Train Chase: Grain Train
This one deals with only a few miles. I went to New Iberia
to get to Erath. The three UP's and most of the cars in the
switching yard were gone. I know if I'd stayed an hour more
I could have seen it all break down, but I blew it because I
was hungry. Nothing was happening in NI today, so, without
checking anything I headed west on the old Southern Pacific to
Abbeville looking for the Grain Train again. First, I got
drenched in New Iberia. Leaving town, I dried off. I got to
Erath. This shot sums up what I saw interesting and
and how I was feeling.
Exiting Erath, there it was, the grain train, parked, no one
I shot it from all angles while under this very cool tree.
Some people have to be told.
There was a HM there.
One more great shot and I was out of there. It wasn't
going to move.
I worked my way west stopping at Grosse Isle, a place I'd
missed on previous rides.
I don't know if this house is old or just a replica. I like the
porches, nevertheless. One points east and the other west.
This is going into Grosse Isle
Next, I was approaching Abbeville. This shot shows that
there were 2 sets of tracks here and it wasn't just a siding.
On that side road, I saw this sign. Only in South Louisiana
do streets have boating regulations.
The colors were very cool. I was catching the western light.
This may be associated with the dual tracks in the previous
shot. It's a gravel loader if I'm correct.
Shooting into the sun without a filter is not so good. This
is continuing into Abbeville.
I've missed this old service station on previous trips. I'll
bet it was a store and that the owners lived next door.
Soon the mill comes into view.
The ground is dipping toward the Vermillion River where
the old rail swing bridge is. Those pictures will cost ya.
Here are the waiting cars. I talked to a man there and he
said the train could come tomorrow to pick them up. Can
I make another trip? Probably not.
It is a grand old building.
Next to the bayou is this. I don't know if it is owned by
the big mill or not. I think it is all one big deal.
This is the old sign. It is now Planter's Mill, mentioned later.
There has been some tearing up lately.
I'd be headed back home in a halting manner. This is looking
east from the mill.
Looking back west.
Near downtown Abbeville is the old lumber yard, next to
the rails, of course.
I liked the spelling of junk on the turquoise building.
Down the alley, which you know was a spur serving the
old lumber yard.
More old railroad customers.
Re-approaching the gravel loader.
Seeing the double rails better this time.
On the opposite side of the gravel loader.
Looking back to it.
It is 20 rail miles from New Iberia. I don't know if that is
from the station or Iberia and Vermilion Junction. Lots
of history there.
Out on La.14, the sign mileage was close.
Then I remembered something Mark had said about a
derailed train near Erath. I took a shot of where it seemed
to have happened, just before the west exit of La.14 Business
onto La.14. There, I nailed it, but didn't get the important
part, "the number of culverts in the 'bridge'".
Here's the gory details. Some of it rambled on and was so
confusing I had to summarize it. This is my summary.
At 10:20 AM, July 8, 2010 a Louisiana and Delta train derailed just west of Erath. It was en route to Abbeville, to the west. A bridge it was crossing gave way after the engine and four of the eight cars had successfully gone over. When the wooden bridge collapsed, the fifth car broke loose and overturned. No one was injured in the accident.
That condensed 20 paragraphs.
One article includes this information. It is a bit more dramatic but wrong. My corrections are in brackets.
"A train traveling over a bridge in Erath (outside of Earth) has derailed". (only one car actually went in the ditch) It does say the train was carrying rice. That is correct. It say it happened near Mack Switch Rd. Mack Switch comes off of La.14 Business right at the bend in 14B. It crosses the tracks. (enough information?)
More of my condensing:
Planter Rice Mill, a primary customer of the L&D has been operating the old Riviana Mill in Abbeville for 4 years. (good info) Eddie Gaspard said that they had no plans to shut down during the week it would rquire to repair the rails and he plans on continuing to be a L&D customer. He said the timing of the break was "good" because the milling of green rice was starting in 3 weeks.
"Green Rice" is a new term for me. Al knows.
Another article said that the bridge broke for "unknown reasons".
Duh, could weight, rot and fatigue enter into it?
One more souce, I can't tell you who, said this sorta. I'll summerized their spiel.
They said that the Vermillion Parish Drainage Bd. said there weren't enough culverts under the bridge and that the lack of enough culverts could pose a danger to the nearby area if a heavy rain occurred.
They said that the board had given the L&D two weeks to fix it before it, the board, tore the bridge apart. (that sounds a bit unprofessional)
The manager of the mill said that would be very bad for the mill which distributes one half billion pounds of rice per year, almost all by rail. (I say it sounds dumb)
This source went on to report that the parish was next considering "legal action".
That was in the same article where they said the board said it was going to scrap the bridge on its on. Had the board cooled down and called back Leger and the backhoe brigade?
The next write, which I'll not summarize, is the clearest of all that I read besides my version, which is clearest.
This from www.Vermilliontoday.com:
Railroad bridge repaired, opened
by Chris Rosa
The Louisiana Delta Train is rolling again, which is good news for Planter’s Rice Mill and the two companies the train services.
A week ago today, a hopper car derailed when the wooden bridge it was crossing collapsed. The hopper car, which was filled with rice, was emptied over the last week while the bridge was being repaired.
The hopper car was moved and is back on the rail, however, it is expected to be cut up and sold for scrap.
Gene Miller of Louisiana Delta Train said the construction took only five days - two days quicker that planned.
“The weather cooperated,” said Miller. “We could have been quicker had we worked all night, but we took the safe course.”
The lead engine and around five hopper cars first crossed over the new bridge Tuesday around 11 a.m and headed back to New Iberia.
On Wednesday it returned to Abbeville. It services Planter’s Rice Mill, Creole Fermentation and Coastal Chemical in Abbeville.
Pointers Smith Contractors out of Baton Rouge installed three six-foot wide drainage pipes and then covered them with limestone. The contractors placed the railroad tracks over the limestone.
This is another article found on Vermilion Today.
Two years ago three cars had jumped the track at the mill. This is Vermilion Today's report.
Train Derails in Abbeville
Three hopper train cars filled with rice jumped off the tracks Monday afternoon near Planters Rice Mill in Abbeville.
The train accident happened along Rice Mill Road.
One hopper car is entirely off the track while the other two are halfway off.
No one was injured in the derailment, nor was the three hopper cars blocking any traffic.
Eddie Gaspard, manager of Planters Mill, was not worried about the three-car derailment.
“Occasionally, it happens,” Gaspard said.
Gaspard said L & D Railroad Company will repair the track by Tuesday and he expects the hoppers to be rolling again.
“L&D is good at repairing it,” he said. ‘They know what they are doing.”
As for what caused the three-cars to hop off the track, he said it was Mother Nature’s fault.
He said the ground had been dry for months and then recent rains have caused the ground to soften up.
The loose, wet ground causes the rail, which sits on dirt, to move when a heavy load passes over it, causing the track to shift.
The rails shifted and a hopper car jumped off its rail when the track shifts, causing other cars to derail.
One car in the ditch.
This shows 2 culverts. The contractor put in 3. It is clear
that this anti rail source cut the picture leaving the 3rd
culvert out. I know these people. They are not fair and
balanced. And, why didn't they show the other side of the
bridge. If equal levels, no problem. The culverts are doing
all they can, duh.
This is my shot, no culverts are shown. I will re do this
picture before the board does it for me or threatens
legal action. I'm just kidding board members. I may
come see y'all tomorrow.
Heading back I took a shot of a proper bridge. This is the
Jefferson Canal along Railroad Rd., between Lee Station
and Bob Acres.
This is leaving Lee Station.
This is the Bayou Petite Anse back swamp. (Bayou Small Woods)
Back out on La.329, the Avery Is. Road, I stopped at the
settlement of Emma and took these shots from Adras
Segura Rd. looking north into the storm.
Looking south, can you see the switch and sidetrack. Was
there a station here?
Back in New Iberia, the weather was again a factor.
So, I shot the water tower. Seems like that's the way this