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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

Black and Whites

No not police cars, no not pictures in grayscale.
Maybe one since  the color was way off.
I plead that my camera had been whacked and was out of whack.

Though this train chase may seem plain  in its worth, it was fun as the rabbit kept running but never too quickly. I was able to hang with it  from New Iberia to Crowley where it rolled over. I was prepared to go to Iowa Junction and looked forward to the test since I've been "poorly" lately and needed a good hard slap in the face challenge. My Lord am I glad it stopped in Crowley.

There are nothing but location shots of the train in this one. I have at least cut the number to the bare bone as with this kind of report less is more, or so I've been told. Choosing the best ones is half the fun. Realizing there is no best one is a bummer.  The camera gets a "reset to default"  kick in the pants asap. Evidently I have tweaked it into something less than its former self or it's in a state of rebellion.

On with t he ride.
New Iberia

The Black and Whites strolled into town on a hot Saturday afternoon.

 I took 182 to Broussard and then onto the Evangeline Thruway into Lafayette.
I headed to Alligator Point.
 From the parking lot you have a perfect shot down the rails and at the uphill turn into Lafayette.
 Turning around ..... there they went toward the depot.
 In the west yard the B&Ws went under Ambassador. Caffery Parkway which is anything but a "park way".
 The turn out of the yard makes a good shot.
 The Train Kept -A Rolling. That's a link. Learn something.

Out onto the Plains: Scott to Rayne

 Behind the restaurant next to Depot Park.
The B&Ws parked for a moment at Depot Park.
Sheriff's Deputy Thad made them move.
Approaching the US 90 Overpass
The meet at Elenor Rd. commenced.  
The song "Elenor" has these words in it, 
"When that train rolls by I will save your life".
I have no idea what it is doing in that song.

 I was 300 yards away. What you  looking at dude? Oh, me taking a pic of you, hi there.

I waited at the Crowley Southern Pacific Depot.
I tried to buy a ticket.  Evidently they were still out to lunch.
The Black and Whites did not show.
I went out on the tracks and shot back toward the meet.
The Black and Whites had settled down (tied down) on the west end of the Crowley side track.
 Evidently the race had been too much for them and they needed a nap.
A car was sent for the out of work crew.
Moral of the Story:
Black or White or Both
 Sorry, there is no moral. It was a dumb train chase.

Eunice to Mamou (Ebeneezer 4&5)

 No, this is not a Bible story. Ebeneezer is a community southeast of Crowley.  Forget about Ebeneezer.
This is an important historical document I had to resurrect because I need it as a link in the new Southern Pacific RR article which I've become disenchanted with and won't finish but nevertheless I need this link as damaged as it is. That should get posted tonight sometime.  It was going to be my last blow out historical hunt article but I blew out before it was done, losing complete interest in the whole thing.
But on to this one since it's needed  on the last line or two.

First of all, to save me the pain of drawing new maps, the Texas & Pacific RR did not go to Mamou from Eunice. The Rock Island and Southern Pacific railroads did. Carry on if you can.

Here  ya go.  Consider in the following the fact that I had an out of body experience. 
Modern medicine has corrected that.
In the last chapter of the Ebenezer Adventure and having already been to Ebenezer, Steve was headed out of Iota going north toward Eunice on La.91. I'll be reading from his notes and translating them, if possible. La.91, north of Iota is a pretty good road. It gets you where you want to go, 
but it is not boring, something you should get ready for.

I remember when he was following the old Southern Pacific Railroad right of way.  East of  La.91, he took some pretty dusty back roads that got the job done, but were none too fun. 
I wouldn't have gone down any gravel.

He said that going through south Eunice he had the luck to  precede the MLK parade  for seven blocks. He told some politically incorrect story about that experience which I can't repeat, being, myself, politically correct. I found him quite agitated with that portion of the trip. 
I'm guessing that babies running into the street would be agitating.

He said that, finally leaving the parade route, he'd been bitten by the railroad bug again, mentioning that Eunice has that effect. For some reason he got it in his head that he wanted to do a better job of exploring the fields between Eunice and Mamou. Here's something about the Rock Island and the Southern Pacific had both traveled north from Eunice to the the home of Fred's Lounge, my interest, in Mamou. He started taking pictures. First was a trestle over Bayou des Cannes, just north of Eunice. It ain't that picturesque, further exemplifying his great talent as a photographer as he sees himself.
Edit: This is the Rock Island bridge.

