How Can Time Make Restitution?

by Jim on 2023/02/06

Jimbaux is painfully aware that time is a thief.

I Was Like A Chinese Spy Balloon!

I don’t know what that means, though.

Today was my first train-picture outing of 2023.  What’s the deal with me not taking pictures of trains at all in January anymore?  It’s for some embarrassing reasons, really.

At about 08:26, I arrived onto Marine Street by the Port of Lake Charles and immediately took a much-needed leak.  I had not been out of the truck since I left the house shortly after 6:30, as I did not get out and walk around or urinate, although I did stop on Highway 26 at the Sonic and then in Lake Charles at the Burger King. So, wow, it did take me almost two hours to get to Lake Charles!

There is lumber all over the place at the port.  I am on the north side looking at some Binderholz packets or bundles, and there’s plenty more the labels of which I cannot see on the southern side of the port. The GMTX 2134 is switching a bunch of relatively new two-bay hopper cars. I have not seen that before when I have been over here. I wonder if that’s rough rice that about which I read in that article recently. I very much would like to know! I have a bunch of business foam ideas.

The label on the loading chute where some of the two-bay hopper cars are says “Southern Ionics.”  Okay, so, I guess that that’s not rice or any kind of grain product or even food product, then.

Well, at 08:52 CST, it appears that we have a train emerging from the port, headed to Harbor Yard.

This is the first time that I see a moving train or even any piece of active railroad equipment in 2023, and it’s also the first time that I’ve been out of the parish in 2023, as I never went anywhere other than the nearby communities prior to this morning.  I miss Schriever. 

Oh, look at that!  Another job, with the GMTX 106 as power, is making itself visible right behind the first job.

So, what is happening here is that our outbound train is not yet ready. 

While we wait for that, here is a westward view of the southern part of the port, showing plenty of what looks like lumber, but I am not sure that it is lumber.

Also, while we wait, let’s have a look across the street at this neat residential-looking structure.

In one of these views, the focus is on the track.  In the other view, the focus is on the house.

The crew of the train would back the train down a center track that I had never before seen used to go and grab one box car, which would be at the end of the train.

So, almost 10 minutes after we last saw the train, here it is actually emerging, finally ready to depart.

Damn, the boxcar is graffitied, of course.

That’s a nice shot, but it’s a damn shame that I now wish to not see boxcars in trains anymore, due to the near certainty that they are graffitied.

So, next, here we are at Lake Street.

That’s about as far away from the track that you can get an unobstructed view of the train.

Here we are at one of my favorite photo locations on this neat line: Ethel Street.

You almost can’t go wrong in any lighting conditions here, but the lighting here for this shot at this time is perfect.

Right after that, I got stopped by the red light at Ryan Street, right by the CVS and the Walmart Neighborhood Market thing, which was fortuitous, because it enabled me to get a good shot from the middle of the street that I have never done before.

Yes, that’s nice!

Okay, next, we are at 5th Avenue, another neat location; before the train arrives, we have a look southward along the avenue.

These next two images, especially the first one, are so ‘clean’.

The only components that make them ‘unclean’ are those crossing-warning control boxes, but, of course, they are critical parts of the subject matter.

That was cool. Next, I hang out at Harbor Yard to watch the switching and to see what the train brings to the port on its return trip there.

In the meantime, I check out some nearby construction.

There is a whole bunch of insulation board here!

The structure in which these things are apparently to be installed appears to have once been a railroad customer.

So, next, I return to the only place where I can get a decent picture of a westbound train on this line this early in a cloud-free morning: that open area west of Lake Street.

It’s the only such open area by the track on this line, and I really hope that it stays that way.

See, this is one of the problems with cloud-free skies.  Were it cloudy, I could do something great with a westbound train here at this time of morning, as I have done before.  At the very least, if I have to do a going-away shot, it’s good that the lone locomotive is running long-hood forward.

This is a good-looking train.

And that is about as good as it gets in 2023, at least around here.

Now, we are in front of the port administrative building, right next to the port.

Presumably, the centerbeam flatcar is here for lumber loading.

Some imported lumber comes through here.

Yes, I know that I am being repetitive. Deal with it.

It’s time to eat.

Yeah, I am not doing my body any long-term favors today.

I need to do better. I do not feel well. I need some fruits and vegetables. I am gaining weight and getting out of shape. My friend The Mid-City Marine lost the bid on the house in Gretna two blocks from the New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway on which he and his wife had bid.

I then went to the Farmers Rice Milling Company, where I see about nine cars.

I left at about 11:24 and went to the northern end of New Yard, where there was a long string of cars that I had trouble identifying.

I guess that they are coil cars.

Here, in the other direction, is some Union Pacific maintenance-of-way equipment.

So, then, I went north to the mainline in the old part of town, and, at first, I crossed the mainline and went explore that little spur to its end on the western side of North Enterprise Boulevard.

There is so much potential here.

Then, I returned to the southern side of the mainline.

Soon, a UP local job from across the river came eastbound into Lake Charles Yard.

Yes, this is where I caught the “Big Boy” UP 4014 summer before last.

That’s neat! It’s the first time that I shoot an eastbound train (other than one powered by a steam locomotive) like that there. UP 683 and UP 1054 are the power here.

This is Bilbo Street.

Bilbo Street is where the old Southern Pacific railroad passenger depot was.

This place must have been so neat!

