This Means Something

by Jim on 2021/03/22

Today is 22 March 2021, and these pictures were taken at or near the rice-mill structure in Abbeville, Louisiana.

The rice mill closed almost a year ago, and this area has been dormant since then.

These views are looking west toward Bayou Vermilion, which is just past those trees, and this railroad line from New Iberia, which once went all the way to Eunice, ends right there now and has since 1989 when the line to Kaplan was cut.

The above two images are looking west from South Washington Street, and the below two images are looking east from South Washington Street.

The last train here (of which I know, and I see no reason for any other train to have come here) was last year on April 21.

Next, we see signs of the mill structure already falling apart.

If this were still an active operation with people employed here, that corrugated roofing sheet flapping in the wind would likely have already been repaired.

What is this stuff with the tape across the track?

This is the bend in the track that I suspect became the mainline – there would have been a straightrail track from this curve – once the bridge across Bayou Vermilion was built.

Turning around and looking back west across South State Street, you can see the remains of the track that I just mentioned at right, leading to what is left of the old hull loader and, I suspect, where the original passenger depo was.

Let’s look back to the east.

I miss trains here.

Seriously, Abbeville itself just doesn’t seem the same anymore without this mill operational and an occasional train serving it.

The town is still interesting, but it is not as interesting as it was when flanged wheels still rode these rails and rice was still milled here.

In the below image, you can get a sense of what I mean by my suspicion that that removed track where the rails still are in the road was the original mainline prior to the construction of the bridge across Bayou Vermilion, which resulted in the original line to Abbeville being connected with a line to Gueydan, some years later.

Or, you could just look at it on the satellite view.

What is the point of these markings? They look new, with the “2-19-21” writing under the milepost measure.

I fear that this means the rails being removed, which is why I got out here to get these pictures, while the track is still here.

These are the first images that I make since one month ago today, when I made some images of the Louisiana & Delta Railroad’s BR Job in Lafayette.

This is a good old classic jointed rail branch, and it’s sad to see it comatose and likely to never emerge from that comatose state.

I love the wobbly track!

Here, again, are these markings, with a suggestion that they were made here recently.

And there, again, is that string or tape across the track. What is that?

I want to know!

Well, here is a good shot that I never did with a train there!

Please bring back the trains here!

This is the end of the line since 1989, right on the bank of Bayou Vermilion, and the fence is there because, until about a year before the rice mill closed, a local industry was getting an occasional tank car to offload to trucks here.

This is the end of the line, but I hope that it’s not the end of the line, if you get what I am saying.

This place is beautiful, but, with the mill inactive, it ain’t the same.

That’s all for now, and probably until the next time that I go to Lake Charles, too, whenever that is. Gosh, the me of 10 years ago would be shocked to think that the me of today would write something like that. 😬

Jim

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