Successful Deductive Reasoning At Harbor Yard And Ancillary Miscellany

by Jim on 2022/02/11

Jimbaux wishes you were here.

It Finally Happened

I finally got a smartphone!  Yeah, I have been accomplishing plenty with my tablet computer thing that is essentially just a really large smartphone that does not fit in some pants pockets and fits awkwardly in others, but I had a separate telephone that I used for actual telephony primarily because I wanted a physical keypad with all letters and because I wanted separate devices to insure me in the event that one malfunctions, but AT&T forced my hand by making the telephones with the full keypads – not the kind where you have to press one button three times to get one letter – no longer operable.

So, on travels that are greater than simple errands, I still carry two mobile, cellular communications devices, but, now, both of them are smart devices.

Get To The Pictures, Please

Yeah, I have not photographed a moving train since November 18 when I last chased the Acadiana Railway’s train from Eunice to Crowley, and you probably don’t even care about my insipid January of photographing sugarcane moves, but I went today to Lake Charles and photographed the Port Rail train, and I successfully used my deductive reasoning to intercept the train that I actually wanted to see when I was given reason to think that it had either already passed or would not run this morning.

I left the temporary residence at 06:40.

A Diversion

I stopped in Lake Arthur to take both a leak and some pictures.

Wait, why am I going through Lake Arthur to get to Lake Charles?

That is one of life’s great mysteries, but I do have to say that Highway 14 is, at least compared to the options around here, a very interesting drive!

An Immediate Dilemma

As soon as I arrived at the old Missouri Pacific Railroad mainline in Lake Charles, I was immediately confronted with this sight at 08:37 at the Highway 14 crossing.

Okay, so, this is one of the Port Rail locomotives coming at the end of its run to Harbor Yard, and it is coming with no cars.

This means that I was too late to have photographed this movement on any other part of its run, and it’s run back in the other direction will be coming away from the sunlight.

If this is the normal interchange move to Harbor Yard, with no cars to interchange to UP this morning but then the train then dragging interchange cars back to the port, then this was a real waste, but, if that is true, then I should stay right here or at least position myself nearby for a poorly-lit run of cars to the port on this job’s return trip.

Due to this movement’s early time, to the fact that there were almost no cars in Harbor Yard, and to my knowledge that Port Rail has a few switching tasks east of or past Harbor Yard, I deduced that this move probably was not the interchange run and that there probably would be an interchange run following this move soon, and due to the poor quality of any pictures of westbound movements here at this time of day, I decided that the possibility that this deduction was wrong did not risk me much at all, that the much greater risk was not going to the port.

When It Seemed Probably Right

I got to the port, and what I saw there right away suggested to me that my deduction was correct.

The locomotive – in this case, the GMTX 2607 – was doing things that appeared just like building up an outbound interchange train.

I got another visit from law enforcement while taking these pictures from atop the truck!

It was friendly.  We chatted about port operations, and I think my desire to see more lumber movements here.

Success Of The Deductive Reasoning Confirmed

At some point, a port police officer went to open the gate, and that’s about when I knew that my deductive reasoning was correct and successful, but I did not get true confirmation until I saw this.

There we go!  Here is the train coming out of the port!

GMTX 2607, which is seen in few of the images that I have made of Port Rail activity, is leading.

The train has nine cars.

That was at Jabez Drive, and now I am at Barbe Street.

Yeah, that’s the view that I posted on Facebook tonight.

Next, we are between Ethel Street and Ernest Street.

This operation is so neat!  It reminds me of Gretna.

We are at 5th Avenue here, after a slight bend in the line toward the south.

Missouri Pacific’s yard would have been somewhere around here.

Well, I got it.

And Now We Go To Less-Cool Stuff

So, I got what I came here to get, having successfully deduced that the light-power move that I saw as soon as I got here wasn’t the carload interchange run, and now I am powerfully thirsty and hungry.

I stopped at the old new, or new old, place at the eastern end of East McNeese Street.

Now what?

A Secondary Mission – The Real Lake Charles Railroading

Actually, I had a secondary mission on this day: to go to the other side of the river and explore all of the industrial railroads in that area.  I knew that this probably would be something to just satisfy curiosity, not that I was going to really like what I saw make this a new common goal for the future.

This is the area of Westlake and Sulphur, and I don’t find the railroad scenes – or anything else – here to be charming, but, of course, so much of all of this stuff is critical to our modern economy.

I think about that often, that troubling dilemma, that our modern lifestyle depends upon so much harmful and unpleasant-to-view stuff.

Oh, look!  A boxcar?

Where there is one, there can be more, and there were.

This is at the Firestone Polymers place along Louisiana Highway 108.

This is an interesting thing to see amidst the lease hopper cars and lease tank cars that define this area.

These aren’t even graffitied! at least not on the sides that we can see.

Something is wrong with my 18-55mm/f3.5-5.6 lens.

Anyway, I wish that I could do more here.

That is actually an evergreen sentiment.

I got hot over here.  It’s winter, and the air is cool, but these cloud-free days can be tough even when the air is not particularly hot.  The older that I get, the more that I have a problem with this.

Despite what the subheadline says, you didn’t see the “real Lake Charles” railroad action here, because that would have been scenes of lease hopper cars and tank cars, but my eye gravitated toward those boxcars.

I don’t imagine myself ever returning to these places or visiting other places in this area just west of the Calcasieu River.

Back To More Familiar – And Less-Soiled – Ground

I returned to Lake Charles and to the Highway 14 crossing of the old MoPac mainline.

This is a thing that seems to happen often here, the locomotive for the UP local that serves this area just parked on the old mainline with no crew aboard, and I have seen where the Port Rail train had to stop in its tracks because of this.

So, in the above eastward view into Harbor Yard, the cars in the far distance appear to be the cars that we saw the GMTX 2607 pulling this morning, and the cars closer to us to the right appear to the cars that the UP 1178 just brought for Port Rail, which are likely to be pulled to the port tomorrow morning.

I am hungry, and it was time for food; there was a place nearby to satisfy my desires.

I left Lake Charles.

I got gasoline at the Spring Market place in Lake Arthur on the return trip.

Wait, Lake Arthur?  Again?  What am I doing here again?

Look, I told y’all, Highway 14 is a really interesting drive, at least in several parts.

Making the drive was actually part of the point today.

The alternative routes are boring, even if they may be faster.

And this place is interesting!

Look, it’s just a thing that I do, okay?

That’s all for today.

I arrived back at the homestead after 17:00.

It was a good day, though I got hot.  I got some decent pictures, I solved a puzzle, and I learned some things, and that may be about as good as it gets.


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