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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

More Southeast Louisiana Train Watching

Everyone was headed off to Somewhereelse.

They  had asked, "Are you going for a ride"? 

I hadn't planned to since that scene just doesn't blow my skirt up anymore.

And, I've lost interest in sharing my adventures, hence,

I don't adventure much unless I have a personal quest.

And, that doesn't happen often since my "idea factory"  seems to have moved overseas with the rest of them.

I think I'll blame it on Obama. He's screwed up everything, why not my zest for the unknown.

I suppose there is a point where reality squashes imagination.

Nevertheless ..... 

Feeling guilty for not taking advantage, I did take the old street / dirt bike out of the shed with the idea of

riding over to Arcola just to play the game, "Find a Train", one of the few games I enjoy.. 

I doubted there would be one as the magic I had, making trains appear from thin air,  seems to have passed

away with the enjoyment of finding them.

I guess that was an unnecessary statement because "interest" and "magic" are, of course, interlocked.

I'm never right about most things, so, yes, there was a southbound train sitting on the Arclola tracks.

I knew why it had reclined..

The northbound "City of New Orleans" was coming through, quickly,  headed for Chicago.

Not having another destination and the arrival of the passenger train, being the highlight of

being  in Arcola, I decided to settle in as the wait would not be long, I guessed.

It was short, as will be this report.

Below is the areal view of Arcola.

The "arrow shaped" building on the left is pointing to where I'd choose to take my best shot, Railroad. Ave.

"Railroad Ave(s)" are where most of the depots could be found.

Speaking of, the original Arcola depot still exists. It is on private property in Amite. La.

Shrubs and trees block its view so don't waste your time unless you want to approach the landowner.

Railroad Ave. has declined in magnificence, maybe?  It is now a 2 rut gravel road which serves 2 or 3 houses.

My bike is very quiet and it doesn't  awake Fido, the leopard skinned Rottweiler with mangled teeth.

The word is that he likes to chew on railroad spikes after he pulls them up.  


Below is the areal zoomed out. A Purina plant. is catty cornered to the 1048 road sign.
I'd go there to get my first shot of the Canadian National train.

Panning right from the shot above, the plant comes into focus.


It is a client of the railroad. It seems most feed stores, back in the day, were, likewise.


I did not want to use the Purina driveway when the much more private RR. Ave. was available.
Fido is content hearing trains come by, so my chances were good not to upset him.


There she sat.  Look, red engines are scarce in my part of the country, so even this cookie cutter tug has
some significance, to me.  I understand that the Canadian National company is not that popular on
several levels.  American companies do business in Canada, why not a Canadian, here?  They, at least,
share a lot of facets with us.

Zooming in you can see the Purina spur leaving the main track.


Then the racket began.  As usual my shot was ill timed and ill positioned.
I shrugged it off and whipped around for the finale.

I had slipped prior to the first shot and was sitting on my butt assuming a professional photographer's pose.
Sitting there I could feel the ground moving as the train rumbled by.
I was safely away from the train, baring a derailment.  Still, what we children of the 60's explain as a "rush",
occurred.  I'd suggest roller coasters over sitting too close to a passing train if in need of a "rush".

Then I blew the last "cool shot" I could think to take.  The switch flag got in the way.
But, upon reviewing my shots this morning, I saw what is pretty cool or I'm imagining  it.
Matters not..

The two seemed to be talking to the engineer, the lady in blue handing something out.


I reflected on what was a ritual at depots, the vendors.


Food, trinkets, mementos, etc, were offered.
When I was in Mexico, similar scenes could be found  in bus stations as the windows opened.


The train moved on, the cab smelling of fried chicken, honey ham, or, possibly,  barbecue.

As they passed they honked, beep beep,  and threw a shredded drumstick at me.
Damn Chinooks.


Somewhat feeling anti climatic, I zigzagged my way back to base camp.
I've been interested in coon hunting for a while, but never pursued it since I couldn't associate with the activity.

Seems that problem has been solved.
Never fear, coons. You are probably safe.
For those not in tune, that is not a coon.   That's a dog and a tree, not in the usual relationship known to most.

The correct spelling of the parish can all also be seen here as the pronunciation varies from quarter to quarter.
How they get "fah" out of "pa" is a mystery.  It's "American Indian", so who knows.

Back on the other side of Baton Rouge, there is this little country church.  I photograph them whenever.


Another disappearing structure is the cane loading ramp.
There is one on the main highway but it is falling apart.
I'm not real sure how it worked, but I know it can't be too complicated.

I'd say that the cart rolled up on the ramp and it was tilted onto that ramp, and the cut cane fell into a large truck or ....... or ....... or ........ a train car. Probably not, but in my world, sometimes, imagination rules.

That's it from Arcola, Louisiana, above New Orleans, Ponchatoula, Hammond, Independence, and Amite City and a few shots from West Baton Rouge Parish.