Super Sunday Sermon – 5 February 2012

by Jim on 2012/02/05

[Jimbaux will never believe in you again.]

I’ll Never Forsake Myself Again

This post is very noteworthy for two reasons.  This is the first time in a really long time that I’m posting pictures on the day that they were taken, especially as I have a backlog of stuff from October that I still want to post!  Also, I’m now reviving my old tradition of the Sunday Worship Services, or whatever you want to call them, when I’m out foaming, practicing my faith, on a glorious, holy Sunday morning.  Whatever.  As it was, I was on my way to the gym this morning and got some shots.  Yes, Jimbaux is finally getting himself back into the gym (and eating better too), and this time, it looks like he’ll be able to keep up this routine, at least for a few months.

An Immediate Call To Glass

No sooner did I walk out the door this morning and turn the radio on, I hear the Y305 get permission to depart CN Mays Yard and head back to its home base at CSX’s Gentilly Yard.  This is not a surprise, as this almost always happens at this time of day, and many of you have already seen my shots of that train at that time of day.

Getting High

I had first planned to shoot him off the Wisner overpass after swearing last week I’d never do that shot again (it’s a good way to get killed), but the other track was occupied by another train, and I don’t care for cluttered shots like that.  So, I went to Elysian Fields and bagged him thus.

The tail end of the train is passing over Broad Street above.  That’s the Florida Avenue Canal between the track and the street.  Care to guess the name of the street?

Now it’s time to head over toward Gentilly to watch it go into the yard there, but, as usual, there’s no hurry to do this, since he’ll either have to stop at NE Tower, Louisa Street, or both, as usual.

Alvar Street!

Alvar Street is the place to be, but I rarely photograph from the ground level here.  However, there’s nothing else to do until the Y305 shows up.  So, let’s photograph the Q601 leaving Gentilly Yard like so.

You’re looking into the western throat of CSX’s Gentilly Yard here, and the train is crossing the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal.  Switch jobs often pass through here, keeping the bridge tender busy.  The automobile lanes on the bridge, part of Almonaster Avenue, have been closed since Hurricane Katrina.

Now that the Q601 – which will become Union Pacific train MCXEW (bound for Englewood Yard in Houston) – is passing, it’s time for me to climb, and I get atop my perch in time to see the tail end of the train pass me.

Like the Y305 on the other side of the Norfolk Southern mainline, the Q601 had to stop at NE Tower.  The NO&NE dispatcher in Birmingham was finally reached, and he allowed both trains to pass.  Gentilly then told the Y305 to hold out at Louisa Street.  Great!  I really hate when that happens.  It’s time to send a few text messages and jack around on my telephone.

What I Came Here To Get

After what seemed like a really long time but was probably not much more than 10 minutes, Gentilly gives the Y305 permission to proceed from Louisa Street, and it’s time for Jimbaux to get the shot that he envisioned before he left the crib this morning.

I thought about Photoshopping that stupid tire on the track out of the picture, but I obviously decided against it.

For those of you who have read this question before, please forgive me, but for the rest of you, did you know that Lee Harvey Oswald grew up on Alvar Street in New Orleans?  Ponder that as you view the work of someone who was peering through his scope, “shooting” moving trains from the top of his high perch!

The astute observer will have noted that the track that the Q601 used to leave the yard was not the same one seen in the going-away shot afterward above.  The train had gone through the crossover switches, and now the Y305 had to stop to realign both switches.

I remember many years ago when the Penguin Man was teaching me more than just carpentry, more than just construction.  He was teaching me how to work, better than anyone else ever had.  Anyway, I remember him teaching me that, when using a sledgehammer, I should let the sledgehammer do the work.  Similarly, this conductor is smartly using his weight rather than an unnecessary excess of muscle and bone power to close this switch.

For those of you who notice all of the trash in the pictures, welcome to New Orleans!

Here’s one last overhead view of the Y305 with its 29 cars from the CN before we climb back down.

Since he had to stop and line both switches for the crossover that can be seen in the below picture, I had time to both get the above shots as well as climb down and get the below shot, one that I not only don’t think that I’ve ever done before, but one by which I’m surprised by how well it emerged!

Not bad, eh?  Below, we see the going-away shot showing the trailing MP15T.

