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Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads

My Ride Reports

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi

Train Chase: Yard to Yard to Yard

I went to Pecan Grove Road and look what was coming.
I heard there were cars being picked up around Crowley.

I can't tell one engine from another and these are my closest matches.

They'd park it in the Lafayette Yard.

Then I was off to Crowley. A train was pulling out of the
sidetrack east of town. I think I'd let the Amtrak sneak
by me. It is so quiet and if there are no road crossing, then
she can be very stealth.

I was ready for a chase.

I had a good lead and was able to set up for this classic
shot of a train entering Esterwood. The water tower
is a landmark.

My pictures get a little out of sequence. I believe I found
this between Scott and Duson on US 90. The cover is
behind the building, not on top of it. I knew I was going to
get questions on that.

Past Esterwood the chase continued.

I was far enough ahead I had a chance to duck in at the
Mermentau River and take these shots. I've yet to get a
good one here, but I keep trying.

The river was high and falling in bothers me.

At Jennings I set up across the tracks from an old dryer.
Train pictures need interesting backgrounds.

The camera fired off another impromptu shot.

She stretched out into Jennings. I was not going to let up.
I had an idea for a short cut and took it.

By Roanoke I'd caught her again.

I shadowed her across the plains.

At Iowa Junction I topped the US 165 overpass and parked.
The cops were eating at some restaurant down the way.

At Packing House Rd, east of Lake Charles, here she came.

I'd go to the Lake Charles yard and wait for her.
The old buildings are so sad.

Here's the old depot location.

Here she crawled along.

From the depot I shot west while I waited. That's the
Calcasieu rail bridge down the way.

She unhooked all of her cars.

And went across the street.

And stopped.

And went back east. I lost interest and was headed home
until I came to another set of track. Wow. I was at Mallard Junction.
For old times sake, I'd go check it out.

The thrill was gone. A fog of "been there done that" overtook me.

Then I saw a light down the tracks which at one time had
led to Lake Arthur.

There were businesses in the industrial park that were
served by the railroad. I spent way to much time here.

I went around to 397 and rode south to where the MP
had crossed the road and gone west through what is now
the airport runway. I'd have to investigate that engine.

It got closer and backed away. I supposed it was switching
for the business I'd just come from.

Sure nuff. But it wasn't exactly switching. It was shoving
and letting them roll into place.

I misread the letters, finally getting it right.

They were HLCX.

It had been UP.

Now she was shoving in Lake Charles.

I'd had enough shoving and headed home. West of Duson
I had stopped and tried to refuel my very tired body.
I heard horns and thought it was the Sunset Limited Amtrak.
Nope, another freight.

Back at the Lafayette Yard the two I'd first seen sat. I could
hear them running. Had they been running for hours?

On into the yard I saw this one, an Illinois Central Engine.
I don't see many of those. I immediately recognized it as
a SD 70.

Then to top off the day, the Sunset was at the Depot.
Not bad. By the way, they get supper here. I saw them
being delivered to the cab but my camera had a problem.

I grabbed the other camera. 68 needs some cosmetic attention.

It didn't hit me at the time because I was fried, but ......

Yea, my butt was fried, too, but .....
The baggage car is not next to the engines. There is a passenger
car next to the engine which would put it segregated away from
the other passenger cars. There's always something different.
There will be old cars attached, or this or that.
Here again, another question.
Chasing these trains may seem like repetitious insanity,
and it is, so are Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons,
but, we keep watching them. Case (and this chase) Closed!!
Oops: there's been an addition by Agent OO-L

OO-L says, first, regarding the "pushing engine" at Lake Charles:

In case you don't know, the reporting marks HLCX (among others) belong to Helm Financial Corporation. Helm buys lots of cast-off locos from the big railways, then leases them out to anyone who needs them, including sometimes the big railways.

Then regarding the picture above:
The Amtrak Superliner coach between the motive power and the baggage car might have been in transit to an assigned base on the West Coast. It wouldn't have been in use, separated from the rest of the coaches like that. Even if the upper-level end doors of Superliners would connect with the end doors of low-level cars (which they don't), the passengers wouldn't be allowed to roam through the baggage car. Amtrak's main car shop is at Beech Grove, Indiana. Cars that have been damaged go there for repair, and all go there once in a coon's age for interior refurbishment.

Me: Hope to see y'all again before that coon's life expires.