Sunday Fair Pair at Live Oak

by Jim on 2012/11/25

[Jimbaux is wondering how much difference does it make?]

I’m Still Here

This one will be quick. I have plenty to say, both in words and photographically, but that will have to wait. I need to publicize my pictures of the Santa Fe painted F-units going to the Galveston Railroad Museum, and I have plenty of stuff taken since then to publish and plenty to say in words, but I just don’t have the time. Perhaps you’ve seen [these links have been updated a decade later] the Chip birthday picture, the pictures of Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke visiting NOLA, the picture of the Q605 at East City Junction in New Orleans, the fishing with Nonc in Lac de Cade picture, and even the shot of the L&D train in New Iberia three years ago today; I just am entirely too busy to write more and process more pictures.

Still, the blog needs to be updated, and the best thing that I can do is show you the pair of Union Pacific Railroad trains I saw at Live Oak on my way back to Whoadieville today. I had originally planned to come back to town yesterday, but I suddenly passed out really hard and was basically incapacitated.

Live Oak

As I was heading eastbound, I heard the UP Avondale yardmaster tell the Luling Local at CP Farmers that he could follow the QLINSL into the yard. Sweet! Since I’m going in that general direction, I can stop at Live Oak to set up for a shot. In the fall after Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, this was about my favorite early morning photography location, though after that, I hardly ever came here at that time of day anymore, having ‘graduated’ to the other side of the river and all of the foamy action there that I still show you to this day. Here’s the QLINSL going through the crossover from the former Texas & Pacific Railway and former Missouri Pacific Railroad, now called the UP’s Livonia Sub, over to the former Southern Pacific railroad track, now called UP’s Avondale Sub east of the crossover.

This crossover and another one going in the opposite direction just to the right of the frame were installed shortly after the 1996 UP-SP merger. The BNSF Railway now owns the former SP track west of the crossover that you see in the left foreground, but all of its trains cross over to the former MP track. Similarly, most UP trains, as you see here, cross over to the former SP side; the reason for this arrangement is so that UP could have a signaled mainline all the way to the Huey P. Long bridge.

The QLINSL is one of two trains bound for interchange with the Norfolk Southern Railway in New Orleans that UP builds daily at its big yard in Livonia, La., hence the “LI” station code after the “Q” – for “quality,” meaning high-priority – prefix. (Livonia builds three trains for interchange to CSX in New Orleans and various other trains leaving it to the north and west.) The other is the QLINSB, the “B” suffix signifying a large block for Birmingham, which becomes NS train 314. The “L” suffix on the QLINSL is for Linwood, North Carolina, for the large block of the train that will become the bulk of NS train 172 to that terminal, though the power of the QLINSL and a small block at the beginning usually go out on NS train 130 to Chattanooga.

The Luling Local!

Almost 20 minutes later, and it surely seemed that long too, the Luling Local shows up. Yes, this is the same power set that you saw briefly (and a bit by accident) on the Chip Local a few weeks ago, now back on a train that demands two locomotives, unlike its lower-tonnage counterpart on the Lafayette Sub.

How’s that? I don’t know about you, but I like it, and the QLINSL was just an appetizer.

Time Changes Perspective

The reason that I mentioned that I would shoot here in the early morning and only in the early morning seven years ago is that back then, I was far too picky of a photographer to have photographed this side-lit stuff that you see here today! Gosh, am I glad that I’ve let go of that stupid hang-up, but, along with it, the passage of time also sees me give up other hang-ups, and one begins to see things not only as they really are, but, too, as they can be. Important things become really important, or, more specifically, unimportant stuff is seen for what it is (and what it is not), and spending time with loved ones while we are all still alive and healthy – as I did when fishing with Nonc two days before, something of which we hope to do more soon and for as long as both of us can – becomes paramount, as does ensuring that the time spent is quality time.



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 NotAFoamer November 25, 2012 at 23:57

You can shoot in any lighting – you need the right mindset and perspective. There comes a time when spending time with the older people in our lives is a gift instead of something we take for granted, time is love, not money or gifts or anything material.


2 nitro November 26, 2012 at 21:06

Great job and great to see you opening up to new things . Keep up the great pictures and wording


3 Catina Laine November 27, 2012 at 07:29

I enjoy your writing many times, as much or more, than the pics… While I also love your pics, don’t mistake that… Keep it up Jimbaux!!


4 Tom Beckett November 27, 2012 at 10:49

The beauty of this time of year is the low lighting, and side lit can be wonderful. One thing I came to learn living in the northeast where we had a lot of gray days was to work with the light you have. Sometimes, black units on a rainy day are just drab, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But when you get sun, you make the best of it. You’ll be surprised how some of the stuff you thought of as so-so at the time, becomes some of your favorite work later on. the only problem with that is, it may take 20 years……..


5 Ray Duplechain November 28, 2012 at 22:20

Nice action shots, well maintained roadbed. Do you know the Mile Post locations of the crossover as it relates to the the former ML&T/TNO/SP?


6 JIMBAUX February 17, 2013 at 10:07

Finally, Dupe, yesterday, I took down this information as I was on the scene! I had not forgotten. I don’t know the actual mileposts for the crossovers, but here are the milepost numbers for the crossing control devices at Live Oak Road, which is between the crossovers:
SP – 14.77
T&P – 14.56


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