This Publication Is Not, Never Has Been, And Never Will Be For Your Objectification

by admin on 2017/04/08

The Latest First

It’s that point in my life in which the first time in a calendar year that I take out my SLR camera to photograph a train is in April.  Man, notwithstanding my greatly decreased desire to take pictures, 2017 is terrible in so many ways.

Before I get to the pictures, I need to address some issue that have arisen with some of the readership of this site.

It’s Not Me – It’s You

If you come here only for the pictures and the railroad stuff, skip to that now, but if you are one of the people who recently had the gall to use a public e-mail group to complain to hundreds of other readers about some of the non-railroad-related content of this site, then you must read this.

Of course, if you were actually here only for the pictures, then this wouldn’t need to be said at all either, and that’s precisely the point!

You can file everything that you read in this section in the “this shouldn’t need to be said” category.  So, if I seem condescending here, it’s due to a deep frustration that so many readers are acting so incredibly pettily and immaturely that this even needs to be said.

There have over the last several months been complaints about “political” content on this site, and there have been complaints about where I share links to this site; both complaints are foolish, and for several reasons.  Some of the complaints have been made via the comments section of this site or via private e-mail messages, which is one thing, but far more insidious and revoltingly obnoxious is that many of these complaints have been aired publicly on railroad-related internet forums where I post links to blog articles because those blog articles include railroad content, and I say when I’m posting them that the link that I’m posting there is of a page that includes several railroad-related photographs.

I’m skeptical.  A large part of my skepticism stems from the fact that a large percentage of the complaints come from names that I have recognized for several years on those forums.  This publication has existed for more than six years now.  Posts have always included opinionated content unrelated to the subject of railroading; that this publication is a personal blog should have always been obvious to anyone reading this site for more than five minutes.

But now some of you guys are complaining?  Yeah, I call BS.  My skepticism causes me to by cynical here.  You have known for years that this is a personal blog; even if you hadn’t, you should know before you click on the link in a group message that  . . . . HELLO . . . you’re going to a different website that is no longer part of the group.

Of course, in the world of railroad-related internet forums, barely a fortnight passes without someone posting a link to some news site’s article of a grade crossing incident or some other article about a railroad issue, and, if you dare to open such a link, since the site that you’re visiting is a news site, you damned sure better not be surprised by “political” content.

So, quit acting like obnoxious little snowflakes and quit pretending that your issue somehow is that this content is reaching you via a railroad forum when the real reason for your objections is that you don’t like what I am saying.  Quit pretending like you just started using the internet this week and don’t realize that a link shared via a group is not part of that group.  Quit being so childish and obnoxious that you chose to air your objections to what I say here on my blog – which, again, is your real objection – not on this site but to the hundreds or thousands of members of railroad-related forums.  You could have actually just stated your opposition to what I actually said or say, and you could have done so in an appropriate manner (either post a comment in the comments section or tell me what you think in a private message); but, no, you had to be petty and slick and criticize me for saying what I said – as opposed to what I said – and do so on a railroad-related forum.

In addition to acting like you’re new to the internet, you act like you’re new to adulthood, too, which isn’t surprising if you voted for Trump.  Does it seriously have to be explained to you that if you have a comment about the railroad-related content on a blog article that it’s okay to post it to the hundreds of members of the railroad-related forum on which you found the article but that if you’re comment is about the non-railroad content then the group is no an appropriate venue to air it?  How old are you?

However, again, I’m skeptical that you’re actually that dumb, because I’ve been posting my opinions here – and sharing the links on the railroad-related groups – for more than six years now.  You don’t like what I am saying on my personal blog, and you’re childishly and pettily using a railroad-related forum – instead of the comments section of this blog – to express that opinion.

Yes, I know that I mix in my personal commentary with the railroad pictures, but the railroad pictures are the railroad pictures, and I deliberately set this site up so that if the only reason that you’re here is for the pictures that you can look at – and read the captions of – just the pictures.

The Mask Comes Off

Here’s a private message that I got from someone whom I had long respected until I read this message.

Wow.  Let’s take this line-by-line.

YES… YOU brought it up!!!!

No, I did not, not on the railroad forums.  I posted links to my blog articles and mentioned at, at those pages, there were pictures of X, Y, Z railroad topic; that is a very matter-of-fact way of stating what is indeed a fact. So, to say that I’m the one who “brought it up” is to insult other members of the group, because you’re suggesting that they’re little children who are incapable of self-control.

