Chacahoula, Laurel Valley, Raceland, Paradís – 30 December 2007

by Jim on 2012/12/30

[Jimbaux is crawling in the dark.]

After our Tennessee-Mississippi trip (Day One, Day Two, and Day Three) I spent that night in bayouland, but the next day, I headed back to Woadieville and got these pictures along the way, as is my customary fashion.  We’ll start with a westbound train at Chacahoula, specifically westbound BNSF train M-NWOLAL (New Orleans to Lafayette, La.) with a Heritage 1 leader!

I surely wish that BNSF would bring back that paint scheme.  Actually, I just wish that it would rename itself the “Santa Fe” and paint its locomotives red-and-silver.  I mean, it’s not like the BN will return one way or the other.

Anyway, let’s make a little detour up to Laurel Valley Plantation where we see old critter locomotives on display.

I played on those things as a child.  They’ve been there a long time.  Many people confuse them as having been part of the Laurel Valley Plantation’s dummy railroad, but these are standard gauge locomotives built after the plantation’s three-foot-gauge railroad ceased operations of the closure of the plantation’s sugar mill in the 1920s; these locomotives came from nearby sugar mills that ceased operations much more recently than that.

Next we see Raceland Upper Elementary School, which was once Raceland High School from which my recently deceased grandmother had graduated and was valedictorian.

If only her grandson would have hit the books as hard as his grandmother did, his life might be better, but taking and showing these pictures is a way of expressing gratitude for the life that one has.

Here’s the local feed store, which many years ago received railroad service.

Actually, it seems that this building is just used for storage now.  The feed store’s main building is now across the highway.  The end of the “Post Office Track” is just to the left of the building.

Next, we have some “storm light” at Raceland Raw Sugars.  “Storm light” in this context means a sun-illuminated subject with cloudy darkness behind it.  Obviously, this usually happens when the sun is very low in the sky in the early morning, late afternoon, or around the winter solstice.

Notice that the railroad crossing protection arms were still up at this point, as the Lockport Branch still was technically active at that point.  You have more recently seen a much more active shot at this location with the mill active and cane trucks leaving.

Do you see what I mean by storm light?

Let’s keep going east.  We stop in Paradís to briefly observe the maintenance of way equipment stored at the gas plant’s tracks.

Hey, I recognize those things!  Don’t you?  We saw them four days ago – before our trip – in action in Schriever.

Well, that was okay, but it was not nearly as intense as what I did one year to the day prior, when, during my epic 2006-2007 trip to Mexico, I got a guided tour of the KCSdeMéxico yard in Monterrey!

That’s all that I have.  Thanks.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Tom Beckett December 31, 2012 at 16:07

I agree on the BNSF scheme. I always thought the H1 paint was a better look than H2, which tends to wash out in bright sun. There’s not enough contrast for a good photo in that condition-which H1 has. The new “swoosh” scheme is much better photographically, but I’m not a fan of corporate image consultant designed logos. No character. But then, it’s not like BNSF is worried about my success taking pictures of their trains!! I like the idea of renaming the railroad Santa Fe, though if they do that, I want to rename the KC-Birmingham and St Louis-Dallas sections back to Frisco!! Of course, we always joked that BNSF stood for Big New Santa Fe anyway.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: