Jack Shall

About Jack Shall

I've been a model railroader and railfan for well over 50 years now. My interests lie in the steam era and the early diesel era. My modeling has been in HO, but I do have a closet interest in Fn3 :-) It's been a number of years since I've done any layout construction, and the new Louisiana Central pike under construction is by far my most ambitious effort. Follow along with me on this new adventure of the Louisiana Central.

Colorado & Southern 2-8-0 #60

I’ve been going through a lot of old photos that my mother had, and came across this snapshot.  This locomotive is Colorado & Southern 2-8-0 #60, and she’s on display in Idaho Springs, Colorado.  The following is from the display plaque by the engine:

“Was built by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works in 1886.  Number 60 began her career on the Union Pacific-owned narrow gauge Utah and Northern Railroad as No. 263.  In 1890, the Union Pacific transferred U&N Engines No. 260-265 to its Colorado-based Denver, Leadville, and Gunnison Railroad, where the original engine number was retained until the Colorado and Southern assumed operation of all Colorado-based Union Pacific narrow gauge lines.  This included the Clear Creek branch.  At this time, the C&S renumbered all of its narrow gauge engines and No. 263 became No.60.”

That’s my mother posed in the cab, the photo probably taken in the early 1940s by my dad before he departed for England with the Army Air Force.  My mom stayed in Denver until he returned to the States after his tour of duty.

C&S 2-8-0 #60 Early 1940s

Carrollton Station, New Orleans, Louisiana

An intermediate stop in New Orleans, the Carrollton Station was located at Carrollton Avenue, just a very short block from Tulane Avenue.  One could board or disembark from trains here if convenient, rather than go all the way downtown to the Union Passenger Terminal.  As a kid, we sometimes road the rails from New Orleans to either Ponchatoula or Hammond to visit with family, then back a day or so later.  And Carrollton Station is where we usually met the train as we lived just a few miles from here.

Here is a typical view of the station back in the early 1960s.  I believe that before my time, there was actually a small depot building here in addition to a covered platform.  When I made my visits, there was simply a small, narrow glassed in shelter in which people crowded on rainy days.  The large Fontainebleu Motor Hotel was a fairly new landmark at this time, having been constructed on the site of the old Pelican Stadium baseball park.

Seen here is one of the Illinois Central’s beautiful chocolate and orange streamliners stopped to pick up passengers on the outbound portion of it’s journey.  The train is heading west by northwest at this spot, and judging from the sun angle, this was likely late afternoon.  Those bridges in the foreground take the tracks over Carrollton Avenue.

Carrollton Station, New Orleans, LA

Washington & Western #72

Steam locomotive #72 has quite a storied history behind it. A product of the American Locomotive Company in 1914, the 4-6-0 steamer saw it’s first service on the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad as their #72. The line eventually became controlled by the Gulf, Mobile & Northern, which later itself merged with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad to create the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio. She continued to serve as #72 during those years. When the GM&O began dieselizing, the locomotive was sold in 1946 to the Gaylord Container Company in Bogalusa, Louisiana. In 1960, she found her final duty at the Washington & Western, operating in gravel pit service for the Green Brothers at their pit near Franklinton, Louisiana.

Today she rests at the Washington Parish Fairgrounds in Franklinton, where she is displayed under a shed roof wearing her GM&N paint.

The photo below was captured by Rick Boutall probably in early 1964. I understand that she was retired from active service later that year.

W&W 4-6-0 Loco #72

A Mystery Heisler

Here are a couple more photos given to me by Rick Boutall back in the mid sixties.  I need help on these, as I have no information about this locomotive.  This Heisler was likely photographed in 1964 or 1965 (based on the “65” imprinted on the right edge of the photo borders), and the backs are stamped with Rick’s typical property stamp.  But beyond that, nothing!

Mystery Heisler #5 - 1

She’s obviously “hot” as small wisps of steam can be seen around the steam chest.  There are very faint traces of the previous owner’s name above the five on the tank, but I’m not able to discern the markings.  The scene is very typical of southern Louisiana, but of course I have no way of knowing if this is even the general location.

Mystery Heisler #5 - 2

Soooo . . . if you have any idea to whom and where this beautiful beast belongs, I’d love to hear about it.

Edit:  The mystery has been solved!  This is Chicago Mill and Lumber Company #5, and the location is Tallulah, Louisiana.  Thanks, and a hat tip to David Price.

-Jack

The L&N Humming Bird

At one time the Louisville and Nashville Railroad operated a beautiful, but affordable passenger train between New Orleans and Cincinnati named the Humming Bird.  This famous scene depicts the train as she is crossing the Biloxi Bay in Mississippi.  Similar to the Illinois Central photo from a few posts ago, this image also was widespread, and in my view, became the “image” of the railroad.

L&N Hummingbird

The WSP 0-6-2T #1

The Westfield Sugar Plantation Railroad’s #1 was an 0-6-2T coal burning steamer.  She was used during the fall sugar cane season on the Westfield plantation in Paincourtville, Louisiana.  These images were captured by Rick Boutall on November 1, 1963 as she was chuffing around the fields.

WSP RR #1 0-6-2T Loco - 2

The Westfield plantation was owned by Dugas & LeBlanc, Ltd.  Their little steamer was built by Porter in 1897 as c/n 1791, and she boasted 7″x14″ cylinders, and 24″ drivers.  She ran on 30″ gauge track, used link & pin couplers and had no brakes.

WSP RR #1 0-6-2T Loco - 1

Note the brakeman riding on the footboard.  Scenes like this were common among many of the sugar plantations in Louisiana many years ago.

