Labor Day 2006 with KCSdeMéxico leader on MudBug Sub

by Jim on 2011/09/04

[Jimbaux has all this wonder of earthly plunder, will it leave us anything to show?]

There Can Be No Denyin’ That The Wind Will Shake ‘Em Down

(You don’t like Led Zeppelin?)  It was on Labor Day 2006, Monday 4 September 2006, that I took the shots you see posted here.  I don’t quite remember what I was doing trackside that day, but I seem to recall being aroused by the sound of the dispatcher talking to a “KCSM 4572 west” at milepost 38 at 16:45.  Sweet!  Some Kansas City Southern de México locomotives!  That doesn’t happen often on the Lafayette Sub.  So, despite the heat, this calls for a chase, and I caught up with the train at Schriever where I shot him blasting through the west siding switch just after 17:00.

You can see that the new signals haven’t been activated yet, and the old Southern Pacific ABS signal is still there.  (It’s not there anymore, sadly.)

The next place I caught him was at Amelia 29 minutes later, in what I think is actually a very boring tele-smash shot.

In the above picture, although you can’t see it, the train is still crossing Bayou Boeuf.

Oh, yes, southern Louisiana on Labor Day!

Love Bugs Love My Truck

I seem to recall that at this time, the love bug populations were very high.  Here’s the proof on my windshield as I was waiting on the train at Berwick.

If that’s not enough for you, here’s a closer view.

Remember when I posted these Idaho bird pictures months ago?

Here’s The Train

The train then crossed the Atchafalaya River and moved through Berwick, where I caught him at 18:19 as the light was fading fast.  You can see the Berwick siding at the left, and in the background, you can barely see the steeple of the big Catholic Church in Morgan City.

An officer of the Berwick Police Department stopped me and checked me out after, according to what he said, someone called in to report suspicious terrorist-like activitiy near the tracks. He was very nice to me, and he had a few questions about the hobby. He let me go in time to catch the train in the siding at Bayou Sale just before sunset.

Now, here’s the rub.  Suspicious terrorist-like activity?  Well, to get the above picture, I was standing on top of my truck.  I was also shirtless due to the heat and humidity.  My shirt – my white T-shirt – was wrapped around my head.  Yeah.  As we approach the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, make what you will of what happened to me there.  I thought this recent article on the subject was quite interesting.

In The Siding At Bayou Sale

Getting the overhead shot at Bayou Sale is not for the faint of heart, and, as I type this on Sunday 4 September 2011, I think it has been more than two years since I’ve done it.  It requires one to climb the overpass on the outside of a curve.  There’s technically room to park on the bridge, but I don’t do that and do not recommend it.  I think the fact that the train had to slow down to go into the siding, where we see him below, allowed me enough time to get the shot at 18:53.

As you can see, the sun has already set here, but that isn’t stopping me from getting the shot, which can actually be done without sun rays if you do it overhead like I did it, placing no part of the train against the sky.  Below, you can see how the siding has to go around a bridge pier.  Do you see the sugarcane in the background?

What a difference a few years makes.  One year before, I was like many people, struggling to make sense of my life in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, not knowing if I had work at all.

A Parting Shot

A few months before I took these pictures, I was here at Bayou Sale when the sun was still out, and I managed a good parting shot of a train.  Here, I tried the same thing, now that the train was back on the mainline.

This time, it didn’t work nearly as well.  Because of the washed out sky and dark foreground, including the sugarcane field, I had to crop the sky out of the shot, meaning that at 800×110 pixels, this photo has to have the largest (or smallest) aspect ratio of any picture on this site

More To Come

I actually have a big piece of writing to put out very soon about photography, freedom, trains, and the 9/11 attacks, but I just can’t find the time to write it.

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Thanks for participating in Jimbaux’s Journal.  You may leave a comments in the comments section below.



{ 1 comment }

1 Ray September 4, 2011 at 20:20

It is good you are documenting this part of the railroad I and so many of my friends and co-workers grew up on. Although there have been no line changes, there has been changes; sometimes is makes me melancholy. Thanks and keep up the good work, enjoy your comments, too!

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