My other sites:

Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads
http://oldrrs-blog.blogspot.com/

My Ride Reports
http://my-ride-reports.blogspot.com/

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads http://lumbermillrrs.blogspot.com/

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi http://mississippirails.blogspot.com/

Southern Pacific Railroad: Carencro, Opelousas & More

Hard to believe it's 2015.  
I've just watched an "end of the world" movie that was suppose to happen in 2012.

That said, I will resist anymore personal reflections as I know they are boring.
 No I won't. 
I'm the only one that actually reads these things so I will continue on in the reality that these musings 
are souly (correct spelling) a personal journal of my meanderings.

Her heart pumping with fresh oil and filter, I hoped upon the bike and headed for the driveway,
my only planned destination.  From that point on it was all freelance.
Having no plan the first place you go if you are an obsessive train nut is the Lafayette yard.
Being there is like being in a toy train shop.


Original 1955  American Flyer..

 I actually remember one on Line Avenue in Shreveport. There was a circumnavigating track layout on the walls of the large room where a train traveled constantly.  Some things you don't forget and replicate. 

So, I was at the Yard.  There were trains but all were dormant as if sleeping in on this Sunday afternoon.
 There had been a lot happening on the radio Sunday morning. 
 It seemed that had all faded and they had gone their own way not to be replaced. 

The following pictures will depict the quiet of the store, I mean "yard".
I had ridden out to Pecan Grove and come back east. 
I did not expect these pictures to work at all due to the sun.





 The picture below is either the location of the old train orders building or it was across the tracks. 
Don't ask how I know that but I do. 
Not many do know that and if you are not reading this you don't either.


 I should  have stopped and taken a picture across the tracks but 
I was afraid the "you know who" eyes were
 watching.and that if taken the pictures would be confiscated in a domestic raid.


 The barn didn't seem to  have anything in it except some maintenance of way vehicles.


 Like I said they were all nestled in bed.


I was at the abandoned rail crossing into the Lafayette Utility System's property.
 Hum, evil thoughts, fight it, fight it.


 Then I saw one coming in from the east. Would it continue west?  On a Sunday I would have chased it to
Lake Charles just for the exercise.  
Yes, "exercise" As I write this I am nursing a full body ache. An explanation, later..


 I tried to follow it as it disappeared behind the boxcars.


 Rumors of upcoming work can be verified.
Those piles are not a  Kinoshita  anatomical sculpture. 
The train stopped dashing any westward plans.


Shifting gears, I fell back on my interest in history and headed north up the old Southern Pacific RR route.
I turned east into old Carencro. The town still contains old homes and a little of its historical downtown.
This had to be a bank. The design can be seen down Old US 90 in Centerville and Patterson.



 These ornate metal sided buildings are the bomb.  The pieces on the front were interesting.
The one on the right had "East" written on the end.
The other pointed, I suppose, west.
Could the patrons be confused when exiting, a precursors to the numbers seen in
our present day parking lots?
I personally think the store's arrows needed some tweaking.


 Drawn to the tracks, as is my undoing, I finally got a picture of the Crossin' Saloon without the dumpsters 
 outside.  I don't think there was an actual crossing here, but the depot was near.  

Carencro was once an important railroad town. 
 It was the home of the Teche Railroad and Sugarcane Co. whose history contains a sorted tale soiling the
 reputation of a fella some believe was a national saint.
I won't tell it here as it might be a prejudiced tale.
A benefactor to this site had expressed his displeasure at the tale's posting.
Stepping on benefactors is a  know no.


 Once a track side business.
The depot of the Tech RR & S Co. was down the street.


 I checked on one of my landmarks, the old store / home. 
I once saw the couple unloading their groceries there. 
 It  has a falling down wooden clothes line on the opposite side. 
I should have shot it.
"Wooden" is what makes it historical.


 I always shoot the Carencro double track trestle when in town. 
I  never know when it will be the last time for it or me. 
The coulee beneath it eventually flows south and joins the Vermillion River.
 It again crosses the abandoned railroad right of way on its way to the river.
 I should see if another trestle is there. SP did not tear up all of their bridges on the Alex Branch. 
I would later find a hidden one, the absolute high point of this ride.


 Below is an areal of the double trestle.


