See the Pontchartrian RR., in the Suburban Railroads and Short Line Railroads section, page e.
See references to this RR in the Suburban Railroads and Short Line Railroads section, the Canal Street City Park & Lake RR Co. and the New Orleans & Western RR, both on page e4.
Originally, in the 1880s, a logging railroad extending from a point on the Pearl River (Mississippi/Louisiana state line) running west into the “Florida parishes” tapping the huge timber tracts. Originally, the log road lines were narrow gauge, and constantly were laid and relaid in an area roughly from Covington south to the lake and east to the Pearl River, connecting with the NO&NE RR (Queen & Crescent Route) at “Pearl River Station.” The Poitevent-Favre lumber interests converted their logging roads to 4'8½" gauge in mid 1885 (DP 8/11/1885) and chartered the East Louisiana RR Co. July 8, 1887. Mr. John Poitevent was ELRR president, with Capt. Sam R. Poitevent as supt. Much rerouting and upgrading of the RR took place to make it ready for service, New Orleans to Abita Springs. The first train ran June 24, 1887 (DP 6/28/1887). The “Press St. Station” (NO&NE) in New Orleans was used from the start. The road had two BLW 20 ton and two Porter 18 ton locomotives, and a roster of 5 locos, 13 passenger cars, 3 baggage cars in 1895; the fifth loco was probably a 30 ton Rogers reported in early 1889 (DP 4/12/1889). A complete roster of ELRR locomotives may be impossible. The known ones are from various builders, and surely there were second hand acquisitions. Three DP news notes on ELRR locos: (8/11/1885) E. L. getting loco named “Pearl River”, a Porter. (4/6/1889) Getting new loco from Rome works, 30T 14x24, 60" drivers. (4/12/1889) Obtained 30T Rogers with 14x24 cylinders this is possibly the engine reported 4/6/1889. There were locos bought for the ELRR lumber subsidiary, later known as Great Southern Lumber Co. Poitevent & Favre, the earlier lumber co., also had their own locos, sometimes used by the ELRR
The builders of ELRR passenger cars show the road had “good taste”. In 1886, the ELRR bought four Jackson & Sharp coaches, three 58' open platform cars seating 52 on reversing seats, Miller platforms, and one 56' combination car. About a year later, another Jackson & Sharp passenger car was purchased. These all were probably RR roof open platform cars. In 1890, the ELRR announced plans to build six coaches in its own shops (DP 2/17/1890).
Early in its history, the ELRR planned to reach New Orleans via car ferry across Lake Pontchartrain, and the RR bought the steamer “Cape Charles” for this operation. This makes sense of an interesting item. On Nov. 15, 1895, the ELRR purchased the N. O. Spanish Fort & Lake RR, then sold it to the New Orleans & Western RR Co. on July 1, 1897. The ELRR retained trackage rights over the NO&W. The location of the Mandeville landing of the North Shore, according to old residents of the city interviewed in the late 1960s, was close to the Causeway and was called “the Cape Charles Pier.” An old citizen in Jefferson Parish, interviewed by H. George Friedman ca. 1960, thought the N. O. shore of the lake location for a pier was near the Causeway, and a few rotting piers were visible. This location was near enough to the NO&W RR (later the New Orleans Terminal Co.) to make a rail connection a minor difficulty. However, since the ELRR owned the N. O. Spanish Fort & Lake, it would be best to have a landing adjacent to Spanish Fort, where a landing accommodating smaller lake steamers was already in use.
East Louisiana RR baggage-parlor combine 17 and coach 27, lettered ST. TAMMANY SPECIAL. Beginning May 27, 1903, the New Orleans Great Northern (which by then owned the ELRR) operated trains of these cars between New Orleans and the towns on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The cars could really swallow crowds; counting windows suggests at least 80 seats in the coach. They had link-and-pin couplers, roomy toilet/wash rooms, wooden back seats, air brakes. The vestibule is an early design, taking up only part of the platform. The cars were probably bult in the early 1890s. NOGN timetables of the 1920s featured the St. Tammany Special.
