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History Hunts Blog

Following Louisiana's & Mississippi's Historic Railroads

Finding the Lumber Mill Railroads

Following the Historic Rails of Mississippi


Yes, the "Communist Broadcasting System" is what they are.
The always left leaning network has gone over the edge. Yes Walter Cronkite, the father-like evening news reader, was a lefty but he had to tether his mouth because we were actually fighting Communists back in his time instead of destroying our defenses in order to placate a Russian government as our new "father", the leftists Obama and Ms Clinton are doing.

What has irked me so this morning is the piece I just watched on CBS's morning show. Its main theme was examining European Socialism and judging it better than our Capitalism. It used images of the Republican candidates attacking Europe's codling Socialist governments. As an example of "socialist governments" they sited Germany and its 5.7 % unemployment. They failed to explain what industries made up that employment and what were government jobs. Indeed, Germany is one of the countries in Europe that is also polarized between the wanting cradle to grave care and those wanting freedom. It is also the country that Hitler, an Austrian, saw as a fertile field. Fascism and Socialism are twins so we know the "hard working" Germans do have a "little weakness". There were pictures of people sitting and drinking coffee on the squares, interviews with lovelies saying how they "don't have to worry" if they have no money, etc., and that no one would want to go to America and leave all the goodies behind, and if they did, "the Republicans would not get their vote".

CBS did not go to Greece or Spain or Great Britain for the riots or ... or ...or did they explain that comparing Germany with the United State is the extreme of comparing "apples with oranges". I could go down the list of the none comparable, but I will not. I'll just mention "demographics". If Germany had to deal with ours, they would immediately declare martial law. Germany is now near reaching that state with the influx of Muslims who are there for what reason, goodies or worse? All is not so glossy in Germany, but CBS leaves you with a vision of heavenly nirvana.

Back to CBS, somewhere Cronkite is grinning because all he wanted to spew is finally being said. May he and his kind, all snakes offering trinkets, rot in hell.

CBS, why don't you move to Europe? Oh, you think you'll be able to help transform our country into a Socialist Dictatorship with government in every nook or our existence? Do you want to be the New Pravda? Americans will be putting you out of business along with NBC, ABC and MSNBC and yes, Obama & Company. Check your ratings.

Tracking the AKDN/ T&P to Ville Platte

This is a large map of the Opelousas rail scene of yore.
Many of the rails seen on it are long gone.
Click it and open in a new window. Set it on the side and
I'll explain a little of what you are looking at.
First, the red lines are my tracks. They are strangely
efficient for a change.

The map above is large. Open in new window and follow along.
Again, The red lines are my route while looking for functioning
AKDN RR engines.

Starting from the east, "Depot Area" marks the location of the
old Missouri Pacific depot. It is now a UP storage and office area.

Moving west and north you see "SP Yard". This is where AKDN
has a large storage yard on what was the Southern Pacific's
route to Chenyville. This map goes back to the 1940's and has
been of great value in tracing old railroads.

Moving west you see "AKDN" . This is the location of the SILX
repair shop and AKDN's headquarters. It is on the old Texas
and Pacific branch that connected Crowley to Bunkie. We will
be going up it.

The Acadiana Railway is an interesting organization.
Their alliances, partners, and plans are mysteries to me.
But, as I said, they are interesting.

That spawned my ride up to Opelousas and on to Ville Platte
to see how things have changed in the month I've been
absent from the area. Also, I wanted to find their engines.

Many were missing and I know where to look.

My first stop was the AKDN mini yard at Statesmen St. (n.w.Opelousas)
Two old tugs and a GE center cab switcher were sitting there.
One was marked as a "robot". They, I do believe, were
stored at the AKDN shop. Why had they been moved?

I'm sure each has its own story. They have not been active.

The little switcher is marked SILX, the repair company
which I feel is strongly bound to AKDN.

I headed to the jumble which is always the scene at the SILX shop.

These 2 have been parked behind the shop for a while.
This is where 1506 was rebuilt. Where it was is a mystery.

