Hi. Welcome to our August 2006 Sampler, 10 images from the month of August 2006, being published 10 years later.
We’ll start in one of my favorite stretches of railroad in the world, the Lockport Branch, the former Southern Pacific Railway branchline extending down the eastern bank of Bayou Lafourche from Raceland.
I recall that I had both a dentist appointment and an optometrist appointment that day, the 7th, hence my presence in bayouland on a weekday. Later that afternoon, I am in Schriever and see the #1 approaching.
A paper finishing plant was at the end of the Lockport Branch, but it closed 16 months after these pictures were taken, and I caught the final railroad delivery to the plant.
Fifteen days later, we’re at Norfolk Southern’s Oliver Yard in New Orleans checking out a switch job.
Check out that MoPac airslide hopper car!
Next, for our fourth image, we are, on the 26th, in Gretna, and a New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway train has to stop on Fourth Street because a truck seems too close to the track, as the engineer hangs out of the window to check.
It appears that the driver of the truck has just realigned it and is walking away from the truck; unseen to the right is the Common Ground Café, a good place, if you can tolerate the cloud of cigarette smoke through which you must pass just to enter and exit the place.
The next day was Sunday the 27th, a big day from which our next four pictures come, a day on which I went in opposite directions in search of trains.
There was an odd Sunday grain train that came on the NOGC, and I chased it to Belle Chasse, grabbing this shot of it by the ballpark in Gretna.
How’s that? I think that that was the first time that I did that shot.
After chasing this thing to Belle Chasse, I then broke off to head back in the other direction and go almost to Baton Rouge. Why? The Louisiana Steam Train Association train was returning from somewhere – Kansas City, I think – without the Southern Pacific 745 leading, since it broke down somewhere around Rich Mountain on the Kansas City Southern Railway. So, here is a KCS – actually, a Gateway Western Railway locomotive in KCS grey paint but still with GWWR reporting marks – locomotive leading the train southbound through Gonzales.
An hour and four minutes later, we are, for our seventh picture, at the Bonnet Carré Spillway, where we see The Shadow Warrior in his old blue Jeep Liberty getting in position to photograph the train.
Sixteen minutes later, after hauling ass out of the spillway as fast as I could, I caught the train again in St. Rose, as seen in our eighth image here.
Okay, that was interesting. Times were interesting after that in Kenner, for a crowded stop at Williams Boulevard, where I passed the 10,000-picture mark on the camera, and later with a few of us foamers at Metairie and Old Jefferson for the tying up of the train.
Our ninth picture was taken at Gouldsboro Yard on the night of the 29th, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
A few nights later, I tried something like this again at about the same location, and this might be the last time that I photographed large UP locomotives in Gouldsboro Yard, since, soon thereafter, UP stop sending the NOGC grain trains with its own power because, apparently, horns were getting stolen from locomotives here.
It seems long for it to be four days later, but it’s possible that this was the power for that grain train seen in our fifth picture.
That’s all for August 2006. I hope that you liked it; if you didn’t, you probably won’t like the next few months. Oh, well. Take care.