Foggy Fickle February Super Sunday Sermon

by Jim on 2014/02/02

[Jimbaux thinks that he is making progress, but maybe he actually has an illusion of progress.]

Greetings, and welcome to Jimbaux’s Journal, be thee friend or foe; for those who missed many of the January offerings, a check of the January 2014 archives will reveal some interesting posts.


Yes, kiddies, this is my first Sunday Sermon in a long time, the last being nearly 10 months ago.  The long-term forecast for Sunday Sermons is still not looking good and has not since mid-2012.  So be it.

Yes, typing a blog post is what I do during the Super Bowl.  So what?  I find it odd that a few news outlets published articles about what a person who was not interested in the Super Bowl could do to occupy his or her time during the Super Bowl.  Really?  Are you kidding me?  Generally, if a person is not interested in watching the Super Bowl, that means that he or she does not find ‘entertainment’ in the ‘events’ and activities to which the mass media and society tell him or her that he or she is supposed to pay attention.  Such a person is therefore far more likely to follow his or her own inner compass, being in charge of his or her own entertainment, rather than have his or her entertainment decided by larger forces.  Such a person is therefore unlikely to find an article about what to do during the Super Bowl if you’re not interested in the Super Bowl very useful, simply because such a person could easily write such an article!

Two years ago on Super Bowl Sunday, I had a much more colorful Sunday Sermon.

The weather warmed up yesterday after our period of record cold and ice, and the fog really came this morning.  That obese Yankee rodent may not have seen his shadow this morning, but Jimbaux was out wearing shorts this morning as he took these pictures.  As I wrote on Facebook, it is very rare that I rejoice upon hearing news of warming weather, but the latter part of this past week was one of those times.

Having not taken a picture in awhile, I wanted to get out this morning a little while despite having plenty to do, and I heard an NOPB job calling CN Mays Tower with his transfer train.  Great!  I hadn’t seen this job in a long time, and I really want to see how the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad conducts interchange with the Canadian National Railway here in town these days, as it seems to have changed slightly, but not really, since I am really curious about how BNSF and Union Pacific conduct interchange with CN in town; the NOPB is the answer to that question, though.

Grey Through Fog

So, I arrive on the scene with a book to read, because I don’t want to waste time just standing around and waiting for a train to come, which is a big part of why I basically have given up active foaming more than a year ago with a few breaks here and there.  The NOPB job wasn’t ready to leave Mays yet, but I was able to get a shot of the parked Kansas City Southern Railway train M-SHCX.

The limo is taking the KCS crew – from Alexandria – away to the hotel, and an NOPB crew would soon arrive, converse with the KCS crew, and board the train.  The M-SHCX is the daily interchange train that KCS sends to the CSX in New Orleans.  Despite its name, much of its traffic is picked up in the Baton Rouge area.

I Take That Back

While I was standing there on Central Avenue, a tow truck passed carrying a spectacularly damaged vehicle.  It looks like it was in a really terrible wreck, and it even seemed to have the owners personal items hanging out of the truck.

I snapped a picture of it, intending to post it here.  I have decided against doing that, as it seems, like watching Judge Judy, to be quite sadistic.

Also, the eastbound UP Z-train slipped off the bridge at about this time, but I didn’t get a shot of it.

The Old SP Transfer Power Yard Has Resurfaced

As described in our recent posts that also outlined Jimbaux’s plan to start high-speed passenger railroading in the USA, the brush over the old Southern Pacific transfer yard that I didn’t realize was still there has been cleared, for what purpose I do not know but am very curious.  Here, before our NOPB job leaves Mays Yard, is a different view.

That is the old SP transfer yard at left, and those are the yard leads from CN Mays Yard at right, former Yazoo & Mississippi Valley tracks (the NOGN tracks being parallel to them but obscured by that shrubbery.)

Now it was time to do some reading as I waited for the train depart.

Well, That’s Nice

I was about to give up, quit reading, and go home, when the NOPB crew informed Mays Tower that it was all air-tested and ready to go.  Here is a cropped telephoto view of our train emerging from the yard tracks with NOPB 1504 as power.

The containers are on their way to the Port of New Orleans and would have arrived at Mays Yard on CN train Q194, but I don’t know where they originated (perhaps Memphis or Chicago.)  In the old days, before IC reduced and CN ended its presence on the riverfront, IC and CN (in the first few years after the 1999 merger) would run their own trains all the way to Stuyvesant Docks.  Mike Palmieri has some impressive images that he took at Stuyvesant Docks years ago, and until I saw those images I did not realize how big IC’s presence there was and how recently that presence was as big as it was.  CN sold the property to the Port of New Orleans.

