What It Is Now

by Jim on 2020/01/22

Jimbaux wonders how everything tied his hands.

My time in New Orleans is coming to an end, and I am now spending most of my days moving my excessive amount of stuff.

I left the homestead this afternoon for the city and, of course, went and checked out the L&D Abbeville Branch – the old SP Midland Branch – on the way to check to see if there was a train there.

There was.

Let’s see a cropped version of that image.

I love seeing this train, I am relieved to see it, I like the way it and the picture look, but its short length and that that short length has become common lately makes me worry about the health of this railroad.

For now, though, we have the train, and we have the picture.

Here, we have the LDRR 1717 with one loaded tank car bound for Coastal Chemical and two empty hopper cars bound for the Planters Rice Mill in Abbeville, which seems to be on hard times.

The train already passed Coastal Chemical by this location, but the customer will be served on the return trip, since that is the way that the switch is facing.

The above pictures are taken at South Hospital Road, a great photo location.

Here, we see the train in town, in a residential area in the eastern part of the city, near Kibble Street.

Below, we are at South Louisiana Street.

That church is one of the oldest black churches in the area.

Next, 19 minutes later, the 1717 is pulling one car, the SSW 70422, from the rice mill.

It then shoves the car back to its inbound train.

You know what it’s about to do, right?

The point here is to use the outbound car that you just grabbed and shove it to the inbound cars to grab them to then pull them ahead to shove them to the mill.

So, here is the eastward view as the 1717 pulls forward in order to shove the cars to the mill.

Wow, look, that old grocery store building is being dismantled!

I wonder why. That’s sad. I like that old building.

Okay, now, the work at the mill is already done! Again, this is actually sad.

I guess that this really won’t delay my trek to New Orleans much, as this switching doesn’t last a long time.

All that the crew and the 1717 have to do is shove the SSW 70422 to the tank car and then leave.

I am not even sure that this is worth my time, even as I worry about this railroad’s fate, since there aren’t that many good shots for eastbound trains in these lighting conditions on its way back, even close to here.

The train leaves, and, nine minutes after the prior picture, here we are back by Kibble Street, doing a different view.

I like it, even though the lighting is weird.

Next, we are at South Grosse Isle Road, where I await the train while it spots the tank car at Coastal Chemical, just past the curve at the vanishing point.

In the below image, you can barely see the tank car having just been set out.

Hey, look, that is where I got my truck stuck two months ago!

Here comes the train.

I love that jointed rail!

I love it!

I like this location.

I like untagged SSW hopper cars, too, though I really miss the big “COTTON BELT” lettering on the side.

Here we are at Mack.

Perhaps I should relocate. I did.

I love the jointed rail!

This is the beginning of the remaining jointed rail on this part of the line.

The continuous welded rail ends even with where I am standing.

This is an uncommon view here, because, usually, trains here have more cars.

At this point, I had to break off from the train. There aren’t many good shots east of here anyway, none are as good as the ones that I just did, and I really need to get back to New Orleans.

At Bayou Sale, I got off of Highway 90 to briefly check out what was happening on the North Bend Branch, and I saw this.

That is the LDRR 1850 switching come carbon black hopper cars at one of the storage tracks near the beginning of the branch.

Here is some nearby farm equipment.

I think that most of the cars that are stored here are loaded, awaiting shipment.

Perhaps the plants make different grades of the stuff at different times of year, like making one grade at at time.

Looking in the other direction, we see the beginning of the branch, the Sunset Route, Lafayette Subdivision mainline, and the Saint Mary Parish jail.

Okay, I have to go.

Fifty minutes later, at 17:26,, when it was essentially dark, I photographed the westbound Union Pacific Railroad New Iberia Turn at the Greenwood Bridge in Morgan City.

Yes, these pictures are grainy; again, it was really dark.

Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known.

So, in one day, I photographed two L&D branchline trains, one each on a different branchline, and, then, the UP Local train, then made a stop in Schriever, but got no photos, where I saw the LDRR 1847 in the locomotive spot while a centerbeam flatcar loaded with gypsum board and some tank cars were in the Houma Branch track.

The rest of the journey after I broke off from the first train at Erath was completely uneventful.

I am very tired.

I look forward to putting this chapter of my life behind me.

Jbx

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