Collection of Jack Shall

Illinois Central, South of Chicago

This is my favorite photograph depicting the Illinois Central Railroad.  I first saw this image on the cover of an I.C. annual report that was given me when I was a kid.  It’s since been featured in quite of a bit of the company’s literature.

The scene is somewhere south of Chicago, and one of their handsome chocolate and orange stream-liners is featured at left, along with two coal trains at right, with steam power no less!

IC Trains South of Chicago

Mississippian #77

In the late 1940s the Mississippian Railway purchased a pair of 2-8-0 locomotives from the Frisco Railway, #76 and #77.  These steamers served the Mississippian for twenty years, finally being retired in 1967.  Two brothers, James and Frank Carlisle  functioned as both conductors and engineers.  James was the engineer for the #76, with Frank serving as conductor on the days when the #76 drew the duty.  And Frank took the controls of #77, with James handling the paperwork and switching duties when she was called for the day.

In the late 80s (I believe 1987, give or take a year) a special excursion was organized on the Mississippian.  The #77 was borrowed from it’s current owner and returned to it’s Mississippi home rails.  Mr. James assumed the duties for his late brother as the engineer of #77 for the two day run.  With the locomotive repainted into it’s original Mississippian livery, she departed Amory on a bright Saturday morning for the journey up to Smithville.

Here the photographer has captured the train on the return leg of the journey as she crosses the new steel trestle across a part of the Tennessee–Tombigbee Waterway.

Mississippian 2-8-0 #77

Today the #77 is still in operation.  She runs on the Alberta Prairie Railroad up in Alberta, Canada as their #41.

Sluggin’ Up the Hill

At the end of the 1980s the IC Industries spun off their railroad, the Illinois Central Gulf.  The railroad decided to take back it’s original name and once again became the Illinois Central Railroad.  The orange and white locomotives were quickly repainted back into a simplified version of the original black with white striping, but sans the old green diamond herald.

This scene captures a four unit train struggling up the grade from the east bank of the Mississippi River in Natchez, Mississippi.  A mix of a GP38-2 and GP10/11 Paducah rebuilds, all in run 8, were putting on an impressive show.  It’s only the mid 90s, but the units are already showing the results of hastily applied paint, with signs of orange and white becoming visible.

ICRR at Mississippi River, Natchez, Miss.

Santa Fe Steam

I’ve always liked this image of a Santa Fe steam powered passenger train roaring down the high iron.  Most of the consist appears to be mail and express (common, especially in the later days of passenger service).  This slide was given to me by Andy Sperandeo many years ago (probably the early ’70s).  I don’t know if Andy was the photographer, or when and where the shot was taken.  But it’s always been one of my favorite pictures, so I thought I’d share it here.

AT&SF 4-6-2 steam locomotive, #3448.

ATSF 4-6-2 #3448 Steam Locomotive

Louisiana Cypress #3

One of the unfortunate casualties of the great flood of 2016 was my slide collection.  I lost many thousands of slides to that event.  I have about two shoe boxes of slides left (perhaps less than a thousand).  But those slides that were spared were generally “seconds” and other “unimportant” slides.  Indeed, they were in shoe boxes located on a high shelf in a closet only because there was no room in the drawers that housed my collection.

The photos I’ve been showing these past few months are scans of slides, and in a few cases, prints that managed to survive.  Here’s another of those survivors:

The Louisiana Cypress Lumber Company was a fairly extensive operation in the first half of the 20th century.  They had a store and mill complex located on Highway 51 south of Ponchatoula, Louisiana.  They also had a railroad operation that hauled the cypress timber to the mill.  Locomotive #3 is a small 2-8-0 that was retired and put on display in front of the store on Highway 51.  This photo was captured (to the best of my memory) sometime back in the 1960s.

Louisiana Cypress Lbr Co #3 - Early 1960s

This locomotive still survives, and was moved many years ago into the heart of Ponchatoula, located at the intersection of E. Pine Street and SE. Railroad Avenue.  It’s right across the street from the former Illinois Central depot.  It’s in generally good shape, though it suffers from somewhat “misguided” decoration on occasion.  But . . . she still survives!

-Jack

The 6th Anniversary

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the start of construction of the Louisiana Central Railroad.  As many of you know, the railroad suffered a horrific flood in August of 2016.  I posted about it here in Flood! and had a short follow up in The Aftermath for new readers that may be unaware.

Unfortunately little progress has been made with the restoration of the train room (which is actually a separate building from my home).  After the immediate remediation of the building, it became a warehouse of sorts for things from the house, as well as a place to stage materials needed for reconstruction.

My home restoration is essentially complete, with only minor details needing attention.  Indeed, I’ve been back living here since last Thanksgiving.  But moving back into the house didn’t mean it was complete, and it has taken much time to finish the restoration.  Add to that time taken to “catch up” on things that were left undone for over a year!

However, I’ve started making a wee bit of progress.  The first step to the train building restoration is to simply empty it out, leaving only the layout structure itself in the building.  I’ve got virtually all of the household stuff out, and I’ve started the process of packing the train room and shop equipment.  But then the realization hit that I needed more space in my house (mainly the garage) to store the stuff from the train building.  Ugh!  So I’ve added more shelving in the garage, and am trying to get it cleared and organized so as to make the necessary space.

But to be honest, the biggest hold up on getting this all done is simply burn out.  Next month will see the second anniversary of that flood, and I’m just sick and tired of dealing with the aftermath.  I’m not alone in that feeling, as I’ve got many people around me in that same boat.  I would never have dreamed I’d still be dealing with flood related issues two years after the fact!

But it will happen.  The Louisiana Central is not forgotten or abandoned.  I’m hoping the next anniversary will be one of joy and cheer.  Wish me luck!

-Jack