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.
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 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.
I used to occasionally drive over to the west bank of the Mississippi River across from Baton Rouge to do a little railfanning. Of course I would always check out Plaquemine as part of my route. The T&P (now UP) runs right through the center of town and with an abundance of interesting structures on either side of the tracks, there was always something of interest to photograph while waiting around for a train to rumble by.
Here’s one such subject that I caught one afternoon during the lull.
The second in this series of photographs, this scene is at the old Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad station located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana right next to the Mississippi River levee. The Y&MV was a subsidiary of the Illinois Central Railroad until merged into the IC in the late 1940s. After the demise of rail passenger service to Baton Rouge, the building changed ownership and became the Louisiana Art and Science Museum.
This is the scene on the north end of the depot under the covered platform. A glimpse of the “new” Mississippi River bridge can be seen in the background.
I thought I’d start posting a few photos taken back in the 1970s. I’ll start today with this one taken at the former General Services Administration (GSA) supply depot that was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This was a significant supply depot for many years. But after use of this depot began to wind down, a large chunk of it was eventually turned over to the BREC park commission in Baton Rouge. This photo shows one of the rail served warehouses that were in the facility. A few still survive to this day.