NO… YOU did not bring up any politics on this group or BNSF or wherever else you posted your blog

And that should be all that there is to it.  And I never once thought that that wouldn’t be all that there was to it because I figured that the people who use these groups are mature enough to not do that.  So, your problem is with them, not with me. Of course, as the rest of your message reveals, your real problem is with what I said, not where I said it.

BUT YES, you did air them out in your PERSONAL railroad blog

It’s not a “railroad blog”; it’s my site, and, as such, I am the only person who gets to decide what it is. You recognize that it’s a “PERSONAL” blog, and, yet, you’ve been on these groups for much longer than the six years that my “PERSONAL” blog has existed, all while I’ve been writing my personal opinions and posting the links to the groups for all of that time, and you’ve never said a damned thing about that until now; so, I’m quite skeptical about your motivation here, because you’re six years late in this criticism, all while you yourself acknowledge that you’ve been looking at my work for a long time (presumably via links that I share on the railroad-related forums.)

Are you really that clueless that putting the TRUMP comment in your blog was tasteful?

What comment?  You have a vile, disgusting, venal, vulgar, vindictive, bullying sexual predator of a President, and you’re asking me if my commentary about him is tasteful?  HELLO!  Thanks for identifying yourself as part of the problem, you misogyny-defending, hate-defending, bigotry defending hypocrite!  I don’t care what kind of good work you do in your community with kids!  If you are taking issue with my comments about Trump, you certainly are part of the problem.

And why the “TRUMP” in all capital letters?  You’re not telling me that you, a person whom I have long perceived to be a sober person who does good work in communities including the railroad enthusiast community, are a member of the cult, are you?  Say it ain’t so. I guess that it is so.

The writings on my site that have these guys so upset aren’t about Trump.  They are about the horrible things that Trump voters have endorsed and enabled by voting for Trump.  Yet, somehow, our angry reader here thinks that it’s about Trump?  That’s straight up cultish!  I’m discussing what a vote for Trump means; he’s making it about “TRUMP” instead.  You’re helping to build – or maintain – a cult of personality that makes dissent of government actions much more difficult, and that’s how dictatorship works.

And I thought that Obama supporters’ near idolatry of him in 2008 – I had to turn off the TV when the Democratic convention happened when they started doing that gross coronation stuff – was bad!

All of the warnings that I have been told about supposedly “good people” enabling evil are indeed true.

How sad it is that you’re complicit in the horror that has befallen our once proud nation.

So stop defending yourself on these groups

WHY?  How about stop badgering me in the first place, you jerk?  You see me getting harassed on the group, and your response is, instead of telling them to stop, to tell me to stop?  I write complaints about what Trump voters have enabled, and you act like they are somehow the victims?  What a piece of dog excrement you have truly proven yourself to be.

And that should be all that there is to it.  And I never once thought that that wouldn’t be all that there was to it because I figured that the people who use these groups are mature enough to not do that.  So, your problem is with them, not with me.

and go REMOVE the TRUMP post.

Wow.  I am an adult, and you are aware of that fact, and you somehow think that it’s your place to dictate what some other man writes on his own blog?  Who in the hell do you think you are?

Stop inviting unsuspecting people ….

You act like I have pornography videos on this site!  Wow!  So, mere words are too much for people to bear?  Why?

Stop inviting unsuspecting people to go see your railroad photos only to have them read your crap about TRUMP.

I’m not doing that.  I invite them to see the photos.  The photos are still here once they get here, and how could they miss the photos? And what is “crap” about I am writing?  See, it’s so obvious that your real issue is that you disagree with what I am writing, not so much who sees it or how they arrive at it.  Again, this publication has, since its inception six years ago, been full of my personal commentary, but you’re saying something only now about it.

By putting your little disrespectful comment in your description… what did you think was going to happen?

What little disrespectful comment?  What are you even talking about?

Notice what that “what did you think was going to happen” question reveals; he’s not unreasonably suggesting that it shouldn’t be a complete surprise that a few forum members would be so immature as to reply to the entire group about the non-railroad content on my site, but he’s rather unreasonably suggesting that I should somehow be responsible for other people’s immaturity.

STOP BEING A DOUCH!

Take that observation, and turn it right back on yourself.  Grow up.

