We’ll shift gears again. Here’s a view taken from roughly the center of the L&N Railroad’s Gentilly yard in New Orleans, Louisiana back in the early 1960s. My dad took me here several times to do a little railfanning. In those days the rail crews didn’t seem to mind that you were in the middle of their yard as long as you stayed put in a safe space.
Off to the right you can catch a glimpse of the locomotive servicing area. The arch on the turntable is visible, and just a tad of the brick roundhouse can be seen at the edge of the image. The top of the sand tower is visible just above the blue boxcar.
I thought I’d throw in a couple detail images of the #124. In this closeup of the steamer’s running gear we see the piston rod, and the crosshead and guide, along with the main rod which connects to the number three driver. It’s been a long time since this old girl has seen a steam/hot water bath, much less a paint job!
And here slightly right of center, we see the details of the water injector, along with the upper section of the air pump, below left. At the top right (just in front of the cab) is the dynamo (the steam driven electrical generator). As bad as she looks, she is still functional.
Here’s another image of the Standard Gravel Company’s #124, an ex-T&NO (SP) 0-6-0 steamer, switching cars near the loading hopper. The company hauled the loaded gondolas and hoppers to the GM&O interchange a short distance away.
The Standard Gravel Company used a number of steamers up through the 1960s. Here are a couple tired old ex-T&NO (SP) 0-6-0 switchers still in service at the pit near Franklinton, Louisiana in 1965. Engine #124 on the left has finished its work for the morning and rests patiently while the crew goes to lunch. If you look closely, you’ll notice the tender tank is upside down. The tender was leaking badly and some enterprising soul solved the problem by inverting the tank, modifying it as necessary. The engine #156 on the right has one of the unusual “sausage” tenders that the SP used.
Jim Six has been a model railroader since he was a kid (as have I). Since we’re both the same age, I can tell you, that’s a lot of years! Jim has been a prolific modeler over these years, and many of you have probably come across at least a few of the many modeling articles that he has produced in various model railroading magazines.
Jim recently retired and he has decided to re-think his layout. Part of that thought led him to make the decision to redo (and scale down) what he was in the midst of doing. And another major change was his decision to move to an earlier time frame for his modeling. He decided on the year 1927, and his plan is to model a single town, Sturgis, Michigan.
One of the bi-products of this era decision was the realization that much of his rolling stock was just too modern for his 1927 date. Jim participates in the Model Railroad Hobbyist forum, and has shown photos of several of his inexpensive, but beautifully weathered cars. One of the cars that he has shown is a New York Central gondola. It’s an Accurail kit, and the only modification to it was to substitute metal stirrups on the corners for the stock cast on plastic ones. He also equipped the car with the smaller size Kadee couplers. But the big addition was the weathering job that he did on the car. This is proof of something that I’ve believed for a long time: even an inexpensive plastic car with all it’s cast on grab irons, ladders, etc. can still look wonderful at normal viewing distances if you know how to paint and weather the car. The photo below is that car.
Jim has done quite a few cars like this, and all the photos I’ve seen of them look absolutely wonderful. But here’s the best part (for me). Jim and I have struck up a long distance friendship, and he recently gifted me this “too modern” NYC gondola as a “birthday present”. It arrived early this week and I’m totally elated with it. And I think it looks even better than the photo. I’m proud to be the new owner of this car, and it’ll one day see service on the Louisiana Central.
The Union Pacific Railroad ran an excursion special between Houston and College Station, Texas back in the summer of 1995. At the point was steam locomotive No. 3985, a 4-6-6-4 Challenger. It is currently the largest operating steam locomotive in the country. Here she is pulling the train on the return leg of the journey heading toward Houston.
The Texas State Railroad, a Texas State Park, frequently runs steam powered trains on its system. Locomotive No. 500, a 4-6-2 Pacific of AT&SF heritage, is shown here rounding a bend in the late afternoon as she heads toward Palestine, Texas with its train in tow.
Today marks the 7th anniversary of this blog . . . my how time flies!
As a little change of pace, I thought I’d post a few photos taken during some steam excursions that I was fortunate to participate in.
In the early 1970s the Southern Railway ran a series of steam powered excursion trains throughout its system. Steam locomotive No. 722, of a 2-8-0 wheel arrangement, is shown here heading for New Orleans from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Mr. Walter Dove, a long time employee of the Southern, is at the throttle.
The east end of the Illinois Central’s (now Canadian National) Hammond District ends at the McComb District in Hammond, Louisiana. This signal controls entry from this east-west line into the north-south mainline heading up to Chicago.
Another study, I liked this stack of old jointed rails that I spied in the Texas and Pacific yard at Addis, Louisiana.
A bit of whimsy . . . an old switch stand at the former General Services Administration (GSA) depot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The fourth in this series of photographs, this scene is also at the old Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad station (now the the Louisiana Art and Science Museum) located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
For many years an old former Illinois Central 0-6-0 steam locomotive was parked on display at the north end of the station platform. One afternoon while studying the locomotive I captured this view of the steamer’s driving wheels and valve gear.