Tuesday morning dawned on the cool side. I fixed us some breakfast and sat down to read my e-mail. I flipped on the scanner and heard that the Sunset Limited was running late coming into Lafayette from the west. Normally it hits town about 10:15 to 10:30 on its eastbound trip. If it was a little late I'd have plenty of time to get my bills done and gather what I needed for what is basically a ride around the block. I've never shot the Limited coming through the Lafayette yard. A Tuesday morning is a good time to do urban train chasing. I won't elaborate. I jumped on the light and recently shod DR 650. It's a fairly quick pony to use while playing the part of a western train robber.
I knew I'd be early. The sun would be perfect for shooting west. I rode up and down the yard in search of the perfect position. It is indeed a gorgeous place to plot an ambush.
I found a large vacant lot which afforded security where
no one could surprise me.
The usual characters were milling about, then crashing
about. Once in a while you'd see a stray lumber by
seemingly out of control. Had it been humped? I think so.
Then I saw a line of strange cars.
I reflected on what Marion had sent a month ago.
See, Marion, I had your note in the bank for when I needed
it. I'm glad it wasn't robbed. Here's Marion's note:
"As usual I got caught out without a camera.Yesterday afternoon, when on the way up Broad Street (AL), I got stopped at the east-west RR crossing. As I watched, 3 engines appeared pulling a group of rack cars. By adjusting my micro-vision in my new left eye (yes, Marion is bionic), I determined I was looking at a group of rack cars carrying rails, 6 stacks of them to be exact! It didn't take long to realize these were WELDED rails strung across all the cars. Not being close enough to count individual cars, I had to estimate by time how long the rails were, ie, approximately 3/4 mile long. Following the rails was a track laying system complete with spike drivers, all mounted on flat cars. I have no idea where these rails were going, but several miles of new track will be laid somewhere soon. I need to stick the little camera in the car today".
Marion, possibly your train was coming here. If so, what a coincidence, not one I'd doubt.
Is his bionic eye good or what!! Count.....6 layers on each flat. I'd also guess 1/2 to 3/4 mile long. Look at the picture above.
Down the way, a side track was being rebuilt using a herd of
I saw the familiar light.
Another train and overpass picture was on the way.
I now have 385, almost enough for my book.
I'll be quiet and let you enjoy the experience as I shot
the train and then kicked my steed in the ribs and bolted
after the train letting lose a Commanche war cry which cleared
The next shots are taken while in full gallop. This is leaving
the yard on the east end. Don't try this at home. Come
Over the coulee'.
A sudden down hill section.
Flattening out to cross the crossing.
She flew across the Univerity St. overpass.
I caught up with her at the Lafayette Depot.
This was taken from Johnston St.
I didn't linger because I have as good as you can get from
there. I moved to the General Mouton Bridge over the
Vermillion River. I should have run out on the bridge. But,
I didn't think I had enough time. I could have gotten a
priceless shot. Instead, you get this mundane one. The
crash when it plowed through the trailer was spectacular,
but, I missed that, too.
There it went over the General Mouton Rd. underpass headed
for Broussard. I once had a boat similar to that?
Nope, that's not it.
Headed home I figured I'd catch the Louisiana and Delta
still working in Breaux Bridge. Nope, I was late because
it was early and headed to the yard, the same yard from
which I'd just come, where I was early and the train was late.
I crossed Moss and headed to the Evangeline Thruway
crossing. It is not I-49 yet because local traffic can cross it.
Trains can cross it, also. Now, if it ever becomes an Interstate,
I guess the railroad will have to build an overpass or we, the
taxpayers will, or maybe there is a compromise? What
is the deal Mark? Enterprise is facing that problem, isn't it?
There Mz Allegheny goes. (she's tail gunner on the return
Now, here are 2 shots I cut from the herd.
This one has what appears to be a misfit older observation car.
Of what train had it been a part? It sits in front of another oddball.
The luggage car is also a misfit matching the car in front of the
I was just thinking ..... what about the title, do I have that
right? I am dyslexic.
I was early for the late Limited which had made up quite
a bit of time. At Roanoke, it had been 1:15 late. At Lafayette,
it was maybe 30 minutes late. There are no stops between
Lake Charles and Lafayette.
I was late for the early Louisiana and Delta train from BB.
Between early and late, it was great.
To top it all off, there was fried fish waiting at the house.
I should have taken pictures.
Al just lent me one of his and Tilly's. It's below the train.
Hungry? Sorry, you're late. You don't take food pictures?
You must be from up north.