A Revivalist Sunday Sermon

by Jim on 2013/04/28

[Jimbaux knows that denial isn’t the way to forgiveness.]

Yeah, what’s this?  Jimbaux bringing back the Sunday Sermon?  In spite of my predictions in the previous post, we do have one more post in April, but don’t get thy hopes up too high about a resumption of Sunday Sermons, thee dearest parishoners, for this is likely a fluke caused by various factors, including effective convalescing, a break in professional duties, and the fact that the weather will likely only be hot and humid here for many months to come, making me want to take advantage of the tolerable temperatures while they linger.  However, my wardie Kurt of Norfolk Southern Hampton Division fame apparently has designs for a Crescent chase sometime soon; so, Jimbaux’s results from that dual expedition would likely find their way here for presentation too.

Anyway, this is the first Sunday Sermon of 2013, and we will see two very familiar photo locations also for the first time in 2013.  Thanks to cloudiness, I didn’t even have to arise early – and would not have arisen early – to get these shots, as we are now in high-sun time, meaning that it is often advantageous to have clouds during high-sun.  So, after Charles Osgood signed off, I was out the door in search of trains, or something like that; yeah, I still care a little bit.

Right after I hopped in the truck, East Bridge Tower gave the ZLAJX permission to slide off the Huey P. Long Bridge and roll through Metairie on the NS Back Belt.  That works for me, especially since the ZLAJX is still something of a novelty, and visually distinct – including from its predecessors, the ZLAAT and ZLCAT (same train, different originating yard) – especially if it is short and contains all of its four visually distinct blocks (there are more blocks that are not visually distinct): empty Tropicana reefers, loaded auto racks from the Toyota plant in San Antonio, domestic containers, maritime containers.  Today’s train only had two such visually distinct blocks: the auto racks and the domestic containers.  Worse, the block of domestic containers was long enough that it was difficult to work the auto racks into the shot.  Oh, well.

Metairie Road

Here he is at Metairie Road.

I don’t like it that much either, and not just because of that headlight blobbing.

The woman seen below walked around for minutes before picking up scraps.

Yes, kiddies, we have some truck climbing for the first time in nearly two months.  I’ve still got it!!

Elysian Fields

Over at Elysian Fields, where I am shooting for the first time in 2013, it appears that I can still walk up an overpass too, as we see the train approaching the old Southern Railway cantilever signals at Frenchmen Street.

Wait!  What happened to the old cantilever signal?  Look, it’s no longer there, and it’s been replaced!!

Wow.  Well, they had seemed anachronistic as I had photographed them over the last decade, meaning that this really should not be a surprise; the cantilever signal at Elysian Fields a few hundred feet away still stands, though I suspect not for long.

Alvar Street

Here we go on CSX trackage at Alvar Street, from where you’ve seen many pictures from me, but none in 2013 until now.

I guess it’s the shot of the day.  It’s not great, but, whatever.  It’s definitely better than the wider shot below.

Yes, it was something of a small victory for me to be back at this spot considering recent health issues.

Over in the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s France Yard was some sort of CN high-wide train.  This is the first time that I ever see CN power in France Yard; it’s usually only NOPB, CSX, and KCS power there, and sometimes UP still passing through when the Back Belt gets clogged.

What could those things be?  Post any answers in the comments section.

Anyway, here’s a look back at the passing Z-train as it slowly enters CSX Gentilly Yard; you can see the auto racks here, and, yes, those are spine cars, the presence of which surprised me.

As I was standing up here – mind you, for the first time in 2013 – some drugged-looking young man approached me.  Oh, crap.  He mumbled to me, asking how he could go about getting a job on the railroad.  I told him that he had to go to the railroads’ websites.  He said that he didn’t have a computer or internet.  I told him to go to the public library.  He didn’t have much of a response.  I left.

Let’s have one more look at this train in France Yard.

How’s that?  What is that?  Again, CN power here is extraordinarily rare.

Some really dark clouds were approaching from the west, and The Cajun Porkchop, who suggested via text message that I might be able to work them into a shot, will probably be disappointed by the above results; even if he’s not, the results don’t do justice to how intense the clouds looked.

