Still Kickin’

by Jim on 2019/09/12

Peartree Is Still Kickin’, But Is Jimbaux?

The Abbeville Branch was served just three days ago, on the same day that I chased the UP New Iberia Turn into New Iberia and discovered that the branch had been served, but, since that UP local train brought four empty hopper cars to New Iberia, I figured that there might be another train to Abbeville this week.

Just like clockwork, at 15:56 CDT today, Thursday 12 September 2019, one week to the day after I photographed another train on the Abbeville Branch, when I crossed the track at Grosse Isle Road, I looked to the east and saw headlights!

I intercepted the train on the eastern side of Erath, getting my first shot at 16:08.

Damn graffiti, again!

At Mack, I get this shot, and the intentionally unlevel nature of the shot portended some folly that I was about to commit.

I then climbed on top of the truck, as usual, to get a broader shot, but, for the first time in all my years of doing this, I fell off of the truck, catching the driver’s-side door that I had left open.

Bruised, I quickly got back up and got some shots that, due tot he weeds that you see at left in the above picture, aren’t worth posting.

Well, I am still kickin’, I guess.

I need gasoline. I come into Abbeville and get set up at South Hospital Road.

I wish that I knew more about and was more intimate with agriculture, and I think that society would be better if that were true for more people.

Here comes our train.

Here are our farmers.

The closer the train gets, the larger the angle between the track and the optical axis is, and, thus, the more visible the graffiti is.

Now, I come into to town, really, and I am at South Guegnon Street.

I like the little town scene.

The enclosed grid from the dynamic-brake bulge on the 1846 is interesting.

That big debate with Andrew Yang is tonight!

The train arrives at the mill.

The track in the right foreground goes across South Main Street to the former packaging plant along the bank of Bayou Vermilion.

Hey, look at the cyclists!

Hey, look at the automobiles!

Hey, just look at the train, at Railroad Avenue, at the loading tracks at the rice mill, at the remains of the hull loader, and at that big, neat tree behind it!

Okay, so, we’re switching the mill now.

I like how we can see three sets of hopper cars in this image.

Below is the view northward on South Jefferson Street.

Here is Peartree, who said, of the fact that this was the second run on the branch this week, that he “didn’t see that coming.”

Let’s see a cropped view of that image.

Peartree started railroading with the Southern Pacific in the 1970s!

Now, it’s time to shove the cars that were just pulled from the mill onto the mainline.

He is protecting the shove for South Jefferson Street.

This is an interesting area, and I wish that I could have seen more here decades ago back when railroads, trains, locomotives, and railroad cars were more interesting.

Or, better yet, I wish that trains today still looked like that!

Let’s have a look back into the mill tracks while they are momentarily devoid of any cars.

Peartree couples the 1846 to the other end of the inbound train.

This is probably the most dangerous part of railroading today, and I imagine that it is not all that great for the old man’s back, either.

Peartree asked me if I had talked to Chip lately. I told him that I had not.

He told me to tell him that “Peartree’s still kickin’.”

So, I will.

Now, it’s time to spot the inbound cars!

This is a classic scene!

Sometimes, I feel like I grew up here!

This old mill is neat.

Well, it’s almost time to go.

Peartree then gets the locomotive coupled to the cars that they removed earlier, and then it was time to go.

That’s it. I don’t remember why I didn’t chase the train eastward, but it was almost certainly due to some combination of bad lighting and bad graffiti.

So, yes, Peartree is still kickin’, and, even after Jimbaux fell off the top of his truck, so, too, is the bruised – both the arm and the ego – Jimbaux.

That’s all.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ed Jarolin September 13, 2020 at 19:21

I’ve really enjoyed your photos of this interesting line. You have a fine eye for composition and those of the human element, such as the brakeman going about his work, are especially nice.


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