Remove it or stop posting your self-centered blog in public places

Again, this publication has existed for more than six years, it’s no more self-centered today than it was six years ago or at any time since then, but you’re taking issue with it only now why?  Color me cynical indeed.

keep it to the left where it belongs.

Oh, grow the hell up with your stupid tribalism!  There’s nothing “on the left” about anything I write, but go ahead and don’t bother to use the brain that your creator gave you to think in non-tribalistic ways.  It’s precisely because I’m against that stupid Left-Right tribalism that I write everything on this topic that I write.  I guess that Evan McMullin is “on the left,” right?

It’s utterly rude, ridiculous, and downright insulting of you to try to put people into different groups, but that’s to be expected from someone defending Trumpism. And, of course, with that comment, you further gave away your game, further revealed that your real problem is with what I have to say itself, not the fact that link to it with train pictures was posted on railroad-related forums. I see you. Grow up.

It shouldn’t need explanation that Trumpism is tearing up the stupid Left-Right thing and showing it for the stupidity that it is.

Really, it’s the whole stupid Left-Right thing entirely that is the problem, and my disdain for it is another reason that our letter-writer’s comment above is so stupid, since I’m not even ‘on’ The Left.

Both the Left and the Right seem to operate by that same, toxic, awful, destructive, zero-sum Size-Of-The-Pie-Is-Fixed Mentality; you’re right to identify some major problems, but your solutions are absolutely terrible.

I posted links to my blog articles and mentioned at, at those pages, there were pictures of X, Y, Z railroad topic; that is a very matter-of-fact way of stating what is indeed a fact. So, to say that I’m the one who “brought it up” is to insult other members of the group.

Sincerely, was impressed with your work, but not as of late,

If you comment to tell me that you are a longtime reader who is stopping reading this publication because you don’t like the anti-Trumpism commentary, then the only utility that you are providing is confirmation that you never valued my or anyone else’s humanity in the first place, thus proving my point; if what I have been writing lately is turning you off, then you’re confirming that what I write is right.

If You Voted For Trump, It’s You Who Made This Political

My work hasn’t changed.  So, there’s no reason for you level of being impressed with it to change.  The change is that either you are now threatening my and others’ humanity in ways that you weren’t before, you never valued humanity in the first place, since you apparently have a problem with people defending their own humanity, or both.

My writing is no more “political” than it ever has been; it’s just that, by voting for Trump, you made everything, including my own humanity, political.  You voted to harm other people, and you get mad when they push back?  That’s on you!

You voted to needlessly let me die!  You voted to needlessly let millions of your fellow citizens die!  Why should I not talk about that?  It’s utterly hypocritical for you to accuse me of making things “political” when you have made my own mere existence political!  Why on Earth do you think that I or anyone else be deferential to you when you have decided that, in a world of incredible abundance, I should be left to die?

How can you claim to have long been a fan of my work only now disappointed that I’m discussing “politics” when you apparently have never once cared about my or anyone else’s humanity?  How can I make the work that you claim to like if my friends, family, and I can’t live?

You voted to harm people, and it was all completely unnecessary and avoidable; so, it’s utterly hypocritical of you to act indignant when people merely take issue with your choices!

You voted for exclusion, you voted for socialism, you voted for fascism, and you voted away freedom; you voted for a slave morality.  You voted against the Enlightenment, which means that you voted against centuries of human progress.

You made everything and everyone political.

Why Not Debate?

You criticize me for saying what I say, but you make no attempts at rebuttals or even understanding; in that way, you’re confirming my understanding that you voted the way that you did because you’re full of hatred for or dearth of concern for the needless and unjustifiable suffering of your fellow human beings, and I’ll never again look at you the same way.

You don’t want a better country.  You just want to feel like you’re in power, and, for you, the only way to do that is to ensure that Those People are not in power. Maybe you’re not a bully, but that’s irrelevant if you voted for such an obviously pathological bully.

It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are or think you are if you voting for bullying, and a vote for Trump was a vote for bullying.

You got conned by a really great actor.

You could have voted to keep things as bad as they were, but you chose to make them immeasurably worse in countless ways; you can’t credibly claim that Hillary Clinton would have been any worse than the Obama.  So, you have therefore endorsed all of Trump’s terrible behaviors, values, and goals.

