St. Aloysius, 1925 #BOSH

St. Aloysius, 1925 #BOSH

St. Aloysius 1925

st. aloysius

St. Aloysius College, 1925. (Frack Studios photo, via HNOC)

St. Aloysius – New School for 1925

St. Aloysius College moved into their new home on Esplanade and North Rampart in 1925. The original building was a lovely mansion that was owned by the Ursuline Sisters. In 1892, the Ursulines decided to move their school uptown. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart were in a house on Barracks and Chartres at the time. The BOSH jumped on the Esplanade Avenue house, The Aloysius student body grew now that the Institute had some room to grow.

Streetcars!

The corner of Esplanade and Rampart was an active transit location. The Canal and Esplanade Belt lines turned there. When the streetcars ran in “belt” service, they ran continuously in one direction. In this case, the Canal Street line ran out Canal, then turned right onto City Park Avenue at the Cemeteries. The streetcars went down City Park Avenue to the Bayou Bridge, then crossed Bayou St. John. They then went down Esplanade Avenue to N. Rampart. From Rampart, they turned right to go up to Canal Street. The streetcar turned left, went around Liberty Place, which turned them around do it all again.

The Esplanade line did the opposite run. From Canal and Rampart, Esplanade streetcars went down Rampart, then turned to go up Esplanade to the Bayou. From there, they went up City Park Avenue, turning left at Canal Street. They then went down Canal, to Liberty Place.

That’s why they were called “belt” lines. The St. Charles and Tulane lines are the more well-known belts in town, since they operated into the 1950s. Canal/Esplanade belt service was discontinued in 1931.

Eminent Domain

Streetcar ridership increased through the early 1920s. New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI) worked with the city to expand and improve the streetcar system. When it came to Esplanade and N. Rampart, NOPSI wanted to expand the neutral ground on Rampart. They sought city approval to widen the street. That required the city to acquire about a foot of right-of-way from the property owners.

The Institute were smart men. They didn’t voluntarily sell that foot of ground on the corner. The BOSH forced the city to use its “eminent domain” authority. They made the city pay to demolish the old mansion when buying the right-of-way. The Brothers then built the building most of us know as St. Aloysius College.

Back to School

This is one of the earliest photos of the new building. Franck Studios took it for either the city or NOPSI. You can see the street work just completed on Rampart. The boys started the 1925-26 school year in their new home. By the 1960s, the rush to build caught up with the school. That’s the prologue to the story of Brother Martin High School, which began its 50th year, educating young men, this week.

Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans

by Edward J. Branley

st. aloysius

When New Orleanians ask Where did you go to school? they aren t asking what university you attended but what high school. That tells a native a lot about you. For over 150 years, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart have educated the young men of New Orleans, giving them the opportunity to answer the question proudly by replying St. Stanislaus, St. Aloysius, Cor Jesu, or Brother Martin. Images of America: Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans showcases photographs, illustrations, and maps tracing the role of the institute in making New Orleans a vibrant and dynamic city, able to overcome even the worst of adversity. From their roots in the French Quarter, moving to Faubourg Marigny, and finally settling in Gentilly, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart continue to make a major contribution to metro New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana.
Product Details

ISBN: 9780738585673
ISBN-10: 073858567X
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (SC)
Publication Date: April 12th, 2010
Pages: 127
Language: English
Series: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)

Amtrak Crescent – “Anniversary” Locos haul to Atlanta and NYC

Amtrak Crescent – “Anniversary” Locos haul to Atlanta and NYC

Amtrak Crescent off to Atlanta and NYC

amtrak crescent

Genesis P42DC #184, in “Phase IV Anniversary” livery, pulling the Amtrak Crescent, 12-Aug-2018 (Edward Branley photo)

(cross-posted to Pontchartrain Railroad)

Amtrak Crescent

amtrak crescent

Southern RR’s Crescent Limited, pulled by EMD E8 locos, approaching Atlanta, 1971 (courtesy Mel Finzer)

The Amtrak Crescent is living history. The train runs from New Orleans to New York’s Penn Station daily. The train originally arrived and departed from the Louisville and Nashville passenger terminal at Canal Street and the river until 1954. After 1954, The Crescent Limited operated from Union Passenger Terminal. When Amtrak took over passenger rail operations in the US, the Crescent continued.

