Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Elsewhere in New Orleans

The Canal Street line was put into operation since we last visited New Orleans, and is being expanded; construction of a branch along Rampart will begin soon.   In several places there are switches heading off the active routes to the proposed extensions.  This line uses newly-built cars, although I believe all of the cars could run on any of the lines.

Here we are at the end of the line to City Park.  Check your poles, that's always good advice.

City Park is big and has a lot of interesting features, such as an excellent art museum, a great botanical garden, a modern sculpture collection, an amusement park, and so on.  

To save space, I'll spare you the art and botany, but modern sculpture is always an uplifting experience.

  You meet all sorts of people.

The park has a large loop of 15" gauge track with the usual gas-mechanical 4-2-4 engines.  They were not running for passengers, but a couple of guys were running the locomotive to check out the line.

And then there's the "Train Garden", a large LGB outdoors layout, also not operating on this particular day.

Of course, the streetcar system used to be a lot bigger.  This is over across the river, in the historic Algiers Point neighborhood.

And finally, there's the Union Passenger Terminal, and the Amtrak train to Chicago.   We've got to back again soon!


Stephen Scalzo said...

I notice from your interior New Orleans Canal streetcar scene that the RTA from what I see apparently has installed cameras on the cars

Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Stephen, I hadn't noticed that. The cameras are undoubtedly for recording accidents, which must happen on a regular basis, given the high density of traffic of every sort along the line. This should make all the lawyers in our audience happy.

Chris said...

I wonder how much fun it would be to break up the concrete around that switch without damaging the rails, to install points.

Randall Hicks said...

Yes, the one in the foreground is a little weird. It doesn't even look like it will line up correctly. Maybe it's left over from the old Canal St. line. In the background, you can see a switch and crossover already installed. That's more normal.

Chris said...

A track engineer could get everything to line up, by widening the diverging curve radius as it gets closer to the straight route rails, or by running a sort of gauntlet for some distance and then curving the diverging rails toward the straight rails again.

It seems these complex curve designs were common on streetcar lines to prevent overhanging streetcar ends from getting too close to the parallel tracks, and to keep the streetcars from hanging too close to curb corners.

Randall Hicks said...

You're right, I hadn't thought about that. CSL had a lot of extended switches because the two tracks were very close together and many of the cars had very long platforms. But I don't recall seeing any switches like that in New Orleans, and the tracks are far enough apart that it doesn't seem necessary.