You have pissed upon the battlefield victories that both of my grandfathers fought – and, in one case, nearly died – in World War II; you never again get to brag about any of your ancestors’ participation in that war.  You voted for fascism.  You voted to maintain your unearned position in a social hierarchy.  And it’s completely inexcusable in a world of so much abundance.

You say that you value my work, but you don’t value my own humanity; so, no, you can’t have it both ways, because you can’t separate my pictures from who I am, since the pictures are who I am.

It Gets More Stupid

Someone named P. C. Wolfe expressed this rather obnoxious comment, and both because it was expressed publicly – and, no less, on a railroad-related forum – and because it is so obnoxious, I am revealing his name:

What a jackass!  Not even on my blog – much less on the group, since I didn’t put any political comments on the group, which is the point – did I ever once express any preference for any candidate, my comments aren’t about how any particular candidate didn’t win, and you know it, but that doesn’t stop you from publicly expressing your childish “their candidate” accusation.  So, grow the hell up, and stop that stupid tribalism garbage.  You were old enough to be in the military in 1970?  Then please try to act one third of your age, as it would be an improvement.

You’re an adult, and one twice my age; you should have, by the age of about 12, gotten past that stupid, shallow “you criticize X; therefore, I can assume that you must endorse Y” mentality.  This is not a game.  This is real life.

My comments didn’t have squat to do with a preferred candidate, and you know it; it’s all about what the candidate that many of you chose has enabled, and how awful it was for you to do that to the world.

Furthermore, I specifically wrote at the end of my December 21 post that, “furthermore, without specific evidence demonstrating such, it would be absurd to suggest that any of this was either about ‘politics’ or had to do with Clinton.”  Mr. Wolfe, I shouldn’t even need to make such a disclaimer.  Grow the hell up.

Also, I’m generally deferential to military persons and veterans even when I disagree with their positions, but, Mr. Wolfe, treating your fellow citizens as poorly as you do, you’re no patriot.

And, of course, I did not express any political thoughts on the group page.  And, yet, he uses the railroad-related group to express his displeasure of the non-railroad content of my site.

What’s so obnoxious about Wolfe’s comment is that he’s using an old tactic of defending the indefensible by lying and pretending that I was arguing for something for which I never argued.  He seems to want to defend Trumpism, but he can’t actually argue against my arguments against Trumpism, perhaps because he knows that Trumpism isn’t defendable; so, he disingenuously pretends that my issue is that some (nonexistent) candidate did not win.  It’s completely childish, and totally unbecoming of someone old enough to be my father.

They Don’t Even Try To Debate The Issues Themselves

Also, what every one of these comments has in common is that the people making them don’t even attempt to debate or question the actual arguments that I’m making; they just criticize me for making them, and, worse, shallowly and childishly make presumptive, baseless accusations about me.

One thing that I have noticed about Trump supporters from as far back as the fall of 2015 is their almost complete disinterest in converting other people to Trumpism.

And this has a very dark precedent.

Regarding feedback that I personally get for the views that I express, there is but one exception to this, and it happened as a comment on the blog page (and not on a railroad forum; also, I’m not even completely certain that he found this page via a railroad group, but I seem to recognize his e-mail address from groups.)  A commenter named “RJD” was the only person who disagreed with what I said who was man enough to keep his expression of disagreement solely about the disagreement, not about the fact that I had said it.

As you can see, I responded very thoroughly to his comment, but at least he had the basic human decency to keep his objection to what I had said and not the fact that I had said it.

That’s how it’s done, boys.  You can disagree without being disagreeable and disrespectful, without slickly posting your objection to my comments that have nothing to do with railroads to a railroad-related forum with hundreds of members.

Grow up.

These Commenters Are Proving My Point

I wrote months ago that Trump voters had voted to threaten bodily autonomy, voted for bullying, voted against privacy, voted against personal freedom, voted to engage in divisive tribalism, and voted for a vindictive person with poor emotional control who just lies constantly.  In response, some upset readers write to tell – not ask – me what to do on my own site, lie about me bringing up politics on railroad forums, paint me as part of some tribe with which I have not ever identified myself, blast my opinions where they don’t belong, and lied about some specific candidate preference that I have, despite my never having expressed such a preference.

So, yes, in your responses to what I wrote that you didn’t like, you proved and reinforced precisely the points that I was making.  Thanks for proving my points.