P42 Genesis Locomotives

amtrak crescent

Amtrak P42s #57 and #59, leaving New Orleans. (Edward Branley photo)

When Amtrak took over passenger rail in 1971, the railroads still running passenger trains gave their locomotives and rolling stock to the new corporation. Over time, phased out “heritage” equipment. So, they ordered new equipment. Amtrak replaced the original E8s, PAs, and other locomotives with EMD FP40 locomotives. EMD produced the FP40s from 1975 to 1992. The company those with the GE Genesis series. Currently, Amtrak uses the GE P42DC Genesis loco on the three trains that arrive and depart from New Orleans.

“Anniversary” P42s

Amtrak Crescent

Amtrak “Heritage” Paint Lineup, 2011 (Amtrak Photo)

To mark its 40th anniversary, Amtrak painted several P42s in older schemes. With the exception of P42 Number 66, which was damaged beyond repair, these locos are still in operation.

Amtrak Crescent

GE P42DC locomotives operated by Amtrak (Edward Branley photo)

I drove past the Amtrak engine terminal and coach yard, which is next to Earhart Blvd, in Central City, last week. I purchased an N-Scale P42DC in the Phase IV scheme last month. I’d never seen this loco in the area before. There it was, parked at the engine terminal! I got this long shot, through the fence.

Now that I’ve seen the loco pulling the Amtrak Crescent out up to Atlanta, the model is now “prototype” for Pontchartrain RR’s re-creation of the “Back Belt”.

#42 – “Veterans”

Amtrak Crescent

Amtrak #42, a P42DC painted to honor Veterans. (Edward Branley photo)

Amtrak painted several locos in a red and black scheme, with a design that says, “America’s Railroads Salute Our Veterans”. Genesis #42 regularly runs on the Amtrak Crescent, usually as the second loco, as it was today, behind #184.

 

NORTA 933 on the Riverfront Line? #StreetcarSaturday

NORTA 933 on the Riverfront Line? #StreetcarSaturday

NORTA 933 on Riverfront?

NORTA 933

900-series NORTA 933 on the Riverfront line, 20-Jan-2008 (courtesy Commons user KimonBerlin)

NORTA 933 on Riverfront?

I don’t remember seeing this photo before. After Hurricane Katrina, it took some time to get both the St. Charles and Canal lines back to fully operational status. The green arch roofs were, for the most part OK, but the red, 2000-series cars flooded.

Getting the streetcars running

The overhead wiring on St. Charles was a mess, but it was for the most part fine on Canal. The rail department borrowed a voltage rectifier from MBTA in Boston, connected it to Entergy power, and was able to deliver power to the Canal line in December, 2005. After a few test runs, it was decided to run the 1923-vintage cars on Canal while the Von Dullens were repaired/rebuilt.

Historic Landmark concerns.

The designation of the St. Charles line and its 35 900-series streetcars as a National Historic Landmark is very important for NORTA and the city. The decision to operate the green streetcars on “revenue runs” off St. Charles was technically a violation of the landmark designation. The line and those streetcars were supposed to be frozen-in-time at the point it was put on all the lists.

Yeah, that’s important, but Hurricane Katrina was quite the exception. The city, and NORTA knew that running those streetcars was essential for showing that the city was on the road to recovery. Things were indeed looking less dire by December, 2005.

900s on Canal Street

Seeing the green streetcars run on Canal Street was a flashback for those of us who remember them from 1964 and earlier. The arch roofs had been a mainstay on the Canal iine since the “Palace” cars were retired in the mid-1930s. They ran on Canal until the line was converted to bus operation in May, 1964. From the 1930s, the Canal and West End lines ran the 800s and 900s. West End converted to buses in 1948.

New Places for the 900s

In addition to once again running up and down Canal Street, the aftermath of Katrina saw the green streetcars run on track that didn’t exist when they were limited to St. Charles in 1964. One year after Canal re-opened in 2004, the “Carrollton Spur” went operational. Every third 2000-series Von Dullen car on the line made a right turn, running down N. Carrollton Avenue, to City Park. They pulled into a two-track terminal there at Esplanade Avenue and Bayou St. John, then returned to downtown.

Riverfront

Since the 400-series arch roofs were also damaged in the storm’s flooding, the Riverfront line had the same issues Canal did. NORTA decided to have the 900s make a left turn at Canal and the riverfront. They ran down to Esplanade Avenue, along the riverfront edge of the French Quarter. When they hit the French Market Terminal (stop 1 on the Riverfront line), they changed directions and returned to Cemeteries and City Park.

