December 2013 Sampler

by Jim on 2023/12/01

Greetings, and welcome to the December 2013 Sampler essay.  December 2013 was a period of transition in my life, as I finally permanently left the employer at which I had had my greatest professional – and even personal – success after sputtering for more than three years after burning out.

I didn’t use my DSLR cameras until almost halfway into the month.

Saturday, The 14th

Here is the eastbound Union Pacific Railroad Z train on CSX trackage, as seen from Alvar Street, my first train picture since before Thanksgiving and the first time since July that I climb on top of my truck for a picture.  Notice the second block of refrigerator cars farther back in the train.

It’ll get better.  I had one more week to go at what had become a sad, painful, and decently-paying experience.

Saturday, The 21st

I remember the day that preceded this day more than I remember this day, for this day was significant because of the significance of what happened on the day that preceded it.

I was free, or so I thought.  As it eventuated a few years later, I fought more out of necessity, and it made me suicidal.

Sunday, The 22nd

It was time to go home.  So, that’s what I did.

I found this scene at the Raceland Proper track interesting, because it suggested that some proper care was coming to this long-neglected track, which suggested that there would be future use for it.

There would be, but we would not see for what purpose for a few months.

Monday, The 23rd

So, on 23 December 2003, I made one of the most memorable train chases of my life, along my beloved Lockport Branch.  Ten years to the day later, with the Lockport Branch dormant, I decided to shadow the Louisiana & Delta Railroad’s Schriever Job to document how much had changed in a decade.  Obviously, the train wasn’t going down the Lockport Branch on this day, but I photographed some action at the beginning of the branch.

I miss the Lockport Branch and what trains looked like in those days greatly.

Friday, The 27th

Here is a view of some loaded pipe gondola cars on CSX job Y105 delivering to New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s France Yard behind slug CSXT 2353 and locomotive CSXT 6953.

I like visible loads on railroad cars.

Tuesday, The 31st

Five years to the day after I ended the year with pictures of nearby trains, I end the year on this cold, dark, and wet day at what is, for me, a very special place.

I miss that whistle.


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