You Can’t Separate My Pictures From My Opinions – The Pictures Are My Opinions

Many of the same people making these criticisms have recognized my work as art.  All art is inherently “political,” but this isn’t always immediately obvious, particularly not when humanity and individuality and society and civilization and basic human decency and individual liberty aren’t made to be political as they suddenly have been.

Again, if you voted for Trump, you are responsible for the uptick in “political” content here and everywhere else, because you’ve voted against civilization and humanity; you made everything political.

Maybe the fact that it’s taken you six years and the Trump Campaign and the Trump Presidency to realize that everything here on this site is and always has been “political” is not just a testament to the awfulness of Trumpism but to how a pre-Trumpism world allowed me to succeed in making my art seem to not be political; that may sound too much like self-flattery, but the reality is that my writings are no less “political” than they were when I started this publication six years ago, and I’ve been posting links to blog articles onto railroad forums since then.

If You Can’t Handle The Truth . . .

If you’re so sensitive that you can’t even bear to open the pages here to look at the pictures and scroll through them because those words might offend you so, then maybe this site isn’t for you.  I should say, though, that it’s almost entirely on the new pictures, not the anniversarial pictures, that I make these ‘controversial’ comments; so, when you see an article that has a date from at least three years ago in the published title (like most of what I produce lately, and the reason that the articles with new pictures have plenty of “political” content), you can rest assured that it will be mostly devoid of content that you dislike, since I try to make those anniversarial posts more about the pictures themselves.

By contrast, for the increasingly rare contemporary essays, I often include the thoughts that I actually have when I’m out chasing the train; so, yes, in those recent posts of pictures of the Abbeville Branch train, I was thinking most of that stuff as I was out chasing (because I almost always think of that stuff.)

My pictures are my opinions, and part of the reason that I publish my pictures on a personal blog – which, again, you’ve known for a long time – is that I don’t want to be pigeonholed and defined by one thing.

Just like my great-grandfathers, I am a generalist, not a specialist.  It’s insulting of you to try to label me as a certain thing.

You Own This State Of Affairs, Both On This Site And In The World

Not only did you vote to harm people, and not only did you vote to harm yourselves, but you did so by voting for a childish, vindictive, willfully and shamelessly ignorant, narcissistic, serially lying, vulgar, shallow, thin-skinned, venal bully to the highest office in the land.  You could just as well bully weaker people in your own life, since you are now an enabler of bullying, responsible for an increase in rude, crude, crass, unfair, and harmful treatment of the most vulnerable people in the world.

You allowed yourself to be manipulated by people who know that you have an innate fear of brown people, just so that they could rob you of your health so that millionaires who have gotten rich off of replacing those good old jobs with robots can have a tax break.

You got snookered, the rest of us could see right through it long ago, and now all of us will pay the price for it.

You voted to harm not only others but also yourselves, too, and you’re apparently okay with that, because you apparently like being the hostage that your captors treat better than any of the other captors.

You could have just basically maintained the status quo, but you deliberately decided to make things worse.

So, you are responsible for the outcome, and it is like you are doing all of the terrible thing that your cult leader does.

You mock the disabled.

You divide your fellow citizens.

You are needlessly letting people die.

You are against free trade.

You are for an exclusionary form of quasi-socialism.

You are for white supremacy.

You are for male supremacy.

You voted for dirtbaggery.

You voted for insults.

You think that the only way that you can rise is to put or keep others down, which means that you’re really not interested in rising at all; you’re interested in maintaining or regaining dominance, no matter how bad off you yourself are.

You are a bully.

How could you do this?

How?  How could you piss away your democracy?

“But Hillary” is not an excuse.  It was not an excuse.  It never will be an excuse.  Good luck explaining to your grandchildren the reasons for your unleashing of this awful terror upon them. How could you do this?

Perhaps the struggles that you claim to have that led to your voting choices are real, but you’ve likely completely misdiagnosed the cause of the problem.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

There is another way.

But you’re skeptical.

You think that the stick is more effective than the carrot, which means that you just don’t know how to use – or grow – the carrot.

You’ve bought into the tribal, zero-sum politics that the two major parties want you to play.  Yes, you’ve generally bought into the Trump-Republican version, the Trump-Republican team, but you’re still playing the game regardless, when it is not necessary.  It’s the 21st Century, and you live in a country in which farmers are going out of business because they can’t sell their crops because we’ve managed to use technology to make so much of it; it’s beyond time for you to drop that toxic, destructive Scarcity Mindset. He promised you a utopia that was contingent upon the dispossession of the less fortunate.

