Buttheads to Belle Chasse

It’s mere minutes after 7am on a chilly Friday morning, and we are in the middle of Madison Street in Gretna, Louisiana. The New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railroad’s Belle Chasse turn job is seen here departing back for Belle Chasse, Louisiana, from Gretna. Gretna, La, is a suburb of the New Orleans metro located across from downtown on the south bank of the Mississippi River. No you aren’t seeing things, this train is indeed rolling down the middle of Madison Street. With the dense road network of the Nola area to navigate through the railroad had to build their main line right down the middle of residential neighborhoods in eastern Gretna. Madison street is your average city neighborhood with old southern style homes lining the streets, but shared with the New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railroad. When the train comes down the street it is best to just get out of the way! Of note on this run was the rare usage of the railroad’s two SW1500 switch locomotives. These former Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad motors rarely ever leave the southern end of the railroad down in Belle Chasse, but were in use today hauling the road train south. Gretna is a cool place to shoot trains in the street, and boasts another streetrunning segment that I’ll post about soon.

Isaac Fulford


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