Amtrak #59 at Hammond, Louisiana

On a spring day earlier this year, I spent the day in Hammond, Louisiana with a few friends. We were gathered at the north end of the Amtrak depot there to shoot the breeze and watch a few trains passing by. Amtrak train #59 arrived at 1:41 PM that day, headed up with one of their new ALC-42 locomotives. The train was there but a few minutes to discharge several passengers, then departed for the last leg of its trip to New Orleans. Photograph recorded on April 29, 2023.

Amtrak #59 at Hammond, La.

The Thanksgiving Season at Cass

Several years ago I came across this image of a Cass Scenic Railroad train headed up by one of their Shay locomotives. This is in West Virginia and I can’t think of a better railroading scene to represent the fall season and our time of Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. This photograph was taken by Mr. Walter Scriptunas II. The date is unknown to me, but the scene is timeless.

Thanksgiving Season at Cass

GM&O RS1 #1116 at the Service Area

Another of the slides rescued by my friend Ron Findley, GM&O RS1 #1116 is seen here at rest in the servicing area in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The edge of the turntable is located at the left and the sand tower spanning the track just in front of the unit. Note the bunk car beyond and one of those beautiful GM&O cabooses. Again, I’m not sure of the exact date. Your estimate of time would be appreciated.

GM&O RS1 #1116 at Service Area

GM&O RS1 #1117 at Bogalusa, LA

I’ve mentioned before that I lost my slide collection in the Great Flood of 2016 in South Louisiana. My friend Ron Findley had copies of a few of those images and he sent them to me awhile back. This scan, while a bit poor in its quality, features a Gulf, Mobile and Ohio RS1 locomotive sitting in front of the depot in Bogalusa, Louisiana. I’m not sure of the exact date. I’ve always been rather fond of these locomotives!

GM&O RS1 #1117 at the Depot

The Depot in Hammond, LA

The Illinois Central Railroad built a wonderful depot in Hammond, Louisiana back in 1912. And it is still in use today, though in modified form. The track is now owned by the Canadian National Railway, and the passengers are served by Amtrak. It is still a busy place. The views below were recorded in February of 2004.

IC Train Depot at Hammond, La., Track-side View
Here is the track-side view of the depot. The central building section was the original passenger depot, with the agent and ticket office in the center (where the turret is), and waiting rooms to either side. The two building sections to either side of that were a restaurant at left, and a Railway Express Agency facility at right. One can no longer duplicate this view as several years ago Amtrak added an elevated passenger platform along side the track, so it partially obstructs the view from this side.
IC Train Depot at Hammond, La., Street-side View
And here is the view from the street side of the depot. In its present use, Amtrak is using the building section at left (formally the REA facility). The wall at far left (where the blue/white pavement striping is seen) had an elevated freight door and a small platform for loading the REA trucks. The center section is now the city’s Chamber of Commerce, and the right section is the Clerk of Court office. The giant yellow paw prints on the roadway show support for the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions, the campus being just a few blocks away. Indeed, one can hear the cheers from the football stadium on an otherwise quiet night while lingering around the depot!

Southern Railway NW5 #2100

A bit after sunset on a day in June of 1965, Southern Railway locomotive #2100 is seen hauling its freight train over the underpass at Marconi Drive as it approaches City Park in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This locomotive is an EMD model NW5 built in 1947, the only one owned by the Southern, and one of only 13 built.

Southern Railroad #2100

LCRR: Shop Complete

The shop area for the railroad is complete . . . well, almost. The Wilsonart laminate is installed, all the baseboards and quarter-round trim are in place, and the plastic coverings have been removed from the shelving above the cabinets. There is still a bit of paint touch-up left. I say “almost complete” as I see the ugly reality that the white paint on the shelving isn’t the same color as the white paint on the cabinets. One would think that white is white but that ain’t so (as the photos show). If it nags me, I’ll have to slap a coat of “new” white over those shelves. Judge for yourself below.

The storage and secondary work surface cabinet. Note the shade of white on it compared to the original white paint on the shelving above.
The main work counter. The sink is now installed and I’ll be adding a few other things such as a model paint rack, tool holders, and other “accessories” to aid in my model building. The laminate color is a bit lighter in person than these photos show. It’s a smooth surface with a matt finish, and I’m sure I’ll be happy with it.
The lavatory in the rest room is now in service. It just needs the towel rack reinstalled and the mirror hung, both are on hand.

I’ve been working on a “final” list of things left to do and making some pretty good progress. The trim installation is complete in the main train room . . . all that awaits is some caulking, filling of nail holes, and some touch-up paint. After that, all of the remaining layout leg bracing can be reinstalled and the plastic covering removed from the layout.

I’m confident that trains will be rolling this winter!

KCS BCS Special

It’s 2008 and the Kansas City Southern is running their business train to New Orleans in time for the BCS Bowl Championship Game. The locomotives are looking good in their “retro” paint scheme. Shawn Levy has captured this image at a perfect angle, and within excellent surroundings.

KCS BCS Bowl Special 2008

The local LSU Tigers prevailed in the contest against the Ohio State Buckeyes, with the final score of 38-24.

FC&G Motorcar M4

Making a station stop is the former Fernwood, Columbia and Gulf Railroad’s motorcar, number M4. She is presently undergoing restoration, and is in operation at the Southern Forest Heritage Museum located in Longleaf, Louisiana. She was donated to the museum some years ago by railfan and historian Louis Saillard. The museum sports a large oval of track running around the perimeter of the compound, and they like to run the motorcar on special occasions.

FC&G Motorcar M4

This photograph was recorded in April of 2011. The restoration of the car had slowed considerably for a number of years. However volunteers have been quite busy recently in the process. She now has glazing in her windows, and much work has occurred in the interior with a new roof liner and a new permanent dashboard for the operator. The exterior sports a new air-horn and rear view mirrors.