There’s really no need for this “bring back jobs” stuff anymore.

You can credibly claim that the November offerings were not appealing (I totally agree), and that is a reason that you should get behind instant-runoff voting and call your legislator to demand that it become reality, but you can’t credibly claim that you had no choice. You, not I, made this political.  I’ve been discussing humanity and basic human decency on here since this site started six years ago; it was Trump and those of you defending his promises, worldview, and actions who have made humanity a “political” topic.

You tell on yourselves with the “this is why Trump won” response to accusations of racism and bigotry; yeah, “we voted for racism and bigotry because you called us racists and bigots” is a confession, not an excuse.

There’s another way, though.

I totally get that there were some legitimate problems that led people to Trumpism, but Trumpism is the absolutely wrong way to address them.  Voting for Trump as a way to address these issues is likely deciding to eat bacon cheeseburgers every day to deal with your high cholesterol problem.

You’re right to identify some problems, and I suspect that a specific problem that you see is that the ever upward trajectory that your parents experienced in the world and society seems to be no longer ever upward; you are completely wrong about the cause, though.

These old jobs are not coming back, people, and that’s not a bad thing.  We need basic income.

But, you don’t like that idea, because those old white male jobs were more to you than just money; they were status.

I’m not stupid.  So, either you are, or you voted for this knowing what it truly is.

Is this what you want your grandchildren remembering about you?

Is this what you want them remembering about you leaving them?

You voted for a candidate who excited Neo-Nazis and was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.  Justify that, please.

Again, I’m calling BS on your complaints about “political” content on this site.  This blog was created six years ago, and, from day one, I’ve been discussing non-railroad-related stuff on here.

These are all of the values that I’ve worked my entire life to advance and promote being spit on, and you spit on them.  Again, don’t ever again claim that you liked my work, because I can’t make this work without my humanity; all that you are acknowledging by saying that you like my pictures but hate my opinions is that you are objectifying me and my work.

That’s all.

Yes, Why You Are Here

Okay, are you happy now?

The Pictures

Not since about the age of 18 or 19 years have I gone this far into a year without taking any train pictures!  April?  I skipped the first three months of the year, with some of the best lighting conditions?  Yes, that’s what I did, and, other than a few family items at the folks’ home, I didn’t even take out the camera that I’m now frequently entertaining the idea of selling.  Imagine that.

So, anyway, on this cool weekend after a warm spell, I figured that I’d better get out and take some pictures before the weather gets really hot and completely kills any shred of motivation that I have to take pictures.

There was nothing yet happening at New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s France Yard, and the morning offerings on the NS Back Belt were latish.  CSX’s Y305 got permission to come as far as Frenchmen Street, but then stopped at St. Anthony’s; so, all that I could get was this lame image of something that I had more successfully tried for the first time in September 2014.

Yeah, the shot would have been good had the train got closer, but it would sit there for hours, doing a crew change later.

Once I had the good sense to leave this location, I made my way to NOPB’s France Yard.  As I was approaching on Almonaster Boulevard, I saw the cars – but not the locomotives – of the CSX-to-KCS transfer run moving into the yard, and I was pissed off that I arrived there just a little bit too late to beat the train into the yard.  So, that meant that I had to race up Poland Avenue to get this shot with no time at all to spare.

Yes, it’s not the best competition that I could have done of the train at that location, but it was all that I could do in the time that I had.

Next, the train stopped at Florida Avenue, but there was no crew change like I’ve seen this train do before, suggesting that there has been some operational change whereby, now, one crew takes the train from CSX’s Gentilly Yard to NOPB’s Cotton Warehouse Yard.  It could be a CSX crew, but I presume that this would be an NOPB crew, since having CSX crews make this journey is not only more expensive in terms of labor costs but also would require the qualifying of CSX crews on this run.

That is the Norfolk Southern Railway’s Chalmette Branch that the train is crossing here. So, let’s get some pictures while we still can!

Next, I went check out the Back Belt again and noticed yet again that there was yet again nothing happening there.

