Three Westbound Trains At Schriever, A High Nose, And A Derailment – 7 December 2003

by Jim on 2023/12/07

Sunday 7 December 2003 was a very noteworthy day in an action-packed weekend.  Two days before, on Friday 5 December 2003, I photographed the ML 14 arriving late in Raceland due to it being the replacement locomotive that day.  The next day, Saturday 6 December 2003, I took some pictures in some locations west of home where I had never photographed before as the same Louisiana & Delta Railroad Schriever Job worked westward from Schriever.

This day started with the Sunday Sermon at Schriever, where I arrived at approximately 09:35 as it was very cloudy. However, patience is virtue. The Mathews Foamer showed up, as promised.

On the Avondale radio, I heard a westbound train at Avondale get a track warrant from CTC Live Oak all the way to the station sign at Lafayette Yard! Wow! That is a track warrant for the whole trip. There must be no eastbound trains anywhere.

About an hour later, we were rewarded with a parting of the clouds.  The sun was shining upon us, and the westbound train was approaching.  At 10:45, we see Union Pacific Railroad train I-ATCI (Intermodal – Atlanta, Georgia, to City of Industry, California), led by CEFX 3126 and CSXT 9017; it had three Tropicana refrigerator cars and 212 axles.

Then, we heard that another westbound train was at milepost 38.  So, we stuck around.

At 11:05, a westbound manifest train, UP’s MNOEWB-06 with 100 cars on 412 axles, shows up behind NS 8701 and NS 8718, both GE C40-8s.

At 11:17, we heard a KCS 657 getting authority from Baton Rouge to Frellsen Junction.  Well, that would be nice to see, but we’re rather far away from that.

So, here I am, and I will just get a car shot.

That is a good old Burlington Northern open-top hopper car in Maintenance-Of-Way service, parked in a storage track in Schriever.

I returned to the house and posted information of my sightings for this day so far onto the board.

I returned to the track hours later, and two very noteworthy things happened: I learned that the train just photographed, the MNOEWB-06, derailed upon striking a trailer stuck on a railroad crossing at Midland, and I witnessed something I had not seen in years, since I was a child: a road train led by a high-nosed locomotive.

At 16:10, a westbound UP train passed through Schriever. The lead locomotive was NS 3205, a high-nose SD40-2 of Southern Railway heritage. The second locomotive was NS 1615, a high-nose SD40-2 of Norfolk & Western Railway heritage. The third locomotive was a patched Rio Grande tunnel motor! The fourth locomotive was a patched Cotton Belt thing!

This was the MNOHO-05, and it had more than 500 axles, quite big.  This is the kind of locomotive consist that you chase until it gets dark, but I don’t think that I did that.  I also wonder what the crew thought of being assigned to this high-nose locomotive!

The dispatcher told this train about the derailment of the MNOEWB at Midland, which, apparently, is how I learned of the derailment.  The dispatcher told the MNOHO that it would meet an eastbound train at Bayou Sale and that then she would take them to Baldwin, apparently to tie down.

Casey Leblanc wrote, “While out and about today with the wife and kids, I heard the BNSF dispatcher talking to a train that was to shove back to the siding at Crowley. She was asking if the rear car was ridable for the conductor.”

Perry reported that “the 10pm news” television reports stated that two locomotives and 13 cars derailed with, thankfully, no injuries to the crew. 

Well, this was certainly an interesting day!  I wish that I could have gotten more views of that power consist on that MNOHO.

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned to see what I got the next day.


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