New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line
by Edward J. Branley

cemeteries terminal

New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line

The clanging of a streetcar’s bell conjures images of a time when street railways were a normal part of life in the city. Historic Canal Street represents the common ground between old and new with buses driving alongside steel rails and electric wires that once guided streetcars.
New Orleans was one of the first cities to embrace street railways, and the city’s love affair with streetcars has never ceased. New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line showcases photographs, diagrams, and maps that detail the rail line from its origin and golden years, its decline and disappearance for almost 40 years, and its return to operation. From the French Quarter to the cemeteries, the Canal Line ran through the heart of the city and linked the Creole Faubourgs with the new neighborhoods that stretched to Lake Pontchartrain.

Product Details

ISBN: 9781531610920
ISBN-10: 1531610927
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing Library Editions
Publication Date: March 24th, 2004
Pages: 130
Language: English

Texas and Pacific Railroad – Train Thursday

Texas and Pacific Railroad – Train Thursday

Texas and Pacific Railroad – Train Thursday.

Texas and Pacific

T&P Railway passenger train, leaving the Trans-Mississippi Passenger station, 1950s.

Texas and Pacific Railroad – Uptown, West Bank, Points West!

EMD E-8A #2011 leads a Texas and Pacific passenger train out of the Trans-Mississippi Passenger Station, New Orleans. Data on a Texas and Pacific Railway history website indicates this photo was shot in 1950-1951.

The second, “B” diesel unit is an EMD F-7B. I can’t find a roster number for that unit in this photo. Drop me a line (or comment) if you can identify it.

The Texas and Pacific Railway began operations in the state of Texas in 1871. The Missouri Pacific Railroad acquired a majority share of the T&P in 1928. While they essentially owned T&P, MoPac operated T&P independently until 1976. MoPac merged into the Union Pacific in 1980. Because of lawsuits and regulatory issues, however, the merger was not complete until 1997.

Texas and Pacific Station

Texas and Pacific

Trans-Mississippi Passenger Station, uptown New Orleans.

The “Trans Mississippi Passenger Station” stood on Annunciation Street, uptown, between Thalia and Melpomene Streets. So, this station is one of the five consolidated into Union Passenger Terminal. We’ll do a full article on it in the future.

The Louisiana Eagle

texas and pacific

Texas and Pacific Railway passenger ticket, 1940s.

These locos are likely pulling the “Louisiana Eagle”, the “name train” that ran from New Orleans to Dallas/Ft. Worth on the T&P. The Louisiana Eagle departed New Orleans at 7:50pm, arrived in Dallas at 8:05am the next morning, terminating at 9:05am in Ft. Worth. So, it was an overnight train.

While the Huey P. Long Bridge carried trains, Texas and Pacific used train ferries to cross the Mississippi. The trains would leave the Annunciation Street terminal, then go to the riverfront. The cars boarded a rail ferry boat for the crossing. The train re-formed, stopping at the Gretna station on Fourth Street. They would then go on their way.

The typical consist of the Louisiana Eagle was an E-8 or F-7 locomotive, then five cars (presumably baggage, two sleepers, diner, and a coach). I don’t have a definite consist list, so if you do, let me know.

 

Mid-City Railroading in the late 1940s

Mid-City Railroading in the late 1940s

Mid-City Railroading in the late 1940s

mid-city railroading

L&N Train leaving Canal Street, 1940s (Ron Flanery photo)

Mid-City Railroading – late 1940s

I ran out to the UNO Library a couple of weeks ago, chasing down some old railroad maps. I remembered seeing a set of maps there a few years back, but resisted the temptation to go totally down the rabbit hole on railroad stuff. One of the things that did stick with me, though, was that there was a railroad engine terminal behind Greenwood Cemetery, more or less where First Baptist Church is now (below).

mid-city railroading

Engine terminal by Greenwood Cemetery, 1949 (City of New Orleans)

 

Grade crossing survey

I found the documents I remembered quickly. It was a grade crossing survey from 1949. The compiled the data for the new Union Passenger Terminal project. I didn’t need high-quality scans for now. So I took some phone pics and moved on. Just knowing I was right about the engine terminal was enough. I came back to those images this morning. I wanted to get an idea of the general area around City Park Avenue to the New Basin Canal. Therefore, I took quick shots of those plates.

mid-city railroading

Grade crossing survey, 1949 (City of New Orleans)

So, I had some time this morning, and I looked those other images over. I came across something that made me scratch my head. The plate showing tracks around Bienville Street and N. Carrollton Avenue (above) showed the layout of a full passenger rail station.