So, then, I noticed that the NOPB 3003 was leaving France Yard to the north and was waiting at the Industrial Canal Drawbridge.  Here is a great chance!  Either there is a chance for me to photograph NOPB operations on the eastern side of the canal north of the CSX yard for only the second time in my life (and I haven’t yet published the results from the first time), or there is a chance for me to photograph NOPB operations on the eastern side of the canal south of the CSX yard for the first time in my life!

Here, for the first time I ever, I photograph NOPB activity east of the Inner-Harbor Navigational Canal south of the CSX mainline, as the 3003 runs along Almonaster Avenue.

I wish that he had an actual train with him, but I’ll take this!

I also like the arrangement of highways and the “High Rise” bridges that help make this image.

Now, since this was only light power, and since I want to photograph an actual train, I guess that I will stick around to see and photograph what he drags out of there, even as the lighting will be bad and is now getting worse with high-sun.

So, twenty-seven minutes later, after the crew does some switching in an obscure yard just south of the crude oil terminal near the site of the former rail-to-sea terminal, here is the 3003 returning with three tank cars of refrigerant gas.

The lighting isn’t good, but I’ll take this.

The train then had to stop because a couple of CSX jobs were fouling both of the mainlines.

And then I got out of there; it was time to meet with The Cajun Porkchop, but, on the way there, I stopped at the end of the Back Belt to photograph this parked NS yard job.

Meeting up with the Porkchop was good.  Now, it was time to fulfill a weird fetish that I have developed; I now feel like when I bother to take out my camera and photograph trains in the New Orleans area, once I have photographed on bit of railroad action, I need to in that same day photograph action on as many other railroads as reasonably possible.  So, now, I am going to make a little trip west to places where I would spend so much time years ago but have to really push myself to visit now so that I can get some BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad action, and, on the way there, I stop by the KCS yard to get this image of some parked locomotives.

That morning, I observed Norfolk Southern Railway train 345 arrive into town on the NS Back Belt while the CSX train in the first picture passed it.  Now, with the train having a UP crew aboard, I can photograph it on the Huey P. Long Bridge.

Right behind it, creeping along, is a westbound BNSF Railway train, I believe the CSX-originated train.

So, there you have it, photographs of BNSF action and UP action, but, since I’m already standing here, I’ll get better shots of this second train.

The issue of controversial public monuments in New Orleans has me thinking about the fact of the name of the bridge on which this train is running.

A bridge is very much a functional thing, even if it has an obvious aesthetic impact; it’s not a monument and, as such, does not exist to promote or honor a cause or to send a specific message or set of messages.

Huey Long was very much an obnoxious, chauvinistic, carnival barker of a bully, much, sadly, like the current US President, but it makes sense that a man who helped significantly improve the infrastructure of the state would have a bridge that he helped ensure got built would have his name on it.

The choice of names for any non-monument things is different than the choice of monuments, since the thing doesn’t itself exist for the purpose of honoring some cause.

While I suspect that this train is the CSX-BNSF train, that NS locomotive in the mix might suggest otherwise.

That’s all for the pictures for today!

I’ll see you in about a week or so for some Vermilionland fun!

JBX

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Neil H May 22, 2017 at 11:25

Could have done without too much of the politics. What is done is done – the spoilt child is in charge, even if he didn’t get as many votes as his competitor. We have the same in the UK over Brexit. Tom Lehrer should have written a song about it!
Kind regards from across the pond!
NH.

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2 Bruce K May 22, 2017 at 14:13

Just because he’s president he doesn’t get a free pass. It can only get worse if we fail to hold our politicians accountable.

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3 Bruce K May 22, 2017 at 14:11

Well said! It’s your blog – you can damn well write what you want on it!

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4 Reda F May 24, 2017 at 08:09

This was an interesting and informative read. I had never read your blog before and can only imagine that I was invited to like your page due to something I had written in a thread somewhere on a site where political views were being discussed. I agree with you on so many aspects of your statements here and applaud your addressing the gentleman who called you out for expressing yourself and your views, and for pointing out the hypocrisy in the unsubstantiated argument he made. Really appreciate your postings on the removal of the confederate statues, and for recognizing what is taking place in our government as a result of the outcome of the elections. It is always nice to know you are not alone and can find intelligent, informed individuals that open avenues to expand sources that engage and advance knowledge and understanding of events taking place. Thank you. That said, my only real exposure to trains was that I babysat the children of an engineer for Southern Pacific railroad so your pictures bring back some nice memories of my teenage years. Thanks again.

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