I thought that was a pretty good picture, too, I hate to admit. Steve knows where all these pictures were taken, but I have no clue. I'll look at them and if any look any good, I'll post them. I don't know where the heck he is, which is good. If he was around he'd have me post them all. He had this one in the Rock Island stack, so I guess that's what it is. I suppose it's the old bed of the Rock Island RR on the way to Mamou? A chilling picture, he'd say. Each to his own.

He has this one listed as La.374, Fenris, La. He mentioned that Fenris had a station. I've been through there and I didn't see any station. It's right off La.13, the main highway out of Eunice headed to Mamou if you want to look at a road patch.

Then he has this map with the other railroad line on it, the Southern Pacific, the green line.
I don't get it, but that's what he's into.

Edit: Remember, every time you see "T&P", think "SP".
I fired that guy a long time ago.

He told me that he was all excited that School House Road followed the old Southern Pacific line. He said he found a Katrina era trailer house campground. All the water lines were still there. Oh, you might not know this, but the displaced residents of New Orleans lived everywhere land could be found for trailer parks. This dusty road in the middle of nowhere along a deserted rail bed seemed to be the place the gov wanted to put them. Good choice. I don't think it has a future as a resort. It could be turned into free housing for illegal aliens if Obama's people think of it. Please don't mention this idea, I'm just the surrogate here and Steve will kick my butt if he finds out I said that. I don't think he's even going to read this.

Pretty flat out there. What is that silver thing? Looks like one of those cookie cutter water towers he was talking about back in Estherwood. As turned around as he gets, it could be Estherwood.

I think this is pretty useless, but he wanted these GE maps included, starting at Eunice and moving to the north, ending in Mamou. Evidently two old lines came in from the south, and 1 old line left.

See the "T&P" on the map (should read "SP") by the yellow stick pin, maybe it was a storage yard? I doubt if Steve knew. Could I be getting interested in this junk? Doubtful. The white line is his attempt to follow whatever. The red line, he said, is the Rock Island, leaving Eunice and shadowing the Southern Pacific in green.  The Southern Pacific ended in Mamou.

That trestle picture was taken where you see "RI Trestle". That picture was about as good as it gets on this one, so lower your expectations if they haven't already self lowered.

Next, you see Mamou. The meandering white line is him, again. Notice a "TP" again noted on the Google Earth map where the Southern Pacific, green line, enters town. The Rock Island enters to the west and exits. The T&P comes in on Railroad Street. How far it followed the street, he has no idea. Then it stopped. Where? Who cares?

Here are a few "industry" pictures he took up and down the RI bed.
Imagination switched on? He should have drawn them in. Whatever.

This is the Rock Island coming from Eunice.

Turn around and this is what you'll see. Notice one of the old dryers is being torn down, very sad. Join me at Fred's so we can get sloppy drunk commiserating lost rice facilities in southwest La. Another good drinking excuse is to commiserate lost sugarcane mills. If that doesn't work we can talk about lost hair.

He's also into these tin buildings. There will be more.
This one was on the RI rails. Look, I'm just reading his notes. 

OK, that's it, I hope he changes his mind and comes back because writing these things sucks. But, he hired me when no one else would, know how that goes. He has more boxes of pictures for me to post labeled Lindsay Downs, Lawtell and Leonville. I don't know. I may quit, too. Later, Fred.

Next Page:

Hi. I'm Fred. Steve called in and told me to finish this thing before I could quit.

Where did I leave off?

Here's the map of the next stretch of his seemingly mindless ride. He said he was done with the railroad stuff in Mamou. I failed to ask how long it took him to come to the conclusion that there is so much, and then that's it. He gets stuck in ruts and then wonders why no one reads these things. Below is the map. He said the ride wasn't doing much for him either and headed home as directly as he could. I think US 190 was the direct route and it got intolerable so he tried an alternative route but the bridge was out and he had to return to 190 at Lawtell.

Being in Lawtell, a rare occurrence, he decided to take a few pictures of the disappearing history along US 190. I'll throw up the pictures, as directed. I'm really not paid enough to do extensive diagnostic evaluations and that only results in negative feedback or none at all, anyway. When I took this job, I insisted on no goofy guest book. But there it remains, a useless dust receptacle.