The people who live north of the track don’t have any retail food places in the area, which got hit hard by Hurricane Laura.

After that, it was time for me to work my way back east.  I had a shot on the western edge of Iowa in mind that I wanted to do of the westbound Amtrak Sunset Limited, a shot that I had done at least once before for a freight train but never for a passenger train.

At 13:35, I spotted the headlight of the number one at South Bowers Avenue at Iowa.

Yeah, trying to include the water tower was a bit of a stretch, as the elements in the image are not adequately compacted, but, had I cropped the image to show more of the train, the results would have been insipid.

The going-away shot might actually be better.

I shot these pictures at about 13:39 at milepost 207. The train started accelerating after it passed through the junction, which I guess is normal.

That is the sum-total of my visit to Iowa, Louisiana, today.

Next, I wanted to check out something that had very much interested me for a long time: the Lacassine Rail Terminal.

I am not sure if the first few pictures here are part of the Lacassine Rail Terminal, but, if they are not, they are very close to it.

I don’t know what this tank is.

I wish that I knew more about exactly what is happening here.

It seems as though BNSF Railway developed or fostered the development of this facility, since we are just past the point of the change of ownership on the Lafayette Subdivision: Iowa Junction. BNSF owns this part of it, from here to Avondale.

I don’t recall seeing cars like these move on BNSF Railway trains in southern Louisiana, because nearly all of my sightings and photographs of BNSF Railway trains in southern Louisiana are east of here, and, apparently, these arrive from and depart to the west.

There is some unloading happening here.

The sign says plenty.

I guess that I should check out the website.

I need to learn more about concrete.

I do wonder which structure is the rice mill, or if there even is, regardless of what the sign says, a rice mill here.

There is so much to know. There are at least three locomotives for this little railroad company that serves this Lacassine Rail Terminal, Lacassine Industrial Park.

Okay, it’s about 14:00, and I am on my way out of Lacassine.

About 20 minutes later, I am in Welsh, Louisiana, where I hear Solomon Burke’s “Time Is A Thief” on KRVS, hence, along with its relevance, the reason that it is today’s song. There are plenty of John Deere tractors and rice harvesting equipment right here in Welsh.

However, this is the only picture that I took in town today.

There is the Griffith Lumber company in town, though it appears to be kind of far from the track. That’s okay. Maybe I can convince them to build a receiving center near the track.

Next, it’s the only picture that I took today at Roanoke.

That is a crawfish boat.

A sign by a church told me to look up Romans chapter 10 verse 9, and, so, I will!

I’m by this metal plate place that’s got a whole bunch of metal here! It’s apparently a galvanizing place. There are a bunch of trucks pulling metal out of here.

Next, I am in Jennings, a place that I associate with Rick Pitcher.

There are these neat structures by the track.

This was and, apparently, still is a feed-seed-fertilizer distributor, but, of course, it long-ago stopped having railroad service.

This next structure apparently was the Southern Pacific freight house, and you can see what might be a Texas & New Orleans Railroad symbol in the gable.

Let’s see one view in town before we move along.

Next, we are across Bayou Mermentau in nearby Mermentau, where we see another rice mill, where seven railroad cars are spotted.

That’s weird, I guess.

Next, I am in Crowley.

Both the image above and the image below are from Jack Mitchell Avenue at the end of a railroad spur. The above image is an eastward view, and the below image is a westward view.

There is a whole bunch of steel rods and steel pipes at this Capital Manufacturing place in the northwestern corner of Crowley.

Next, we are at Front Street at Western Avenue.

That’s some neat old Missouri Pacific Railroad street trackage!

Next, I go across the Lafayette Subdivision mainline to get a view of the Supreme Rice mill.

Finally, I go out to the crossing on the western edge of town, at Roller Road.

I want to know what all of this was!

That’s all for Crowley.

The rest of the images for today would be in Rayne, immediately east of Crowley, and none of them are action shots.

I am just chillin’, slowly walking around and taking in the scene. These first three images are from just north of the mainline – the only railroad track in town – in the middle of the old town.

Here is an eastward view along the track, and please notice the large rice elevators and dryers in the left background.

We are going to go there later, end the pictures for the day there, and that is where the Texas & Pacific Railway branch from Bunkie via Opelousas and Church Point to Crowley crossed the SP mainline.

Next, I go south of the track.

This is a neat area!

Well, I am adding to the backlog.

I had been taking away from the backlog until I ran into the huge May 18th piece.

Time really is such a thief.

Maybe this photography obsession, too, is a thief, because it does cost me plenty, plenty, plenty of time and energy.

For my final four images today, I am at a place just a little way to the east that very much intrigues me.

Here are all of these rice dryers and elevators where the old T&P track was, and I can’t help but think of the possibilities, that rough rice could again be moved by rail.

What if the rice mill in Abbeville could reopen? And what if rough rice could be shipped by rail from here to there? And what if some of this rough rice from here could be shipped by rail to Crowley or to the mills west of Crowley?

And what if the Acadiana Railway could, at least no farther east than Lafayette, do all of this?

The Texas & Pacific Railway line was immediately west of the DeRouen’s Plumbing place. This is amazing.

That’s all for the pictures for today!

I arrived back at the homestead at 16:49 to, appropriately, Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” playing on 105.1 FM.

Time may rob all of us, but, since I am an autistic person forced to live in a society that chooses to be needlessly harsh to people like me, time has robbed me more than it has others.

How can time make restitution?


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