The track crossing the two CSX mainlines is an industrial branchline of the New Orleans Public Railway going up the western bank of the canal; there’s another branch going up the eastern side too.

Pony Time!

While I was at Alvar Street, comint indicated that plenty of activity was taking place on the NS Back Belt, as Oliver Tower was busy talking for much of the time.  So, before I went to the gym, I went to Terminal Junction to see what was happening.  There were two trains there.  One was a surprise, and one was not.

At left, we see the NS’s transfer to CN Mays Yard returning to Oliver Yard (about 120° to the left of the optical axis) on the left while we see what appears to be NS train 314 working on the right.  The latter is really strange, because I had just seen the QLINSB (the UP train that becomes the NS 314) on the Huey P. Long Bridge just a couple of hours earlier.  How could he not only be here this fast but have the NS crew already aboard?  That’s quick!

In the above picture, you see the conductor preparing to climb aboard that last hopper before that long block of coil cars.  The cut ending with the hopper will be set out in the yard, a pickup will be made in the yard, and the new pickup will be coupled to the coil cars (and the rest of the train behind it) that you see on the end of the Back Belt mainline there; then, the train will take off to points north (i.e., Birmingham.)  The NS 314 is essentially the northbound counterpart (to the degree that there is one) to the NS 393.  Similarly, Union Pacific train QLINSB (originating at UP’s big yard in Livonia, Louisiana, and with a Birmingham block, hence the “LI” and the “B” in the symbol) is the eastbound (southbound) counterpart (again, to the degree that there is one) to the MNSEW.

Anyway, I was very pleased to see one of NS’s high-nose locomotives on the point of the transfer job.

I really wanted to be farther to the right so that I could get that darn control box out of the pictures, but you can see that the 314 presence on the north leg precluded mine there.

Do you see in the above picture that the end of 314’s cut is just to the right of the yard job?  If not, the below picture shows it.

How’s that?  Not that great?

Shot Of The Day?

I agree that the above pictures are not that great, but I think that the below shot compensates, so much so that I think that it may be my shot of the day.

What do you think?  Please civilly express your opinion in the comments section.

You’d Better Watch . . . . .

Oh, no!  What’s that that the engineer has in his hand?  A list of special agents’ telephone numbers?  Al-Qaeda propaganda?  A switch list?

Oh, well, that’s enough of that.  It’s time to go to the gym.

Post-Gym MCXEW

By the time I got out of the gym, atmospheric conditions had changed (i.e. – it wasn’t as cloudy), and a UP crew was boarding the MCXEW, which is the Q601 that you saw earlier.  Notice that it has a whopping eight locomotives on it.  I don’t know, but I think that that has to do with the imbalance of traffic interchanged between UP and CSX in New Orleans.  I think that there’s one more manifest train that UP hands to CSX than there are that CSX hands to the UP.  Anyway, the UP 1962, a patched Cotton Belt GP60, was the second locomotive on this train.

Here’s an overexposed shot that I was somehow able to rescue, albeit not without permanent injury to the shot, in Digital Photo Professional.

After that, it was time for a quick trip to the grocery store, which was packed for some odd reason.  You’d think that there was a major television event today or something that the masses felt the need to get to the grocery stores to buy stuff with which to stuff their faces.  Ah, America!

Random Musings

I’m sorry about the lack of updates here lately.  I’ve just been terribly busy.  I had no intention of posting any of these pictures today when I went out this morning, but something compelled me to do this, perhaps the return to my Sunday Worship Services tradition.  We’ll see if I can keep this up.


Last Wednesday, I took my first NOGC pictures since publishing the “terrorism” article back in early December.  No, I was not accosted by any of the employees there!  Anyway, there appears to be yet another ‘new’ locomotive on the property, and I hope to publish these pictures soon.


I also still need to post at least two more posts from October on Rie’s death, specifically the day I read her death notice as well as, much more significantly, the day that she was laid to rest and the pictures I took that day.  So, yes, I still have stuff from October that I need to publish.  Coincidentally, it was today, Sunday 5 February 2012, that I ran into someone by accident at the grocery store, an old friend and colleague from those day whom I had not seen in nearly 10 years.

