On Saturday 3 February 2007, the Louisiana & Delta Railroad’s Schriever Job – train SC1 – did some rare Saturday work; fortunately for my Monday-Friday paid-working and branchline-loving self, the specific task on this date was to serve the 14-mile former Southern Pacific branchline to Lockport, allowing me a rare opportunity outside of normal holiday-from-job time to be able to see and photograph my favorite then-still-operational branchline at work.
We start where the branch itself starts, in Raceland.
It appears that the first tank car is bound for Valentine Chemicals and the rest of the train is bound for Valentine Paper.
Even though the branch technically begins about a mile east of here, I consider this spot, where the Post Office Track on which those tank cars at left have just been shoved begins, the beginning of the branch, since the line exists for Raceland industries up to that point.
I’m not actually sure – since I can’t remember that well – what was happening here with those tank cars at left.
Now, we’re at the curve that I consider the start of the branch, approaching the former highway 90 into Raceland.
I’ve watched and photographed plenty of branchline trains at this spot, but, at the end of this same year, Valentine Paper closed for the final time, dooming the branch.
Twenty-two minutes later, we’re just past the current Highway 90, and the skies have gotten cloudy.
The LDRR 1850 has spent plenty of time – plenty of years – as the SC1′s power.
I’m not even sure where the next picture was taken.
By process of elimination, I think that it’s a safe assumption that this is Farm To Market Road, but I’m not sure.
Next, we are on Barker Road in the back of Clotilda Plantation.
That’s the nursery on the Gheens road in the background.
I like this place.
Next, we’re at one of my favorite places on this favorite branch of mine: Myrtle Drive.
The cloudiness limited my options here as it did for so many other shots today.
‘Twas an extremely rare thing to see a BNSF boxcar (or a boxcar from a BNSF predecessor) on the Lockport Branch.
The first thing that we photograph at Valentine itself is the working of Valentine Chemicals.
Also, it seems to be the last thing that I photographed.
For reasons that I do not recall, I didn’t chase the train back north.
This track to the plant – the former Valentine Sugars – was just rebuilt not long before these pictures were taken, only to have the branch shut down about a year or two later.
The last ever railroad delivery to this place happened two years and two days later.
This is one of the last times that I photographed a train delivering to the paper plant on this branch; the last railroad delivery to the plant happened on 8 December 2007.