Passenger Stations in New Orleans

This confused me in a big way. I’d always known about the five passenger stations in the city. They were:

  • Louisville and Nashville (Canal and the river)
  • Terminal Station, Southern and Gulf, Mobile and Ohio (Canal and Basin Streets)
  • Union Station, Illinois Central and Southern Pacific (Howard Avenue)
  • Texas Pacific/Missouri Pacific (Annunciation Street)
  • Louisiana & Arkansas-Kansas City Southern (S. Rampart and Girod Streets)

These five were demolished, and UPT was built right behind Union Station, so it fronted Loyola Avenue. So, I’d never heard of a station in Mid-City.

mid-city railroading

Bienville Street and N. Carrollton Avenue, 1937 (Sanborn)

While I’ve read a bunch on railroads in the city, I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge is quite incomplete. Drew Ward graciously pulled up the Sanborns for N. Carrollton and Bienville. The image above is from 1937, and doesn’t look anything like a proper passenger station.

I’ll keep you posted on what I learn.

 

 

Prytania Market

Prytania Market

Prytania Market

prytania market

Prytania Market, ca. 1915 (New Orleans Public Library photo)

Prytania Market

prytania market

Location of the Prytania Market. The land is now public green space.

Before home and commercial refrigeration was widespread, folks made groceries at the neighborhood’s public market. So, these markets were all over the city of New Orleans. The Prytania Market was located on Prytania Street. It was between Upperline and Lyons. By the 1910s, the neighborhood grew to the point where folks didn’t want to walk to the markets surrounding them.

Truck Farmers

Public markets were the “stores” for “truck farmers”. These folks farmed the land out in Kenner and Little Farms (now River Ridge). Initially, they traveled in from Kenner via horse-drawn wagon. In 1915, the Orleans-Kenner Railroad line opened. The “O-K” was the metro area’s only true interurban railroad line. The farmers loaded up their crops onto these electric cars, which had a lot of open cargo space. They arrived at S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne. Usually they enlisted a relative or a friend with a wagon to get them from the O-K station to one or more of the public markets. These farmers got the name “truck farmers” when they bought trucks to get into town.Therefore, the O-K interurban was no longer useful. The line closed in 1930.

Open-Air

The public markets were essentially just open-air stalls. While some markets occupied enclosed buildings, others, like Prytania, were completely open. There was no electricity at this time. So the city monitored sanitary conditions, through their franchisees. While seafood vendors did sell at the markets, their sales were prohibited in the summer. The fish and shellfish didn’t stay fresh in the heat.

Prytania Street

From 1915 to the 1940s, the farmers selling at the Prytania Market worked at the building in the photo above. The city owned many of the public markets, including this one. City government franchised them out to business owners and management companies. So, in 1923, the city awarded the Prytania franchise to Charles F. Buck, Jr.

The market building was expanded/improved by architect Sam Stone Jr.’s firm in 1922. Stone was was a well-known architect. He designed the 13-story Maison Blanche building. It’s now the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Prytania Market

Prytania Market, ca. 1940 (New Orleans Public Library photo)

In 1938, the city contracted Stone’s firm again, to re-design the Prytania Market. The building above operated through the 1940s and 1950s. So, supermarkets arrived. They changed the way we made groceries. The public markets became obsolete. The city demolished the Prytania Market. The property is now a small public park.

New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line

800 block canal street

The clanging of a streetcar’s bell conjures images of a time when street railways were a normal part of life in the city. Historic Canal Street represents the common ground between old and new with buses driving alongside steel rails and electric wires that once guided streetcars.

New Orleans was one of the first cities to embrace street railways, and the city’s love affair with streetcars has never ceased. New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line showcases photographs, diagrams, and maps that detail the rail line from its origin and golden years, its decline and disappearance for almost 40 years, and its return to operation. From the French Quarter to the cemeteries, the Canal Line ran through the heart of the city and linked the Creole Faubourgs with the new neighborhoods that stretched to Lake Pontchartrain.