2011 Steam Fest Info

The consist will be open for tours. We will have an exhibit providing an overview of the state bicentennial trip along with a maritime steam exhibit. This maritime exhibit will complement a large selection of maritime steam engines from a various marine craft all professionally restored. One of these engines will actually be run with steam fed from 745. The “Thomas” kiddie train will give rides. Multiple model train layouts will be there for the junior engineers. An inflatable train will be available for the kids to climb through. Operation Lifesaver will reinforce the rail crossing safety message.

The music line-up includes classic rock by “The Refugeze” and rock-a-billy by “Christian Serpas and Ghost Town” on Saturday. On Sunday the Bluegrass band “Hazel and the Delta Ramblers” play followed up by the 60’s and 70’s band “Liquid Peace Revolution”.  Food vendors will be on site along with cold drinks and frozen treats. The gift shop will be set up. And as always pets are welcome.

This is LASTA’s one and only fundraiser. We welcome everyone to come out and have fun with us to keep 745 in top shape. We look forward to seeing you there.

Yard Progress

While work continued on the new LASTA yard, we were visited by the Ellsworth Steam Trailer.   Jerry, our Chief Mechanical Officer, was hard at work obtaining measurements from a 1942 Marine Steam Engine.  Plans are to demonstrate this recently rebuilt engine at our upcoming Steam Fest.

The LASTA track crew continued working on the new track.   The first new switch has been moved into position and we should be making the connection to the main track soon.  The first leg should run parallel to our existing track.

745 Journal

745 Journal spring 2011 color

Railroad Benches

Four Railroad Benches for Sale  — $100 each

These Railroad Station Benches were built for and used in the 2008 movie “ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”  They were used in the train station scene.  During filming, the set included only a few benches and a facade that was later filled out with complex 3D digital images of ornate ceilings, rows of windows and a large crowd. Check out the behind the scene details at Animation World Network.

  • Condition:  They are functional and very sturdy and look like the real thing.  Some of the veneer is loose but could be re-glued. They have been stored inside a railroad boxcar and are somewhat dusty.
  • Construction:  Composite /wood product  (not wafer/particle board) with laminate covering.
  • Size: They are a few inches short of 10 feet long,  4 feet  wide and  about 3 feet high.
  • Style: Double Side, Railroad Bench
  • Weight: There are 8 sets of back to back benches and are VERY HEAVY. 

They are not recommended for outdoor use and sold as-is.  Buyer is responsible for transportation; however, we will assist with loading.  Proceeds for the sale will be used for the operation and maintenance expenses of our historic steam locomotive – SP745.

Steam Fest III

Experience historic Southern Pacific steam locomotive # 745, “The Spirit of Louisiana,” (under steam) along with her exhibit train featuring “steam train and bluegrass music.” New this year is the bluegrass music element as we start New Orleans’ first bluegrass music festival. There will also be a model train layout, a kiddy train for the little ones to ride on, antique cars, a wonderful gift shop as well as delicious food and drinks.  Every hour there will be live bands playing exciting bluegrass music! Come and enjoy this unique piece of Louisiana railroad history and the stirring sounds of bluegrass!

The Steam Train Bluegrass Festival will be held on Riverview (the fly) behind Audubon Zoo. It takes place Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5, 2008

(Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) The festival is free but there is a fee to view the exhibits aboard the train as well as the cab of SP #745 under steam.

For more information call 504-897-2464 or go to

2007 General Meeting


Mr. Amdal is our newest board member. He currently serves as the Director of the Merritt C. Becker Maritime and Intermodal Transportation Center (MITC) at the University of New Orleans. His experience in transportation infrastructure development and historic preservation will be a great asset to our organization. The remainder of the board is comprised of active crew members and long-time volunteers.

Steam Fest III

Visitors were also able to climb aboard our magnificent steam locomotive and our red caboose.

During the event, we maintained 50 lbs of steam so that visitors could feel her ‘alive’. Musical entertainment was provided by Rocky’s Hot Foxtrot Orchestra, Hazel and the Delta Ramblers and Gal Holiday and The Honky Tonk Revue.

745 Journal

Fall 2007 – Coverage of Steam Fest II, and a November Steam Up event with a chance to ride behind 745 at the yard. Christmas party featured Santa arriving at the LASTA yard via red caboose pushed by 745.

Frank Davis does a promo segment on Channel 4 featuring Steam Fest and Steam Up. Donation of 6 wheel roller bearing axles from Baton Rouge NRHS’s passenger consist that was moved from Baton Rouge to Hammond.

Movie Time!

On Saturday, July 14, we gathered at Mike’s house to apply the usual LASTA elbow grease to make some much-needed home repairs.

Later in the month, Listerine on Sundays, a local production, filmed at the LASTA yard for several days. This film is set to be released in early 2008.

745 Journal

Summer 2007 – Steam Fest preview announcing displays of the US Army Transportation Corps in WW2, Annual Inspection completed and FRA cleared 745 for operation after the low water incident. 745 stars in the independent film “Listerine on Sundays”, and calendars are provided as a perk of LASTA membership. Arrangements begin to have the Bisso locomotive moved to the LASTA yard. Community outreach program invites Cub Scouts for a visit yard to earn various badges and educational awards.

745 Journal Summer 2007 v. 2

745 Journal

745 steaming down the high iron again

On February 7, we departed at approximately 8 am for our test run. We arrived in Baton Rouge around noon, turned at the Canadian National (CN) “Y” and then remained overnight at the KCS Yard .

At 8 am the following morning, we departed for our return trip to New Orleans, arrived at the CN yard just before 2 pm, where we waited until both the north and southbound Amtrak trains passed. We then proceeded to Lambert junction where we met the Public Belt switcher to escort us back to our yard. 745 was back in her home yard by 4:30 PM, successfully completing her first trip since Kansas City Excursion.

Mays Yard by Leo Persick

745 and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons”

745 had all lettering removed from her firemen’s side and replaced with a Southern Railroad “SR” logo as well as the “Southern” name. 745 was also renumbered on that side and under the headlight to “682.” The Jefferson Parlor car also had her lettering removed and was stenciled “Southern” along the side and across the rear platform top.