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The camera crew and I settled in at this location known so well to habitual readers.
What was not expected was that the west bound Sunset Limited would be backing east bound ... slowly
I questioned this until I saw the damage.
Indeed, the train was returning to New Orleans for repairs.
It hesitated, pulled forward, and then went into reverse again.
Big wheels keep on turning, sometimes in reverse.
Stricken by this revelation, the photographer retreated to more pastoral scenes.
Dateline Mermentau, La.
by Wilbur Lorrington
A new building has been built next to the tracks. Speculation is running rampant amongst the population.
A dumpster complicates the many theories.
It is just east of the Mermentau rail bridge.
It is across the tracks and east of John's Bait and Gas Station (RIP).
In other Mermentau news, ship building is "big business" on the river.
Inspection of the photograph (by staff photographer, Ludwig Arceneaux), reveals the portion of the bridge which opens for river traffic. It seemed small, so Ludwig hired a hot air balloon, (which he inflated by mouth) and surveyed from above.
He concluded that the big boat was not going upriver and wondered why rail bridges, early on in history, placed their opening portions next to a bank where the water depth was shallow. He mentioned observing that in Morgan City before he got beat up, also. (Ludwig is the famed author of "A Study of Louisiana's Rail Trestles and Bridges", currently out of print. (not due to a shortage of ink)
In other Mermentau News, the big pump has now been painted a pleasing teal. Word is that since it is nearing duck season all measures are being made to lure the creatures.
Dateline Elton, Louisiana
by Joyce William
Rail News caravan moved northward to the old rails of the Missouri
Pacific which run from Baton Rouge west to the state line and then on to
who knows where.
The Highway 1130 sign has recently been repainted.
The RXR paint on La.1130 was also repainted which has led to speculative confusion.
The rail crossing has not been used for years. Its history has ties to the lumber industry.
Continuing into town, the crew was amazed at the height of the water tower.
One mentioned that its height was related to elevation. (name withheld).
Another said that it looked higher the closer they got. (name withheld)
A prefab set of rails were seen on the mill property. No one was available for comment.
The old Elton School is falling into disrepair. Too bad it is not on Indian property.
Was this always a garage, one asked. (name withheld)
Lawrence Benoit's warehouse will be celebrating its 100th anniversary Tuesday.
Evidently the new school, quite intelligently, was moved to the Indian's property.
The Coushatta Indians once lived south of Shreveport. They moved to Elton because they could not have a casino in Bible Belt Louisiana, where as, anything goes south of Alexandria.
The crew made tracks out of town headed to Kinder.
Too bad they went in the wrong direction at first.
Rail explanation and photographs by Jamie Louise Trasclair.
The new Kinder overpass is celebrating its 7th year.
Shortly after the parade had cleared our crew set up for their complete survey of this famous overpass and its underlying rails.
Hello, my name is Jamie. I am new at rail explanation so I will not attempt to be technical.
Mister Steve told me to take pictures of the rails and to try to keep them in order.
We came in from Elton which I believe is that way. I'll check.
Looking toward where we came in, this is what I saw. I will not attempt an explanation.
He said that shot was too far away so I had to shoot the little buildings closer.
Then he told me to turn around and shoot the other way toward the famous bridge.
He made me jump the tracks a lot.
Then he told me to walk up on the bridge and take another shot.
That is when I quit.
We at Rail News want to thank Jamie for her work here and
we wish her well in her recent marriage to Leon. (last name withheld)
Legs North, West and South
by Thor Smith
First of all, my name is Thor, got a problem with that?
Enough BS, it's time you understood the Kinder Overpass, 7 years old today.
How's that working for you?
Going north over the new bridge.
Coming back the other way ("going south" for those who don't understand "other way" as "south")
The southbound lane lets you look west.
Well, some people have to be told.
There are no south pictures.
Leon, ask your ....... wife if she has them.
Never mind. I found one looking north from the south side.
That rail going off to the right is headed east for simple minds.
The one that is not headed east is headed north and crosses the east-west rails.
We wish to thank Thor for his contributions, though few.
I know no one who would marry him.
Dateline Iowa Junction
by Terrance Olivier.
From Kinder the crew, though much fewer in number, wanted to return home badly as did I.
Hello, my name is Terrance.
I don't want to writing nothing so I quit, too.
The remainder of this edition of Rail News will be done by the photography editor who wishes to remain nameless. (His parents never named him). (An uncle finally stepped in and named him Nameless).
I don't think it matters much that I told you his name.
Dateline US 90 East
We went east from Iowa Junction which was a bust because Mr. Steve's bridge was gone and much cussing was done but that was not the end of the cussing as he hates horse people and we saw a lot of them in the road. He said they are the same whether you meet them on the road or on a trail. He also asked why they were on a major road when there are miles of gravel roads for them to go up and down. He answered himself, which is pretty common, by explaining their need to be them, total asses which he said they should be riding since they give horses a bad name.
I agree cause I'm paid to.
Down the road ....
A farmer had an offshore rig escape pod. He must be expecting something.
It was at the Noah family farm.
This looked like a big whistle. Wonder what he plans on calling with that?
Mr. Steve said that was enough. That's cool cause I quit too.