Railroads Trains have always been a fascination for many people, especially for those of us over 50. In our early years, it was our best means of travel as well as the most efficient way of transporting goods. As a youngster, I remember looking into the baggage car to watch as the mailman sorted mail to be delivered to the different destinations along his train route. The “iron horse” had its beginning in Plaquemine when the first train arrived on June 15, 1881. Although freight trains continue their tradition of transporting merchandise, the era of the passenger train in Plaquemine ended on December 17, 1969, when trains No. 21 and 22 between New Orleans and Marshal, Texas passed through Plaquemine. Many different types of engines have graced the railroad tracks of Plaquemine throughout the years. The following slides serve to remind us of those changes.
Construction Workers on the First Train Bridge Across Bayou Plaquemine (1881)
First Train Bridge Completed in 1881 The first train arrived in Plaquemine on June 15, 1881. The New Orleans & Pacific Co. bought out Morgan's Louisiana & Texas Ry. & Steamship Co. on February 21, 1881 and completed the road into Plaquemine.
Construction on a second bridge to cross Bayou Plaquemine began in November 1920 and was completed in 1921. Train Bridge
Barge Under the First Railroad Bridge Positioned to Raise and Remove The Old Bridge (1921)
First Train to Cross the New Train Bridge (1921)
Plaquemine’s First Railroad Depot Built in 1881 Clyde P. Harrel, Sr., Plaquemine’s third station agent, is pictured fifth from the left.
Plaquemine’s Second Train Depot The city of Plaquemine has had three depots. The first was a modest pine structure erected in 1881, the second pictured here in 1902 and the third, a brick building built in 1926.
Jitney, On Right, Waiting For Arriving Passengers
Plaquemine’s Third and Last Train Depot (1926)
Passenger Train Waiting at Plaquemine’s Third Depot
The Building Of The Second Railroad Tracks Through Plaquemine in 1941 Click to Enlarge Pictures (Do not click in automatic play mode)
The Passenger Train Era At one time there were 4 passenger trains passing through Plaquemine daily. Steam engines followed later by diesel driven engines pulled the passenger cars. On December 17, 1969, when trains No. 21 and 22 made their last trip through Plaquemine, the depot was closed marking the end of the era of passenger train services through Plaquemine. From this date on, the tracks were used only to transfer freight through Plaquemine. Click to Enlarge Pictures (Do not click in automatic play mode)