Jimbaux’s Commentary on the NOPB

by Jim on 2011/04/02

[Jimbaux is doing the best he can, now go away.]

This post will likely be of interest only to the whoadies and foamers who read Jimbaux’s Journal.  If you’re neither a whoadie nor a foamer (that’s a New Orleans person and a person interested in railroads, for you neophytes), you may just want to scroll through the post quickly, look at the pictures, and exit.

Speaking of “Whoadies and Foamers” . . .

Speaking of whoadies and foamers, here’s a little experiment for you.  Go to Google and type in “whoadies and foamers” in the search bar with the quotation marks.  What’s the only website that you’ll see in the search results?  Yeah!  Don’t ever say that this site is not original!

The NOPB

Anyway, let’s get right on to the subject of the New Orleans Public Belt Railway, which you whoadies will know has been in the news since last summer.  Even when the “story” broke last summer with criticisms of then general manager Jim Bridger, I thought even then that this story was plenty to do about nothing.  Anyway, I hope you saw my article in the NOLA Post in which I tried to shed some light on this subject in ways that you’d have been unable to get anywhere else.

Anyway, here’s a letter I sent off to Michelle Krupa at The Times-Picayune yesterday.

How’s that?  (Yes, apparently, I can’t spell “among” properly.)  Now let me add a little something for you.  If you’ve been paying attention to this story closely, you know that when the story broke last summer, work on the last of the three antique passenger cars was suspended.  Although I’ve said that much of the criticism of the NOPB and Bridger has been an overreaction – media typically fomenting outrage – I really can’t imagine a justification for a terminal-port railroad like the NOPB having three business cars, especially when the third one is a sleeping car!

Anyway, this gives me the chance to show you the last action pictures I got on the NOPB!  Below is a triple-headed move leaving France Yard for the riverfront.

Below, some plate steel is unloaded near France Yard.  This may be some new business.  I don’t know.

Here are the floodgates at the crossing at the south throat of France Yard.

One thing that I’m very curious to see is what the proposal from the Kansas City Southern Railway would be for running the NOPB!  I wouldn’t be surprised if KCS tries to take over the entire operation and run it like the Norfolk Southern runs the Back Belt and perhaps lease it to WATCO.  Afterall, KCS seems to be the biggest user of the NOPB, at least in terms of the percentage of its traffic, and it could still switch and deliver traffic for the Canadian National.

Cooter Brown’s

Anyway, here’s a shot from December of KCS train M-SHCX (train #53) heading down NOPB tracks past Cooter Brown’s on its way to Cotton Warehouse Yard and to the CSX.

Back in the old days, there were four tracks here instead of two.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jimbaux is a holder of shares of common stock in the Kansas City Southern Railway.

Is Lil Boosie A Foamer?

Speaking of foaming, Louisiana, and the CN, is Lil Boosie a foamer?  Check out this video to see for yourself, and pay attention to all the scenes next to what appears to be the CN track in Baton Rouge.

Anyway, here’s part of the very funny response that my pal BEK , a very good rail photographer, said in response to the above question:

He could be a foamer, but that ride with the gull-wing doors has horrible ground clearance; and ain’t no one in his posse carrying either a scanner nor a digital Canon. And his women are better looking than you usually see around railfans. And I know Boosie’s not layin a beef song, but I too look at my mama ceiling wishing I had a million. . . and star in a movie with some hoes in a jacuzzi.

We can all dream, but until then, there’s Hunter Harrison and the IC. . . er, CN. . .

That was hilarious!

I’m quite sure that CN had to cooperate in the making of that video, especially as it seemed to chose to only have the increasingly-rare IC power in the video!

Speaking of Foaming . . .

A friend suggested to me that it would be good for my mental health to schedule a foaming day since I haven’t been foaming in way too long.  Maybe she’s right.

Don’t Forgetter, I’m on Twitter

Jimbaux’s Journal has picked up some new readers recently, and I want to thank my friend Pebbles for part of that.  The best ways to keep up with site updates is to join the Facebook fan page and/or follow me on Twitter at @JimbauxsJournal, ya hurd may?

{ 2 comments }

1 Tex Collins April 2, 2011 at 09:02

Asside from a few spelling errors (which spell check would not catch), your points are extremely valid (and therefore likely to be ignored by a media type). NOPB is NOT an agency, its a railroad. Bridger’s sins appear to be mainly pride and arrogance. (I certainly can’t fault him for disliking and distrusting the media.) In my opinion, you hit the nail on the head.

Tex Collins

2 EDITOR -- Jimbaux April 2, 2011 at 09:24

Thanks. Bridger did make the same mistake that so many of us and so many others made, thinking that housing prices and commodity prices would go up forever. It’s no wonder, then, that the general manager of a railroad company whose profits could not be spent by its owner spent money the way that he did. One criticism I’ve barely mentioned here, though, is his use of the company credit card for personal use, mainly meals. Even in the private sector, that could be illegal many circumstances. Think Dennis Kozlowski. So, resignation is probably an appropriate response. I just want people to keep things in perspective; he may have done plenty wrong, but he did so while doing plenty that was not wrong. Moreover, the climate and structure of the NOPB allowed this to happen. Where was the board all this time?

So, again, his actions were definitely not beyond reproach, but many of the things that he did for which he’s unfairly criticized are the things that most any other railroad manager – or business manager – would do. If he has to wine and dine the KCS to get it to send 100-plus cars a day via the NOPB when two other routes are available, then that’s what he has to do.

Also, I mentioned socialism in my letter to Krupa. I’m not saying that socialism is bad (or that it is good; I’m not interested in having that discussion here.) My point was that if we’re going to have a profitable entity that is municipally-owned, then we should not be surprised when we see this type of behavior. Now that the city leaders are learning that they can’t get their hands on the profits, maybe the stars are finally aligning for some sort of sale or privatization, which I believe the previous mayor Ray Nagin discussed.

Again, this is typical media fomenting outrage.

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