The green engine, 4106 was brought in from the west pulled
by a UP train. It was working the SP yard and Louana Oil
for a while. Is it just parked or broken? The next engine,
yellow/green 3018 was the engine which slept at the tank car plant
in Ville Platte. It has been here at the shop for a while.

These 2 seemed to be growing roots. They are UP castoffs.
The fancy black mark outs easily identify them.

The big UP engine parked a the shop to the right has been
there a while. Someone said they thought it had been involved
in an accident.

This is it. "8601".

Below is a huge map of the area and the locations of the
various shots taken in our ride to Ville Platte so that you
may visit and enjoy them in person.

After leaving the AKDN shop, we travel up 3043 to Texas
Eastern Rd., named after the pipeline company whose installation
is on it. A long line of hoppers was stored there, no engines.
This is looking north toward the Tower Rd. Crossing.

This is looking south back toward the 3043 crossing.

This is the Tx Eastern compressor station.
Compressor stations are everywhere in S.La.

Turning onto Tower Rd, this is an old farmstead building
I've shot for years. It may be an old store.

Looking toward the Tower Road Crossing. It is a great place
to take a break. On the map it is noted as "Tower Rd".

South from Tower Rd.

North from Tower Rd. So far I'm picture/ride coordinated perfectly.
From this point staying synced became a job as my uploads
got out of order, a technical problem for which I have no answer.

Nevertheless, straightening out the shots was a 30 minute ordeal.
Of course that work was worth it as each rail shot is so identifiable
from the next. (that was meant to be funny). The railroad
crosses the beginnings of the high plains to the west and further
north marks the boundary between the Mississippi valley/basin
and the Kisatchie Wold, Louisiana's western upland.

This is the jag north off of Rolton Rd. onto Canal Rd. before shot 007.

Looking south or north. I did not have a set pattern so I can't lie.
It is probably south since I was headed to the Rolton crossing which
was south of where I was on Tower which is west of there.
This is so much fun. The end result is that I can now give
directions if you are lost out there.

Looking north since looking south again would be senseless.

This next shot is from Rolton Rd (007). There is a fine rebuilt
trestle there. Is there hope for the branch? I am in sync because
the curve is a landmark. Mark and I visited with the railroad's
manager. He told us that the branch was rarely used. Well,
it was used to get 3018 home unless they took it to Bunkie
and then to Addis and then to Baton Rouge and then to Opelousas.
I bet they came down the old rails from VP to Opel.... I can't
see 3018 making it that far.

Mile Post 30.6 miles from Bunkie.

Exiting Rolton Road, I took this shot. I need to start taking
entrance and exit shots on turnaround roads. That is a suggestion
to all track trackers.

Here I did the right thing.

On the large map you can see "Monastery".
That is where we are. Well, no you can't see it because that's on
another map, the one with road names, the one I'm using.
It's due south of "OO8".

OK, now I'm feeling bad. Here's the HUGE map with the
road names on it. Open this one in a new window or it will
eat your computer. The gray line is the railroad which is not
shown on this newer map. Garmin blew it.

I may check into the monastery. A clincher would be it
AKDN started running regular trains on this stretch.

The shot from Apple Rd.
This is the crossing on "008", Apple Rd.

From here I went west on Apple which curves around to
the north past the monastery and enters this tunnel.

At Dupre I went northeast to the crossing.

Great, now we have a little rhythm going.

From Dupre (009).

Coming back off the hump I turned north west on Eagle.
The road merged with the rails.

Another great tunnel gave some much appreciated shade.
Air temp was pushing 96 and of course the humidity made
it livable if you are a fish.

This is the crossing at Mulberry and Eagle. (I love it when
explanations are senseless and you can confound your readers
with totally irrelevant prose. Feeling perplexed yet?)

This is the M&E shot, No.10.

I then went southwest away from the rails as that was my
only choice. Sorry. But, a bit of humor was observed along
the way. You never know what you will find posted at these
cemeteries. My favorite is "Please call before digging".
This one ranks up there.

"Leave message". You mean I can't talk to a live person?
This is just too "way weird".