Presidential Political Predictions

I also need to publish my Presidential political predictions.  No, I’m not going to do something as simple as merely predicting who is going to win the election this year.  It goes far beyond that, and as far as I know, I’m the only person who has predicted this.  Until I publish the predictions, here’s a hint: Grover Cleveland.  Care to guess what that means?  Again, please civilly use the comments section!

Speaking of the presidential election, Fareed Zakaria had a good piece this morning on Mitt Romney.  I’ve come to like listening to Zakaria’s viewpoints on such matters.

Super Blow

Yeah, I had invitations to go to different game-watching events, but I passed, being too busy with other stuff, yet I decided to piss away a few hours making this blog post, a somewhat foolish decision; so, I hope that you like what you’ve seen here!  Does anyone find any of this stuff educational or entertaining?  Anyway, as soon as I get this posted and sent to the foamer forums, I’m going out and taking a badly-needed walk.  I hope that you’ve enjoyed this Sunday sermon, and remember that the best way to keep up with posts on Jimbaux’s Journal is the Facebook fan page:


Promote Your Page Too

Also, not only are comments welcome, but, if you have a website, please put the URL in the “website” space when commenting, and this can even include things like profiles at flicker, Twitter,, or  You can get some traffic generated to your sites that way!

Oh, here’s what I shot two years ago on Super Bowl Sunday as New Orleans was full of intense celebrations!

Y’all be good, and go out in peace to love and serve, or something like that.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Howard Bunte February 5, 2012 at 21:05

Farheed Zakaria…excellent for world affairs…and getting the hang of domestic politics… from my middle of road Illinois moderate point of view…
glad to see you back ‘on line’… not ill, I hope not??
hanging in there…the gym is a good idea… it ‘schedules’ you… which many of us (that’s ME). need in order to keep the shape…”in shape”…
Cheers!… H


2 Howard Bunte February 5, 2012 at 21:06

p.s…. what i call ‘secular Sunday’…for me, it’s a day at the airport, watching the sun come up… really ‘stretches the soul’..


3 Jerry February 5, 2012 at 22:54

What are you doing at the airport? If it watching or photographing planes they you need to visit my Facebook page.


4 Tex Collins February 5, 2012 at 21:13


Thanks for the shots. I learned a lot.

God Bless,


5 Miceal Tyre February 6, 2012 at 05:01


Great photographs and 11/10 for A) having the energy on a Sunday to shoot some great railroad photos and B) praying to the good Lord too. I guess maybe the promise of the latter gave you energy for the former? Good on you anyway I say. The photos are great and I loved the comments. You can’t beat a little bit of humor to engage with the viewer. As an NS and CSX shareholder and a railfan of the NS (I am insisting to myself I am not a railfan of CSX, just holding their shares as a prescribed balance against my NS holding….) it is always great to see photographs like yours as they show the actual operations and the down and dirty (and garbage on the lineside). Too many people just take “classic views” but yours are engaging and interesting. I thank you for sharing sir!



6 Fr.Fred February 7, 2012 at 10:43

I always enjoy your view of life, and the railroads in your part of the World. Thank you for posting. You have been missed, since the time of your last posting.I look forward to your next “Sermon”……!!

Fr.Fred….Branch Railroadian friar, and holy water taster…..Starwood Abbey….Ottawa, Ontario, The Dominion of Canada.


7 Barry LeBoeuf February 9, 2012 at 20:55

James, it was good seeing you out and about in Louisiana again…loved the pictures, (Even if there was the pony one…you know I see a lot of Pony rides up here) One of these days I’ll get out the crossing in Gainesville and take a few pictures of the Pony rides as they run through Gainesville.

Anyway…good to hear from you…Keep up the gym work….(FYI, I’m down over 100 lbs in the last year and half…)

Maybe I’ll catch you in Schriever in the near future…




8 Ann February 11, 2012 at 11:29

Grover Cleveland? The only president to be elected in two non-consecutive terms. So is your prediction that Obama will not be reelected in 2012, but will be in 2016?


9 EDITOR - Jimbaux February 12, 2012 at 12:27

Ann, you are quite observant and intelligent!
I’ll explain more about my prediction later, but I’m also starting to think that what I’m predicting will not happen and that the status quo will be maintained.


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