L&N Railroad’s Gentilly Yard

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.

L&N Gentilly Yard - Early 1960s

Details on a Working Steamer

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!

SP #124 Valve Gear

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.

SP #124 Injector

Steam at Work . . . in 1965

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.

Green Bros 0-6-0 Switchers

Union Pacific No. 3985

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.

UP-4-6-6-4-#3985

Steam for the 7th Anniversary

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.

Southern Railway #722

1970s Memories IV

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.

IC 0-6-0 Valve Gear

1970s Memories III

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.

Plaquemine, Louisiana