A Constrained Past In The Present

by Jim on 2021/11/06

Right after I got to the depot in New Iberia, I heard horns off to the east.  I at first assumed that this was the westbound Sunset Limited approaching, but it quickly became apparent that this was not a passenger train.

Obviously, this is a westbound BNSF Railway manifest train. The train had just one locomotive and was pretty boring-looking. So is life in 2021.

At the depot in New Iberia, I met JV for the first time, though he has been following my work for years, and we chatted with Perry.

That is a view northeastward on South Jefferson Street.

Here is a Louisiana & Delta Railroad train of two locomotives bracketing a tank car heading for the Powerhouse Spur east of town.

The train is about to emerge from the siding onto the mainline.

There is not any kind of chasing that one can do to beat the train from here, at last not without a drone; so, this is going to have to be it for this train.

Yeah, I am being repetitive.

As I think about the missing east leg of the wye here, I think about how the reality does not match the imagined beauty in my mind. Such is life.

That’s what I mean by the title of today’s post, inspired by an essay from anthropologist Brett Scott about the myth of the origins of money.

Here I am at the transload place.

Again, while this is marginally interesting, it doesn’t match the imagined beauty, inspired by real childhood experiences of watching trains, in my mind.

So, again, I wonder, why do I even do this anymore? Don’t I have better things to do? Like work on old pictures that, at this rate, nobody will ever see?

I got to the depot just in time for the Sunset Limited to arrive.

Julie misled be, but she can claim that she disclaimed her own accuracy because she always says “however, trains can make up or lose time en route.”

I think that this is the first time that I photograph the Sunset Limited from this spot.

It’s not a great shot of the train itself, but what makes the view meritorious is the view of the arrangement of track to the right of the train, the arrangement of track that constitutes the eastern end of New Iberia siding and yard.

I wish that more people got on and off the train here.

The train is stopping, and I would hurriedly get out of here to get set up for another shot.

So, here I am at the old baseball field a few blocks to the west.

I remember that John Fortner was impressed by my finding and picking this photo location during a gathering of railroad enthusiasts here more than a decade ago.

Next, I went and sat at West End Park and read for a while.

Eventually, this showed up.

This is a new shot for me, and I like it. The 1702 and the 1707 were leading the way, with who looked like Giles in the cab.

Ah, look, they are shoving the train into the MoP branch, of course.

Okay, and this, too, is somewhat of a new view for me, although not really good.

Okay, I am just going to return to the depot.

Ah, okay, now the three locomotives – the 1703 was on the rear end – are coming off of the MoP branch and returning to the depot, the day’s chores done.

So, more than an hour later, I am east of the depot in the eastern part of the town, waiting on that first job that I photographed with the one tank car returning from the east.

The train went to Baldwin and grabbed plenty of carbon black loads.

At Baldwin, two jobs that serve three carbon black plants are based, and this is a major revenue source for the L&D.

This is Bayard Street.

A little bit less than a half hour later, I am back at the ballpark, and an eastbound BNSF Railway train is passing.

I guess that the Ferromex locomotive is interesting, but I am just going through the motions here.

Oh, a loaded centerbeam car? That’s about as good as it gets in 2021; even the otherwise-moderately-cool GATX boxcar is badly tagged.

Oh, wait, what’s this?

Hey, check this out! These are new CN hopper cars! They probably haven’t even been on CN rails yet! They’re probably coming from a factory in Mexico that created them.

But what is with these horizontal ribs? That’s weird. I’m not sure that that will grow on me.

Still, for as long as these things aren’t tagged with graffiti, and that probably will not be for long, this is now one of the most interesting cars on the railroad these days.

That’s pretty cool!

Well, this is a nice way to end an otherwise uninspiring day out by the track.

It makes me miss Lake Charles a little bit, actually, somehow.

At least I didn’t know Lake Charles of almost 20 years ago.

Oh, also, I learned today about Schriever Job being abolished! That’s my home railroad job! In the process, I learned about Willie’s retirement!

Anyway, that’s all for the pictures and railroad stories for today.

Meanwhile, the world continues to be stupid.

What on Earth are we going to do?

I guess that I can just hedonistically try to savor good moments while the world burns. Like I said, I cling to a constrained past in the present.


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