 Next is the mentioned second location following that stream. 
From what I can see ... bingo.  Getting to it will require guts and determination. 
It will be a test as I will be misunderstood and questioned.
Possibly that is occurring now.


Next, I went north to Sunset.
I think I've shot everything of interest in Sunset. I followed the old rail route north along La.178.


 Where the blue dashes cross the "tracks" I found IT.
You will not see it come Spring.


 The trestle crosses Bayou Bourbeux, yes, the same bayou that names the locally famous Civil War 
battle won by my favorite general. 


 Suddenly I had an urge to be at the abandoned sewage disposal site in Opelousas.  
Was it the color of the water above?
You always find sewage plants track side. 
I could do a whole write on that subject.
I have never seen a railroading article written on that subject.
How can this facet be ignored?

It is slowly being dismantled and there seems to be an EPA soil replacement program going on. 
Could the soil be toxic? Do tell.


 It sits in the midst of an an important rail interchange. The T&P RR and its local prior, the Opelousas Gulf and North East, as well as the Southern Pacific, all merged here. As Mark's dad once remarked, "It was probably a busy place". That is Railroad Ave. crossing the tracks. 
RR Ave follows the SP RR, Alex Branch, top to bottom in Opelousas.


 Momentarily, it would again be busy.
 





 The train was moving very slowly. 
I considered chasing it but I wanted to check on the AKDN  shop first in hopes there was a rock train there.  And, I figured the auto train  would beat me across Opelousas, anyway.

This shot was taken from the Texas & Pacific RR crossing on Guidry St.  
There was once a signal out in that field which  has been removed.
 I wonder where it went. 
I'd guess that it is "city property" and the historic signal has met the recyclers.  
I was going to take it but I was told it probably weighed in at 500 pounds.


 AKDN was as dead as the Lafayette Yard. 
Either they are processing their stash or hiding it better.


The aggregate business is growing. This shot could be of southwest Texas except for the water.



These black kids (big ones) had yelled at me when I was going down Guidry St.
I considered avoiding them and returning by a different route but ditched that. I will not let these punks take
 away my freedom.   On the way to the OK Corral I shot this relic from the Atomic Age, an old bomb
 shelter. They cost 900 dollars in the 1950's or 1960's when we thought Russia was going to do us in.
The urchins had scattered as rumors of my return spread through the neighborhood.
All had left their porches, closed the doors and drawn the curtains.
My reputation had obviously preceded me.


 It was getting late and I can't do my road in the dark so I was rushing home 
The parish has done patch work which makes it a death trap for motorcyclist in the dark.
I have almost gone down hitting one of those long lateral patches.

 I headed down La.743 along the Little Teche and wham, there was the auto train. 
I have no will power.
 I had to chase it. 
I reversed and went back up the long road to US 190 and nailed it east.




Bet you didn't know Charlie Daniels lives near.


This picture from GE. It is of the tracks crossing the Little Teche next to 743.
No, I hadn't stopped. I was in full "Chase".


It would beat me through Port Barre. It didn't have traffic lights.
 I did.


It was going slowly through Opelousas because it had a "meet" with a westbound train at Port Barre.
This is at the La.741 Crossing.
I could now choose my spot.  I went to the first crossing without a "private" sign.


 There was a tall fella taking a picture of old RR stuff. 
Being birds of a feather I joined him.


 Here it came. I had to let it pass since I was on the trapped side of the tracks where 
I wanted to be so no comments on my planning.




I hadn't realized I was on private property as the sign was sideways to me coming in.
Some people just don't think.
The parade of rail companies would begin.











 By a nose it beat me to the Courtableau Bridge.






  This is the picture I wanted with the engines.  Not bad for a 70 mph side shot.


 I found myself in Krotz Springs with the sun sinking. 
I was on the wrong side of the tracks and the sun had its way with my poorly planned shots 
and I 'd had all the time in the world to figure it out. Duh.




And so it went. 
I fought a horrible south cross wind going home. 
I actually wondered if I was going to make it across the raised portions of  US 190.
I felt like a golf ball on a tee with some novice taking power swipes at me.
Laying low in the saddle helped with the extreme buffeting. 
It was so bad I actually heard roaring. 
Reaching the protective trees of the Teche was a relief as is finishing this entry.
My body still aches from the fight with the violently yawing motorcycle.

More coffee please.