Just Before The Heat Comes

by Jim on 2023/04/24

The primary purpose of my set of outings today was to take advantage of the cool weather, likely the last cool weather that we shall have for many months, but, in the process, I wanted to access some parks that I had never visited.

However, the first thing that I had to do was go to the paint store.

I just had to go to the bathroom, which was in the back.

It’s a shame that we have to do such a disgusting thing, and daily.

Okay, so, I went to this park that is called “City Park”, suggesting to me that it is, you know, a city park, a public park, a place where I can go because I am a human being.

Well, no, apparently; apparently, this is not the case, and these are actually contraband pictures.

“Can I help you?” some dude asked me.  I learned that this was not a public park, all of this land and labor devoted only to some golfers.

This radicalized me.  The experience reminded me of the experience of my one visit to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

So, then, I went to Pa Davis Park, which is an actual park.

I walked the walking trail.

The walking trail goes in a big circle around the park.

I love the tree canopy.

This is a great way to take advantage of one of the last not-hot days.

I had to go to the bathroom.

I wish that we didn’t have to do this.

That was a relief.

I wonder what the story behind this place is.

I didn’t go inside.

I think that the place was locked anyway.

Okay, that was fine, and I am about to leave.  I would have stayed longer had I not felt so bad after using the bathroom.

So, 13 minutes later, I am by the track, at the Elks siding, and, hey, look!  It’s a clean boxcar with no graffiti!

It’s also new!  The UP 700351 was built and painted in July 2022.

Anyway, I was trying to get to Broussard, because I was intending today to do a shot of the westbound Sunset Limited that the Porkchop did of a westbound freight train many years ago.

So, here I was, waiting.

That is the back of the Whitco Supply place.

I texted Porkchop to tell him that I was going to try to do his Broussard shot.  I also mentioned that I was hungry and that the train was late.  She suggested that I try a place called Ton’s.

So, I did.

Wow, Tucker Carlson got fired!

So, too, did Don Lemon!

Anyway, I like the feel of this place.

Here is my food.

It was good.

I’ll be back, if not for just the food, for the atmosphere along with the food.

I have to get out of here to get back to the shot to get in position for the train.

Let me get a picture of this place with the SLR camera, as I leave it.

I will get three pictures here by the restaurant in downtown Broussard before I get back to the track.

I would like to spend a little bit more time here sometime.

Okay, but, for now, I want to get out of here.

Once I got in position for the picture, I still had to wait more than 20 minutes before the train showed up, but here it finally is.

Well, I tried.

The light doesn’t work that well, but it is midday with the train moving in a north-northwesterly direction.

I guess that I will try this again on a more thickly-cloudy day.

I went to New Iberia.

At the L&D interchange yard, the LDRR 1708 and the LDRR 1702 were working. At the depot in New Iberia proper, the first time that I go there since Peartree’s last day railroading, were LDRR 1707, on and with a crew aboard, LDRR 1709, LDRR 1712, and LDRR 3529.

Next, I go by the locomotive shops and the car-repair yard.

Years ago, I found this place to be very interesting, but, now, it is less interesting, and I am less interested.

I went to the gym.

Going to the gym and New Iberia was strange, because going to the gym was strange, because it was like stepping back in time, even to just last year!  I really need to get back into it.

After I got out of the gym, I ventured along the mainline to the southeast.

Across the track from Jeanerette High School, I got a series of shots of an eastbound BNSF Railway train compromised by heat distortion.

Wow, that’s two Heritage 1 locomotives in one power consist in 2023!

That was BNSF’s best paint scheme.

It was at highway 85 that I took these pictures. 

I went at least as far as near the west end of Baldwin siding.

There was a train there, a train with a KCSdeMéxico locomotive and another H1 BNSF locomotive in the power consist, but this is the best that I did with it.

I didn’t stick around for its departure.

I decided to head south to Ivanhoe.

I stopped at that cemetery that troubles me so much.

I came there for the first time the first time that I explored this branch on 7 January 2015.

Lord, give me a sign.

So, here I am.

I am at one of the three carbon black plants that, together, constitute a major and, possibly, the biggest traffic source for the Louisiana & Delta Railroad.

Here is the LDRR 1532, built for Conrail, doing some switching at the plant and the runaround track outside of it.

This is also the only active remaining customer of any size on this branch.

Whatever industry at the Port Of West Saint Mary that had been getting boxcars and hopper cars rather regularly stopped doing rail business before my arrival here.

The only customer that remains on this branch other than the carbon black plant is Twin Brothers shipyard which gets plate steel by rail rather sporadically.

So, I have plenty of pictures from here this evening.

However, I have little to say about them.

The weather was nice, though this may not have been the best way that I could have spent the last cool weather until autumn.

Anyway, as you may have ascertained, there is a runaround track outside of the plant, and our L&D job is seen here working the runaround track before returning to the plant.

This is a neat area, but something about the carbon-black hopper cars – and the lack of anything other than carbon-black hopper cars – here combined with the carbon-black process is depressing to me.

It’s the environmental thing combined with the dearth of light on the cars.

As interesting as this is, I think that scenes like this one are boring.

“This is boring,” I say here, a phrase that I hate.

This next scene is a little bit better.

Still, the overall problem remains.

It looks like the locomotive is returning to the plant.

So, so, too, did I.

I have done this once or twice before.

Also, this looks nice, like a nice picture.

However, there is a strange feeling that comes over me as I watch this.

That feeling is the thought that I don’t need to ever return here.

That seems to be a rather profound proclamation for a railroad enthusiast who loves to go about exploring.

I might return if the locomotive is facing the other direction, rather than this weird long-hood-forward orientation as the locomotive emerges from the plant.

In general, however, I am done.

At 17:49 CDT, LDRR 1536 pulled 13 cars from the Orion plant. 

This place makes me think plenty about death, and I don’t like that.

That’s why I don’t want to return.  It doesn’t just make me think about death.  It makes me feel hopeless.

We return to the runaround track.

I think that these final images here are my best images of the day.

Still, unless there are better cars here in the future, I don’t much wish to return.

This place makes me think of hopelessness and death, and I don’t like that.

It was getting late, and I was getting the impression that the switching might be done and that a train would depart for New Iberia soon.  The nose of the locomotive would be leading, making the pictures somewhat better, but I just didn’t care that much about a train of nothing but carbon-black hopper cars to chase it.

At 18:15 CDT, I left the Cypremort train and began to New Iberia via Week’s Island.

I stopped to get a few images of the remaining milepost 17 of the railroad branch, even though the track here was removed nearly two decades ago.

Now, this railroad branch would be much more interesting if the salt mine on Weeks Island still did railroad business!

Apparently, the reason that it doesn’t is that deregulation allowed railroad companies to charge what it actually costs them to move products, and railroads can’t compete for salt business from salt mines that have barge access.

So, here I am by Emma.

This is another place that makes me think of death and hopelessness, though not quite as intensely as Ivanhoe does.

It intensifies my feelings of loneliness.


That’s all for DSLR pictures for this day.

I am hungry.

I have to stop doing that.

I arrived back at the fish bowl at 20:24.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: