NOPB Passenger Special Moves Up And Down Huey P. Long Bridge – 27 September 2008

by Jim on 2018/09/27

Here are eight images that I made on Saturday 27 September 2008 of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s rolling party going up and down the eastern (northern) approach of the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson, Louisiana.

That new span at left in the above image had been installed earlier that year in preparation for the project of widening the highway lanes.

That project would include the demolition of that old Jefferson Highway bridge (seen below), with the Clearview-Parkway-bound lanes going over Jefferson Highway, elevated.

Anyway, the way that this train operation worked is that the passengers would board at NOPB’s headquarters at Cotton Warehouse Yard, the locomotive would shove the train from there westward into Jefferson Parish and up the Huey P. Long Bridge, the train would stay up there at the superstructure for a few minutes so that passengers – I keep wanting to say “guests,” since they aren’t passengers, since they aren’t really traveling anywhere – would be able to enjoy the view of the river from up there for a little while, and then the train would return, with the locomotive now pulling, to its point of origin.

In the three images below, I am standing on the since-demolished bridge that you see above.  The below image was taken 20 minutes after the above image (there is no way that I could have gotten myself onto the bridge before the train finished its ascent to the superstructure), and it was made as the train was descending to the grade after spending a few minutes at the superstructure.

This operation, the NOPB’s rolling party, shut down two years later, when General Manager Jim Bridger came under intense scrutiny for lavish spending on the city-owned railroad and had to resign.

This next shot is one of my more memorable shots, and it’s really the only time that I have done this view, because the track on which the train is moving is the westbound track, even though the train is eastbound, meaning that, usually, since eastbound trains would be on the other track, and since I am below the track, much of the view of trains on the other track would be blocked.

I cannot decide if the above image or the below image, which I made after sprinting down the bridge, is my shot of the day.

I like that.

There are two things in the picture that are no longer there: the automobile bridge and the NOPB’s rolling party, even though all three pieces of rolling stock are (10 years later, when this is being written) still on the property.

Finally, here it is rolling toward East Bridge Junction, after it came off of the bridge, as seen from Central Avenue.

This is how I closed out my month of September 2008, a month that started with the madness of Hurricane Gustav and continued with Hurricane Ike.

The next weekend, I would again photograph the NOPB’s rolling party, this time with a new car in the mix.

That’s all for this episode.



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