The Last of The NOGC GP7s Depart, and BNSF Trains Under Clouds

by Jim on 2013/02/23

[Jimbaux suspects that this will be the last time . . . that he photographs the NOGC GP7s.]

Greetings and kindest wishes to all of you, be you gentle friend or enemy, for we have a few images on this lovely cloudy February Saturday for you.

Farewell, Longtime Old Friends

The GP7s of the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway have finally left the property, apparently for good, and they haven’t been active for about a year anyway.  On Lundi Gras, Mike Murray of Railspot fame was in town and just so happened to catch their move out of Belle Chase Yard, which surprised me, since I didn’t even know that they were still on the property!  Today, I saw them sitting in Union Pacific’s Avondale Yard, just a few miles from the tracks where they had worked for a decade.

I will certainly miss them.  They provided me plenty of happy memories of trainwatching (and one unhappy one, but we won’t revisit that topic), like this scene of a traffic jam in August 2007, the unique “Barney” leading a grain train down Fourth Street in Gretna in December 2007, and other such things that I have yet to publish from deep in the backlog.

Moving On . . .

Let’s see what else is happening at Avondale Yard.  Here we see BNSF’s elusive stack train out of New Orleans, not so elusive anymore now that it’s actually running twice-weekly instead of once-weekly.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, BNSF ran about three intermodal trains per week into the metropolitan area.  At the far right of the above picture, the same place that I showed you in May, you can see UP’s intermodal facility, but BNSF’s is a few miles to the east in Bridge City.  The tracks at the left above are the former Texas & Pacific and later Missouri Pacific, and the tracks at right are the former Southern Pacific.

Anyway, looking in the other direction, we see what appears to be the Luling Local returning to the yard next to a parked road train.

The Morgan City Local apparently hadn’t left yet, and later recon suggested that it came back to Avondale with only one empty hopper from Raceland.

Speaking of Raceland, while on my way back from seeing the great CJMR and family, we see a freshly-crewed eastbound BNSF manifest train – probably the M-DYTCSX – emerging from the siding in Raceland.

I’ll credit myself with doing a good job with the lasso tool on that one, as I did with the shot of the NOGC GP7s.  Oh, and that is the former water pit dug by the New Orleans, Opelousas & Great Western Railroad as early as the 1850s.

It’s Too Dark . . .

. . . But that apparently isn’t stopping me from taking some lame pictures at Kraemer Road.

No, that’s not good, and neither is the below shot either.  At least I’ve done slightly better here.

Why am I doing this anyway?  I thought that I said last time that I needed to quit this foaming stupidity?

When All Else Fails . . .

. . . Pull something artsy.  It was entirely too dark for anything else.  So, here’s a different view near the gas plant in Paradís.

How’s that?  We used to call those things “pee pee flowers” when we were kids, but I can’t really remember why.

That, amigos, is the sum total of my pictures for the day, and thankfully there are no more.  If you’re looking for further commentary or discussion, try the “random 10 questions” over on the Facebook page.  Otherwise, although I have plenty to say, I’m entirely too lethargic to say it now.  You’re welcome.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Devin Jackson February 24, 2013 at 00:05

The old geeps have numberboards reminecent of the SP’s work trains also in the 500 series….
Which leads my questions of what is the heritage of these fine old warriors of the rails?


2 JIMBAUX February 24, 2013 at 13:49

According to Louisiana locomotive and railroad historian Mike Palmieri . . .

Former New Orleans & Gulf Coast GP7’s 500, 501, 505 and 507 were interchanged
from the NO&GC to the UP on Wednesday 13 February. They are en route to the
National Railway Equipment Co. at Silvis, Illinois and are moving with NREX
reporting marks. NOGC 504 and 2180 went to NRE last year. This move rids the
NO&GC of its older geeps. Here is what I have on these units:

18237 – NOGC 500 – SPCX 500 – C&NW 4283 – C&NW 1625
14670 – NOGC 501 – SPCX 501 – C&NW 4474 – C&NW 154
13315 – NOGC 504 – SPCX 504 – C&NW 4465 – SLSF 582
18234 – NOGC 505 – SPCX 505 – C&NW 4286 – C&NW 1656
18515 – NOGC 507 – SPCX 507 – C&NW 4436 – CR 5811 – PC 5811 – NYC 5811
17454 – NOGC 2180 – NOLR 2180 – ATSF 2180 – ATSF 2799


I guess those first numbers are frame numbers, followed by reverse chronology of ownership. So, all of the ones in the picture are former Chicago & Northwestern units, but some of them with service on other roads as well.



3 Donovan February 25, 2013 at 02:27

Great photos, Jimbaux! It is sad to see those GP7’s leave the NOGC. There is nothing better than a shortline railroad with old vintage power. I remember only seeing the NOGC in person once. Well, it was more of a sighting than actually seeing it. I rode with a buddy of mine at the time to Gretna to pick up his friend’s niece. We were parked at the school when i heard a train horn so i ran to a street corner following the sound and i seen a train passing, real slowly, too. When i got home, i looked up the area on Google and seen that the train i saw was street running! At the time i didn’t know that line existed. Amazing how you just come across things sometimes!

I never really got to see the NOGC in action myself. Each time i see your pictures of the line, the more i wanted to just ride on over there and photograph it myself. Especially now that i work close to the area. I am tempted to just go one week after work, do they work on Wednesdays? LOL

I had been running into that BNSF stack train quite a few times lately. I wouldn’t have guessed that it is running more than usual now but that is a good thing as it means that business is picking up. I photographed the train a couple times in the last few months. I got a really good photo of the train in December while we were in Crowley watching the crew of the Acadiana Railway do their work. I had set up next to the AKDN diamond when i heard about a westbound out of Lafayette. That’s when i was graced with its presence. LOL


4 Tom Beckett February 25, 2013 at 14:50

I liked that “artsy” shot. The foreground elements really draw your eye to the train, and the flowers add a splash of color, which brightens the overall scene. Nice shot in crappy weather.


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