Engineer’s Journal – May 1, 2005
We got back to the train in the mid-afternoon and spent time visiting with the public who were visiting the train. About 5 pm, we moved the engine back onto the cars and did our inspection and air brake test. It was decided that we could leave a little early as long as we could clear up before a southbound hotshot got to us. We pulled to the electrically locked switch and they were unable to get the switch to operate. We had to back into the clear and let the southbound get by us and then we tried again. The switch worked this time so we pulled onto the main, backed past the Hammond, LA depot to the signal north of the connector track, then pulled through the connector onto the line to Baton Rouge.
The branch to Baton Rouge was about 43 miles long and had 129 public grade crossings! We had the bell and whistle going almost the entire trip. The western end of the line took us through even more congested areas and we were at 20 mph through most of this part of the line. We pulled over the interlocking with KCS and proceeded to the wye where we turned the train. We pulled back to the KCS interlocking and pulled onto the connector where we said goodbye to our CN/IC pilot Leon David. KCS Manager of Operating Practices Ted Wax was there to pick us up as our pilot and it was like a reunion since Ted had been our pilot for all the test runs and for the first KCS segment of our journey. We pulled the train down the main to the KCS yard office and tied down for the night. David and I headed for the Comfort Suites off of I-10 and College where we stayed the night.