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Nostalgia & History > The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.


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Date: 08/13/19 03:51
The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

There are a few dramatic rail/road crossings of the Mississippi River, but for a combination of traffic variety and multiple photo angles, I never saw one better than the Huey P Long bridge in the New Orleans area. The bridge is a bit up river from the city proper in Jefferson Parish. I was very fortunate to have close family living just a few miles further up the river in Luling La. This afforded me the opportunity to log in significant time around the bridge area, and the SP and MP yards at Avondale at the foot of the bridge's west bank side. As I recall the bridge is actually owned by the city and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. The dramatic river crossing has the railroad in the middle of the bridge with highway on both sides. Riding across the bridge at night with a train coming at you was a bit disorienting, but that has been eased considerably because of a massive lane widening project that took the span from a four lane to six lane highway. An amazing engineering feat in itself. 

Back to what we all enjoy. The railroad rises from river level or below and works its way up long steep approaches, cresting in the middle of the span. I remember that the total rail length of the bridge is over four miles, so it is quite a run! Being part of the Belt railroad, transfer and run through freights between east and west roads is frequent and quite diverse. All the images in this post are from the 1970 to 1982 period, and will give you an idea of why a day here was a mandatory stop for me.

All three trains have just left either of the two Avondale yards on the west bank, and are starting up the approach to the bridge.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/19 04:12 by Roadjob.








Date: 08/13/19 03:59
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

top...the long drop for a westbound into Avondale

middle...MP train is still climbing the east bank side

bottom...westbound L&N run through

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/19 04:00 by Roadjob.








Date: 08/13/19 04:02
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

a few more views of the dramtic views and diversity.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 08/13/19 04:05
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

top...the levee along the river was the best spot to get the mos dramtic views.

middle...got to see just about anything on any given day

bottom..another levee shot of a westbound

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 08/13/19 04:08
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

I think you now have the idea how cool this spot was!

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD








Date: 08/13/19 04:55
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: zfan

WOW!! Those are some super impressive pics!!



Date: 08/13/19 05:08
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: refarkas

Excellent coverage and first-rate photos.
Bob



Date: 08/13/19 06:14
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: skinem

Another 'WOW' here. Your posts never disappoint and I'd like to update my appreciation for them. 



Date: 08/13/19 06:49
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: robj

Dramatic and varied views. Thanks!

Bob



Date: 08/13/19 07:29
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: SP8595

Fantastic series! Really like those SP Alco's:}



Date: 08/13/19 08:00
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: gcm

The bridge is quite impressive and these excellent photos show it well.
Gary



Date: 08/13/19 08:17
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: LV95032

Best set of pictures I have seen illustrating the bridge and the trains.
RWJ



Date: 08/13/19 10:13
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: bayou bengal

The Huey P. Long bridge over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge is very similar but shorter by about two miles>



Date: 08/13/19 10:16
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Fortyfooter

Unreal set of photos! How steep is the grade on both approaches? Looks like they are digging pretty good on the WB approach.



Date: 08/13/19 10:18
Re: Long bridge
Author: timz

1% both ways, isn't it?



Date: 08/13/19 11:36
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: santafe199

Man..... I gotta quit opening up your threads! I gittin' WAAAY too jealous... ;^)

Lance



Date: 08/13/19 11:41
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

You silly man! I enjoy opening yours just as much. You have the one thing I never had, and at times in life would have given anything for. Working on a railroad!!

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Date: 08/13/19 11:50
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: rantoul

At the foot of the bridge on the new Orleans side there is a wood shop that continuously makes ties for planned replacement of the custom wood under the rail on the bridge.



Date: 08/13/19 11:54
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: Roadjob

Forgot one! This is for the Amtrak fans. Southwest Limited, not sure of date. Correction as noted...Sunset Limited. Thanks for the memory jog. Amtrak was never my strong point.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/19 07:51 by Roadjob.




Date: 08/13/19 11:55
Re: The bridge of railfan dreams. What a place to spend a day.
Author: santafe199

Roadjob Wrote: > ... one thing I never had ... Working on a railroad ...

Ouch. Ya GOT me!!!
(I'll go quietly, now... ;^)



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