Here is a slightly wider view as the train approaches.

The regular cars are mostly bound for interchange with BNSF and Union Pacific, and likely far more for BNSF than for Union Pacific, since UP and CN can and do interchange daily at Baton Rouge.  So, whatever CN is sending to UP here is likely mostly from up north and mostly bound for industries worked out of Avondale, the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway, or the Louisiana & Delta Railroad.

The train stopped short of the crossing because it apparently still did not have authority to pass through East Bridge Junction with the KCS train ahead of it.  So, I crossed the track to get this image before retreating to my truck and my reading material.

I wanted to get the train and the lead to the old SP transfer power yard in one image.

What Could Be Happening Here?

I also got a shot in the other direction that shows several items of interest to our photo essay here.

Check out those new crossties on the right!  Could a revival be in this track’s future?  You can see that the track here has been cleared of brush too.

You can also see East Bridge Tower itself in the above picture.

On The Move Again

I chewed through a few pages of reading material before the engine throttled up and the engineer sounded the horn, and I had to run back to the crossing to get into position for the final shots of the day.

That’s not bad.  Now that he is getting closer, let’s cross the old SP track and get a little bit closer to the CN track for one final shot.

There; that is how it ends.

I snapped pictures of each car’s car number so that I could give a car list if anyone with trace access cares to trace this stuff and tell me (privately, if you must, as I know how sensitive the sharing of such information can be, and you can trust that I operate by the credo that a good reporter doesn’t betray his sources) where these cars are going, specifically to which railroad they are being interchanged.

FEC 70236 – well car

DTTX 645493 – well car

DTTX 746262 – well car

DTTX 646610 – well car

GPLX 76419 – covered hopper

GPLX 74414 – covered hopper

UTLX 644443 – tank car

UTLX 644442 – tank car

DBCX 658 – tank car

HLTX 104204 – covered hopper

ECUX 881941 – covered hopper

NATX 253120 – tank car

GEOX 20768 – tank car – old, with horizontal grab iron running the length of the car, BLT Jan 1968

GATX 79760 – tank car

CAOX 300567 – tank car – sodium hydroxide solution

CAOX 300570 – tank car

UTLX 631053 – tank car

UTLX 630055 – tank car

GATX 73329 – tank car

UTLX 665491 – tank car

DBCX 2020 – tank car – toluene diisocyanate

UTLX 130460 – tank car – hydrochloric acid

CCBX 72602 – covered hopper – mistaken in consist, CN Mays Tower told NOPB crew to “take it and send it back to us.”

TILX 290013 – tank car

NATX 252233 – tank car

ADMX 25379 – tank car

ADMX 25844 – tank car

GATX 5332 – tank car

CEFX 313000 – covered hopper

CEFX 312946 – covered hopper

AOKX 493070 – covered hopper

NAHX 503127 – covered hopper

CEFX 303157 – covered hopper

CEFX 313196 – covered hopper

AOKX 493109 – covered hopper

CEFX 311484 – covered hopper

CRDX 20213 – covered hopper

CRGX 7787 – tank car

CRGX 7934 – tank car

CRGX 8298 – tank car

TILX 251519 – tank car

CN 414296 – a boxcar!

Please note that last block of hoppers, CEFX, AOKX, NAHX.  Most of them (and not the CRDX one) were the two-bay variety.  So, I suspect that they might be headed to one of about three places on the Lafayette Subdivision: MTI in Raceland, MiSWACO in Boeuf, or Carbo Ceramics in New Iberia.  Perry, keep an eye out for them!


It Is What It Is

That is what constitutes a Sunday Sermon from Jimbaux these days.  I’m just not feeling terribly preachy today (as if that is a bad thing), and only care to comment on the strong societal expectations of what to do on this day.

Well, it’s time to publish this and take a walk, because that’s what some article on the internet said that I could do today if I didn’t watch the Super Bowl.  Oh, after I do that, I could wash dishes and take a shower; you know, according to some “what to do instead of watching the Super Bowl” article.  I’m so glad that such articles exist, because I’d never be able to figure out what to do with myself without them.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Herbert R Gamache February 3, 2014 at 06:49

I enjoy your postings. Thank you


2 Brian Frierdich February 5, 2014 at 08:49

Preach, brother, Preach! Even the short sermons are noteworthy!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: