I left the house wearing 2 long sleeved t shirts over my light duty Walmart Special gray on gray - gray t-shirt. By the time I got to Crowley they were gone. The weather was perfect. I was on a mission to find rail tie nails. Let's leave that alone for right now since they will play no part in this discussion.
I got to Lafayette and checked out the big bend south area. There were cars on the Alex and the BR branches. I'll keep this explanation simple. Though I dislike the pronoun "I", I'll be using it in every sentence, some. I tried to let May Duh do these but May Duh "don't want", so I'll have to.
After arriving it Crowley, I settled into rail nail hunting. (I love Crowley)
I was in an alley beneath a huge extinct rice dryer looking for the aforementioned nails when I heard the horn. It was not one of the behemoth's horns. It was a smaller engine. I know the correlation between horn sounds and engine size seems strange, but it's true. The AKDN 3018, aka, the Elusive Grain Train was in town.
It pulled its few cars in and unsnapped them and pulled forward.
It pulled forward some more.
Then it backed into some cars on the other spur. The cars to the right are the ones it came in with. Not the Chevy Truck, May Duh.
The covered area is where the grain cars are filled with rice.
It pulled the pick up cars forward. (not the Chevy pickup)
The unhitched cars watched.
The picked up cars were pulled far forward.
It may have required going up onto the main line but I doubt it.
Then it backed up.
Crowley was a huge rail complex and the yards adjoining the mill had many spurs.
The larger yards were on the south side of the Southern Pacific / Louisiana Western main line. There were yards on the north side, also, but they seemed smaller. The MP connected to both as it seems the T&P (OGNE) may have, also. Down the middle of it all ran the SP/LW. A thought has been put forward that the city owned the yards.
These mills are huge.
Here the backing train came out onto the main line.
Far to the left you can see the lead car coming up.
and the engine.
It had backed off the main line and it was now on the AKDN rails.
One more switch. I'm surprised this one was thrown for the
train to approach the main line. Seems like "normal" would
be to approach. Woo, maybe not. Sounds dangerous.
It crossed US 90, the fella in blue hanging on.
And stopped. I hauled it to then next crossing. I was very
late getting there and do not know if the train reversed itself
and went engine forward at this little yard or just tied up there
since it didn't have many cars, and maybe, would wait until
tomorrow to return to Eunice. Long story short, I never saw it again.
I did see the tail end of some box cars. That may have been it.
Now, I think it was. That black boxcar was seen just past the edge of the building.
I should have gotten closer and this mystery would be solved.
I wasn't going to Eunice. I've been to Eunice.
My delay was so great it could have made it out of town, I just don't know.
But now I think I do.
Do you see how tormenting these outings can be?
I went above I-10 and waited.
The rails are in horrible shape.
The rails were very bent.
I came back into town and looked some more.
Here's one for the collectors.
I decided to look around for more old rails associated with
the ex MP, now belonging to AKDN. These sat above US 90.
and came off the line going up to Eunice.
When rusted rails lead to decrepit industrial stuff or corrugated
falling down buildings, the scene is a photographer's dream come true.
Riding back to Lafayette I shot a little of the countryside.
And the lonesome rails crossing the prairie.
And some mud that might be a rice field.
And the box at the far end of the Crowley sidetrack. (Elenore Road)
I hear that horrible song whenever I cross here, no not Elenore Rigby, that's bad enough, but the other Elenore song (Elenor, I knew you well or knew you smelled or something like that, urg), plus I knew an Elenore. 3 strikes on that name. If a loved one is named Elenore, I'm sorry, but I don't want to meet her.
At Rayne, I took a few shots that I hadn't before.
When I was north of Opelousas, I'd seen the green rice coming
up through the water but failed to shoot it. Between Rayne
and Duson I got another chance.
Back in Lafayette I went into the yard. A Canal fuel truck was "gassing up" an engine. I think they hold about 3500 gallons. Cody Dupre said, "Canal, Canal, Economical". That was the ad done back in the 60's. The towers of New York City have never produced a jingle of such lasting and profound power.
I almost rear ended a car taking this one. It was a cheap review of riding safety. I got away with a freebie this afternoon. I should be in a hospital.
I followed it around the big bend. It was slowing instead of picking up speed. Why?
Remember the beer truck from the first picture. Evidently, the L&D had cleaned up the misc. cars.
What was the deal, there is no sidetrack here?
The red spot on the ground is a railfan taking a nap, waiting for a chance to take a picture from an "interesting" angle. Sound familiar? The engineer could not understand and lost patience, stopped the train and got out.
No one wanted to approach this strange person. He was making wooo wooo sounds.
The engineer and a bystander mulled over him.
I could hear, in two distinctly different voices, "I'm not touching him".
The railfan held his ground, literally.
Finally, he got up and left when I yelled at him that the shot was mine and to get the hell out of the picture. What he said in response is unprintable. But, you too buddy and sticks and stones .....
I rode around the block.
Returning, the police showed up. I talked to them, showed them my pictures, got their email addresses and will be sending this to them. Hey Corporal Roger and Sergeant Leger, y'all hanging tough?
That's it, another afternoon of railroading along US 90.