around here, perhaps even before I took this picture, I got a flat tire. I may have taken the picture between getting the flat tire and fixing the tire. A local man came to help me, and he told me that he had worked on the Mid-South Rail Corporation, the previous owner of this railroad line, I think as a trainman.
I suppose that I slept in Shreveport that night, because I went back into Texas on the Greenville Subdivision the next day with the spare tire on the wheel, shot a few trains, and only stopped in Jefferson to get a new tire once high sun was upon me.
Our last image was taken well on my way back as I was getting fairly close to home. I was able to, shortly after arriving in Baton Rouge, head north to intercept the Canadian National Railway’s Zee Job at Baker, and it was to be the only time that I got digital images of this train that was abolished a year later when the paper mill that it served shut down.
The track here is the former Yazoo & Mississippi Valley mainline between Baton Rouge and Memphis via Vicksburg.
So concludes our June 2006 sampler.