That’s all for today’s sermon.  Yeah, some preaching that was.  Oh, well.  If you want some keen observation, see what The Grumpster has to say today about human nature.  Most keen is this statement.

The problem with stereotypes is twofold: they nearly always have some rational basis, but they cast far too wide a net. This makes the lazy approach of either subscribing to or dismissing a stereotype perilous. Reality is far more complicated than either of these approaches allow.

For so long, I have thought that but been unable to articulate it.  Thanks, G., for finally putting it in such easy terms.  There, my friends, Jimbaux has allowed Grumpy to do his Sunday preaching for him.

What do you think of G.’s observation?

Also, John Young III has put out a neat shot of the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit next to Susie Q power.

Lastly, have you ever noticed that unlike so many other hobbies or interests – like sports, fishing, hunting, aviation, etc. – railroad enthusiasts make fun of other railroad enthusiasts who are more into it than they are?  What’s up with that?

Okay, that’s all for now, amigos.



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Norfolk southern hampton division April 28, 2013 at 21:23

Those are some cool loads. Ill try to have it traced and see where its going.


2 Howard Bunte April 28, 2013 at 23:14

Hey James,
1. what’s with the ‘illness’ thing?…had not picked it up in fast flying thru previous posts… Heal fast, ok?..
2. funny loads (giant hot dogs or Twinkies). appear to be pressure vessels… for what?… if going toward Texas, might be going to a refinery for cracking oil/ into/ into various gasolines..or maybe dealing with the ‘tar sands petro’ coming down into east Texas… understand it is an order of magnitude More difficult to ‘run thru the refinery’..hence, the name “sweet” attached to some crudes.
3. pix always look good… not a ‘hair-splitter’ as some of the rail and rail photog folks are… just enjoying it, NOT by tearing down others.
Hang in there… Howard
ps. today, flew up thru Cajon pass/ neat to see 4 huge freights clawing way UP the pass, with others waiting on looong sidings, to head downward… into SoCal… cheers!


3 Will Cunningham April 29, 2013 at 06:18

Nice shots! Glad you are able to get back up and climbing on top of cars. And look at you providing a public service advising people to use the public library! So hope the guy sobered up and did, but doubtful. Nonetheless, I like the shots of the CN engine the most for some reason. Can’t put my finger on it…


4 Norfolk Southern Hampton Division April 29, 2013 at 14:25

Those loads are just classified as “fabricated material” They are destined for Hopewell, VA and are heading to Praxair. (chemical company)

They just were brought into Gentilly, they may sit around for a while.


5 Jimbaux April 29, 2013 at 14:38

Thanks! Where did they originate?? It must be somewhere around here if it came off the CN (which itself is an assumption based on rolling stock) and are going as far north as Virginia.


6 Norfolk Southern Hampton Division April 29, 2013 at 21:41

Loads originated in brandon Mississippi on the KCS, delivered to the CN at Jackson


7 Tom Beckett April 29, 2013 at 16:37

Glad to see you are well enough to clamber up onto the truck for a shot or two. I just traded my 2006 RAV4(253,000 miles) for a 2013, which does not have the spare tire on the rear, so I have to reconsider how to get my old fat self on top of the car now that I don’t have a place to step. Elevation always helps.

Grumpy nailed it on stereotypes. That’s why you always have to consider the individual, and not the group he comes from.

Regarding railfans picking on other railfans: having come from the northeast, where the hobby is deeply ingrained, and there are many personalities involved, it has been my observation that inevitably you will meet someone more intensely into the hobby than yourself, and possibly to an almost unhealthy extent. Many have taken being a railfan so seriously it advsersely affects their life balance. It is said there is a fine line between genius and insanity; some of these folks have one foot planted firmly on either side of that fence. Which one they are leaning on more at any given moment is open to question. I can’t comment on fans from other parts of the country, I have not seen enough of them for long enough to get a good fix, but the northeastern variety often seems to suffer from a lack of development in some personality related areas. A lot of them are like computer geeks, but only with trains. This seems to frequently manifest itself by the fans acting like early teenage boys, sometimes displaying an astounding lack of maturity. It seems to get worse as they get older. Perhaps this is what leads to the behavior you have seen.


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