Roll of Film Scanned - New Orleans Trains - May 1996
Not being really sure how to tackle the huge amount of photographs I have taken in the pre-digital era, I have decided to try what I will call the "Random Roll" approach. I have literally hundreds of rolls of developed film, both prints and slides, taken in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's, which have not seen the light of day more than once or twice...ever!
So...I have decided to start a "Random Roll" Blog Category. Exactly as it sounds, I will indiscriminately grab a roll of film and scan it in its entirety. Larger files will be posted on rrpicturearchives as usual. These images will be linked from smaller images in the "Random Roll" blog post.
I feel that this will at least start me on the track of getting some of this material out of boxes, envelopes, and drawers so that they can be searched for and found on the internet! Working with drug-store developed prints does give me great appreciation for the digital era we are now in. Often the images are poorly cropped during developing. I still have not found a suitable scanner for color 35-mm negatives, so I will be working with the prints for now.
Once upon a time, our photography was limited to a 24 or 36 exposure roll of film. There was cost involved both in film price and developing. Sometimes a roll of film was in the camera for several weeks. With digital it is now cost effective to take several hundred images in a matter of hours. This blog category will give a glimpse into the mindset of film photography.
Without further ado, lets take a look at May 1996 starting with a 36-exposure roll of Kodak Gold 100-Speed color print film. The images were taken in the New Orleans area between May 10 and May 20, 1996. The film was developed by Eckerd Drugs in the last week of May, 1996.
Frames 1A-5A - SP Train HOCXM - 5-10-1996
Louisa Street was a popular place to photograph trains. This is on the CSX between Gentilly Yard and N.E. Tower. Generally the grass was cut here, allowing for clean shots of equipment. This roll of film begins with five images of Southern Pacific Houston, TX to New Orlenans, LA (CSX) train HOCXM. At 9:52 AM, four SP motors lead the way here: B30-7 7782, B30-7 7856, B36-7 7759, and SD40M-2 8644.
Frames 6A & 7A - CSX Train M-720-10 - 5-10-1996
Just seven minutes later, at 9:59 AM on 5-10-1996, I was at the North end of CSX Gentilly Yard where I took these two images of local train M-720-10, the "Bay Turn", departing with lone CSXT GP38-2 2689 and a handful of cars. The Bay Turn usually worked industries at Michoud and interchanged at Port Bienville. Occasionally this train went as far as Bay St. Louis, MS.
Frames 8A-11A - UP Train AVLICX-14 - 5-14-1996
The next images on this roll of film were taken four days later, on May 14, 1996. My records indicate that I saw quite a few trains between the 10th and the 14th, but no pictures I guess. Frames 8A-11A were taken at Central Avenue, another popular New Orleans area location to watch trains. Here we find the CSX connection of Union Pacific Avondale, LA to Livonia, LA train AVLICX-14 with three Union Pacific motors running "elephant-style" C41-8W 9422 leads C30-7 2449 and SD40-2 4152. According to my notes the train stopped at 12:40 PM and started rolling nine minutes later, beginning ascent of the Huey P. Long bridge.
Frames 12A-16A - CSX Train Q-605-12 - 5-14-1996
Back at Louisa Street on the other side of town, I took five images of a colorful locomotive consist leading CSX train Q-605-12: UP SD40-2 3328, MKCX SD40M-2 9012, and CR C30-7 526. The only freight car image on the entire roll of film was CSXT 291355 on this trian. Unlike today, where I can shoot an entire train digitally, I had to be very selective in the film era. This may have been one of the first, if not the first, grey CSX car with the yellow numbers I has seen and is likely why I took the picture.
Frame 17A - CSX Train M-720-14 - 5-14-1996
Frame 17A is a lone image of the day's CSX Bay Turn returning to Gentilly at North Gentilly behind GP38-2 2558. It is interesting to note that none of the Maintenance-of-Way employees near the rear of the train are wearing high-visibility clothing. It was a very different culture on the railroad back then!
Frames 18A & 19A - UP Train LINONB - 5-14-1996
Union Pacific Livonia, LA to New Orleans, LA train LINONB was the last train I recorded on May 14, 1996. Having just crossed the Mississippi River, this train was stopped at Central Avenue when I spotted it. Being somewhat back-lit, I probably would not normally have bothered to photograph it. The third engine, CNW C44-9W 8614, was a locomotive of interest; however, so I did get a couple of shots. Ahead of the CNW 8614 were UP SD40-2 3963 and UP SD60M 6226.