Here is a what remains of Lawtell. By the way, there was a United Gas Pipeline camp where the employees lived back off the main street. I remember visiting there. He told me not to mention anything personal. I don't care, I'm quitting after this one, anyway if he doesn't pay me more.

This is a grocery store. He told me to put something. Looks like camping is allowed. So, everyone, let's pitch our tents in Lawtell.

Here's some rental place. It has a T&P generator out front. I wonder if China stole the name of that once proud railroad? Mike is not going to be happy. He's Steve's problem, I just work here.

He evidently likes old service stations. Old, rotting, disappeared stuff, what's the deal?

Across the street was a large combination service station and garage?
Looks like a big workshop on the back. My guess. I'm sure I'll hear repercussions for guessing.

Down the way was a mill or something. He knows people who'd know, but tee hee, he ain't here. Hold the phone, one of his buddies just called in and said it was a lumber mill. That led to a lot of ancillary information about a museum, 3 honky tonks, wild nights in the late 50's and 60's and a discussion of the youth of today. I couldn't get her off the phone. I took notes as directed by the caller. She said if I didn't she'd come meet me and I believed her.

I'd say this was an old bank.

Looks like it did pretty well and they had to expand the vault.

He usually looks pretty close at these old building and tries to figure out the story on them. Either he didn't this time or has just blown all that off? Here's another of his tin buildings.

And one of his signature old houses. I didn't know there were any left that he hadn't shot yet.

That's it for my Lawtell assignment. I see I forgot to show his Lindsay Downs shots. Here they are. On the note he says this is the place he won his first and last motorcycle race and that the owner let him in since he told him that he was a past celebrity.

He told me he climbed this thing.

I don't think he climbed it too far. He doesn't really lie, but tweaks the truth, it's maddening. Out there somewhere, he says, was the spot where he won the motocross race, crashing on the second one, being run over, and dragged for a full lap behind a Hondaka 2000.

I, personally, think that's a bunch of........

So does that Longhorn, seen out there.
He'd probably thinks that about this page, too.
Steve had a box of Leonville shots. He can post them if he wants. Enough is enough.

To read the Ebenezer Ride again, from the start, if you are a masochist, CLICK HERE. No, you can't, he got _issed and blew up that whole blog putting Mervin, his surrogate over there, out of business. If you hang around here, you better wear a hard hat since he says he's going to blow this one up too. I'm out of here, sincerely, Fred.

I have to step in. 
Fred left out a bunch of pictures I (me) think are important. 
Better Maps

Starting in Eunice North
I'm going to feature the Southern Pacific that ran up Burk Manuel Rd.
The Rock Island stuck next to La.13 and is not very interesting.
Panning down you can see the historic rail layout in Eunice.
The Texas & Pacific came down from the north east, crossed Duson and ended
on Bernice Street, a place I need to visit. I had guess that it made it that far.
The SP came in from Midland on US 90 along Duson St. 
Active rails to this day can be seen to its east.
Those are the historic rails of the Missouri Pacific coming in from Crowley still
used by the Acadiana Railroad. (AKDN).
 Going north from Eunice the rails cross Soileau (swallow) Rd.
 Then they cross the Ferris Rd.
 Then they ran along Old School House Rd. where the Katrina camp was.
 Then they entered Mamou.
The SP had a wye to turn around.
The Rock Island kept going north up La.13 until it reached LeCompte 
and ultimately LaMourie where it ran alongside the T&P into Alexandria.
Pictures of the places along the rails.

Above the present Union Pacific  east - west rails is this mill.
As far as I can tell it was on the Southern Pacific.


 Moving north, this is the La.29 crossing.
The T&P, going to Ville Platte, followed this highway.
This is shortly after it meets La.13.
 This road leaves La.29 going north to meet the SP right of way.
 This structure was on the right of way.
I should have looked closer.
I was standing on the rail bed.
 Looking north.

There it goes north to cross the bayou which the Rock Island did.
 Here it crosses Soileau Rd.

The SP rails joined Old School House.

The SP enters south Mamou.

I then turned around and went south on La.13.
I got off on one of the dirt roads and try to find what I'd missed.

This was a moment.

 I was back here looking back toward Mamou.
 Heading back toward Eunice.

 Approaching the bayou from the north.
 Heading east on Soileau Rd.
That's it.