This must be a hell of a cemetery. Seems that "working"
is in order to be here and you must have a permit which
we all know is hell to acquire.

Mulberry had turned northwest and met Marks.
I turned northeast on Marks and stopped on the no.11 crossing.

Number 11 North.

Number 11 South.

I had to check to make sure I hadn't duped the shot thus
loosing all credibility as a sincere and knowledgeable reporter.
I turned off Marks onto Hideaway. There is a Hideaway
Motel on a back gravel road west of Washington, La. that
must be infamous. It is surrounded by a galvanized tin sheet
fence to insure your privacy so the public or your wife
won't find you there. "Checking in" is a further safeguard
for entrance through the maze of galvanized switchbacks that
protect the property.

Following rails is not all about the tracks, it's also about the
neat places you can find. I once followed roads. Then I switched
to rivers and bayous. Now it's "rails", seen or imagined.
Different times, different rabbits, different treasures.
Mark, you may want to print this one and hang it on your office door.

Heading across the fields on Hideaway.

Reaching La.103 it was time for Big Joe Road. Here, Acadiana
has a sidetrack. It is at the La.103 crossing.

Looking south. Mark once worked at a storage facility here.

Looking north from La. 103. There's the sidetrack.

After traversing the Frilot Cove neighborhood, we are out on
a really cool motorcycle road, La.1168. It zigs and zags all the way
into Ville Platte. Use it as a leisurely ride. There are driveways
along the route and the residents will come after you if you
represent a danger to their community.

Taken from DeBaillon Plantation Rd. at Belair Cove.

Next is the La.1168 crossing. Hang in there. I know this is
tedious. But, a reward is coming.

Off of 1168, this was shot looking toward VP.

This is looking back south to the previous crossing which is a
reflection of the shot taken from the previous shot to the north.

Here is where we (The AKDN Appreciation Club) often see
cars stored off Gaberille Rd. None were in sight.

Something strange was afoot. I'm telling you, AKDN is
unpredictable and always entertaining.

At Lithcote Drive I went north to the tank car plant looking for
AKDN engines. None were to be seen. The plant's little GE switcher
was hard at work.

An AKDN engine is usually stored at the farm coop, the
orange building. By the way, there is a caboose stored in
the back. It was once an SP caboose and then later one that
belonged to a San Antonio short line. (don't quote me, I told
you about my "factual" retentiveness.

Looking south. Cars were backed up badly at the tank car plant.

I didn't know what to think so I rode on into Ville Platte
to see if the depot was still there. It was, but it has moved
before. It is either the ex Elton or ex Kinder depot. I'm
becoming blurred on my facts since I don't use them much.
Please use these writes as entertainment. If I get corrections
on this thing I'm trowing them in the trash and putting your
address in the Spam Folder forever. So cool it. I don't care
and I have enough facts and fantasies to last a lifetime.

I'd head on out to Cabot, the carbon black plant north of
Ville Platte. Thank goodness. Little 1500 was working.

The fellas came out the back and waved to me. That made
me feel good. Could they have been the ones I met in Crowley?
I think so, they kept yelling for me to take their picture.

That sucker was headed back to Ville Platte. Was it going
to service the tank car plant?

Oh, boy, a chase ensued.

I located myself back at the depot.

I wanted to catch the old freight platform for you. Something
blocked 1500's light. It is a treasure, seen on the right. I've
been up on it. That was memorable.

I had time to shoot a few more.

The depot is near mile post 19.9. Remember 30.6 was back
at the trestle on Rolton, No.7. Say what? You don't care?

Yea, me either.

You can't take a bad shot in Ville Platte.

All aboard.

Dang sun is always messing with me. Well, I guess you can
take a bad shot in VP.

The last time I tried a photo here, a car pulled in front of me.
I prepared for that and crossed the road, so if asked "why
did he cross the road", you'll know. Toward the end of these
writes I get a little delirious and silly. That was an instance
of both. There are others.

The switcher was hard a work. Here came 1500.

She parked next to the coop, the fellas got out with their
ice chests and that was that. I hid so they wouldn't bug me
for more portraits.

The end. All that was left was a hot ride home.