Frames 20A-25A - NS Oliver Yard - 5-20-1996
The next images were taken at NS Oliver Yard on Monday, May 20, 1996. This yard was the most risky to visit in the Big Easy as a large percentage of the city's homicides occurred in this area. Montegut Street parallels the east end of the yard and Galvez Street crosses over the yard where the locomotive servicing area is located. It is difficult to photograph power here from Montegut Street because of a fence. One can park under Galvez Street where there is a stairway up to street level for a good vantage point.
On this day there were four locomotive consists idling away at the Oliver Yard diesel facility so I decided to walk up the bridge and get a few photos. On hand were:
UP SD40-2 4161, UP SD40-2 3408, UP SD40-2 3916
SP B30-7 7872, SP B30-7 7853, SP B30-7 7873, SP B36-7759
NS GP38-2 5020, NS SD40-2 3219
NS SD60 6575, NS C40-9W 8945, NS GP38AC 4114, NS GP38AC 4124, NS GP38AC 4132
Frames 26A-29A - CSX Train Q-605-18 - 5-20-1996
The four frames following the visit to Oliver Yard were taken of CSX train Q-605-18 while it was switching the south end of Gentilly Yard. It was 9:57 AM and the sun was not in a very good position to photograph this west-facing train. The rear two locomotives were of interest to me so I shot them. The consist was west-facing UP SD40-2 3741 leading east-facing UP SD40-2 B4294 and LMS C40-8W 710. At the time Union Pacific stopped maintaining a number of former Missouri Pacific SD40-2s to "lead qualified" standards and designated them by putting a letter "B" in front of the road number. The middle locomotive in this consist was one of these units.
Trailing unit LMS 710 is one of 40 locomotives (LMS 700-739) belonging to Conrail-General Electric subsidiaty Locomotive Management Services. These units were leased under a unique agreement whereby they would operate for 6-months-per-year on Conrail and then they would operate for the remainder of the year on other railroads. Built to Conrail specifications, they look just like Conrail locomotives, but have block "LMS" markings instead of the Conrail name and logo. Pretty cool I thought. It looks like Atlas will have three of these in their next release - LMS 702, LMS 711, and LMS 713. I may have to add one of these to the Meridian Speedway fleet!
Frames 30A-32A - SP Train LANOF - 5-20-2016
This roll of film concludes with three eastbound Southern Pacific trains making their way across New Orleans in less than an hour! First up is Los Angeles, CA to New Orleans, LA (CSX) intermodal train LANOF. At 10:28 AM I was set up at N.E. Tower, where the CSX crosses the NS about a mile north of Oliver Yard, to get the shot. Power for this train was SP B30-7 7779 and CSXT C40-8W 7892. The propped open front door on the SP 7779 probably means that the air conditioner was not working.
I do remember this event. As the train was coming into view someone fired several shots from a weapon nearby, scaring pigeons which took flight and got in the way! Mr. Earl Hampton who worked at N.E. Tower for many years likely heard gunfire here more than once!
Frames 33A-35A - SP Train LBCXT - 5-20-1996
The second train in this EsPee fleet was Long Beach, CA to New Orleans, LA (CSX) train LBCXT. This train had a wonder consist of matched SP SD40M-2s in Speed Lettering, both with flared radiators having been rebuild from SD45's! I think this may be the best catch of the roll! Lead unit SP SD40M-2 8622 began life as BN SD45 6491 and trailing unit SP SD40M-2 8665 was built as CNW SD45 957.
I had moved up to East City Tower for these shots. The LBCXT made its appearance here at 10:43 AM. The white vehicle parked in the field to the left belonged to the Norfolk Southern Special Agent who was keeping an eye on things.
Frame 36A - SP Train HOSOM - 5-20-1996
The final frame was also taken at East City. Southern Pacific Houston, TX to New Orleans, LA (NS) train HOSOM was running about 30 minutes behind the LBCXT, passing East City Tower at 11:14 AM. Also sporting an all-EsPee consist, this train was a great catch as well! Three "B-Boats" running elephant style were in charge: SP B30-7 7790, SP B30-7 7832, and SP B36-7 7764 were gliding this train across the NS New Orleans Terminal with ease.
Had this not been the final frame of the roll, I certainly would have taken a few more images of this train. Hopefully the pictures in this Random Roll No. 1 will be useful to those who come across the images. All are posted and tagged in rrpicturearchives.net.