Incorporated 1/27/1905, built to high quality railroad standards by the Goodyears of Buffalo to reach timber tracts in Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana. (Louisiana's “Florida parishes”, conquered by the Spanish government of Louisiana, Sr. Galvez administration, during the U. S. War For Independence. British possessions lost included more than the thirteen American colonies.) Goodyear built the NOGN quickly, from Jackson, Miss. to Slidel, La., where the Queen & Crescent Route sold him trackage rights to New Orleans. The NOGN at the same time purchased the East Louisiana RR (which see). The Goodyears built a completely new “company town,” named Bogalusa, about halfway between Slidel and the Mississippi state line. The city was planned to have 8,000 residents and to be the location of the RR offices and shops, and a giant lumber mill.
The NOGN maintained its New Orleans passenger depot where the East Louisiana RR terminated, on Press St., presumably using the NO&NE (Queen & Crescent Route) facility. The popular trains from New Orleans to the “Ozone Belt” across the north coast of Lake Pontchartrain, to towns like Madisonville, Mandeville, Abita Springs, and Covington, which the ELRR had inaugurated (which see), were retained.
No record of new equipment orders by NOGN is available, but the new road did buy three known motor cars:
GE motors, contr.
|1913||3738||CE-P&B||70'||50 T||Ret. 1922, sold 1927|
|43'||14½ T||Into GM&N||Demolished,|
|3||Brill||1925||22197||Brill 75 CE|
175 hp GM
|55'||25 T||Into GM&N||Became GM&N 300|
|New Orleans Great Northern motor car 2 in a builder's photo, probably taken at the Brill plant in 1922. Unfortunately, the car had a fairly brief life, being demolished in a collision in 1929.|
The Gulf Mobile & Northern RR, created January 1, 1917 by Jackson, Tenn. banker Isaac B. Tigrett to consolidate his railroad holdings under one title, and extend the new road. Predecessors were early, consisting of several roads, even one narrow gauge road and another built by Col. W. C. Faulkner, whose son William became one of the nation's most widely acclaimed authors. Lumber and forest products were the economic sustenance of the Tigrett rail system, which added the New Orleans Great Northern RR to its mileage December 30, 1929. The NOGN, well built and maintained superbly by Tigrett, was a pioneer user of motor trains in full-scale main line railroading. Brill in 1930 sold two model 860 gas-electric motors to the GM&N-owned NOGN, displacing four locomotives and four combination baggage and mail cars on New Orleans-Jackson, Miss. and Covington, La. lines. These motors were 75 feet in length, numbered 350 and 351. Accompanying these were four Brill coaches specially designed for motor service: a combination passenger-baggage trailer, no. 360; two 80-passenger coaches, nos. 370 & 371; and an observation trailer, no. 390. On November 4, 1930, “The St. Tammany Special”, with this new equipment, attracted much attention. The train used the Southern's Basin & Canal terminal station, and ran over the NO&NE to Slidell, then over its own tracks to Mandeville and Abita Springs, terminating at Covington. (At Slidell, the train divided, one section going north to Bogalusa.) The coaches were arch-roof design, lighter than standard railroad coaches of the same size, and all axles used roller bearings. The entire train was painted in aluminum and scarlet (TP 11/4/1930). In many ways, this train resembled the “streamlined” trains which began rolling over the Union Pacific RR, the Chicago Burlington & Quincy RR, and the NOGN itself in 1935, with its “Rebel” articulated train, the south's first such equipment. (Louis R. Saillard, GM&OHS, In Defense of the M-351, pp. 4-11.)
The GM&N's “Rebel” equipment, a complete three-car articulated train, was a design American Car & Foundry Co. developed from their famous one-car streamlined motor known as “Motorailers”. Among roads using these were the Illinois Central RR, Norfolk Southern RR, Seaboard Air Line Ry., New York Susquehanna & Western RR, and Missouri & Arkansas RR.) ACF built its Motorailers at Brill in Philadelphia, but in 1935 began building the “Rebels” at their own facility in Berwick, Pa. Stylist Otto Kohler designed the cars, and the order called for two trains (two power cars and five trailers). On July 10, 1935 the Rebel inaugurated service, New Orleans to Jackson, Tenn. The trains were so popular, a third was ordered in 1936.
|Order||Built||Built For||Road No.||Wt.||Length||Seats||Power|
|1383||1934||GM&N||352, 353||89½ T||73'04"||||Alco|
Gulf Mobile & Ohio RR Tigrett's system grew with merger with the Mobile & Ohio RR in 1940. “Rebels” continued, but the limited mail section caused occasional replacement by diesel locos and standard heavy equipment. The author noticed, in an August 1951 trip to New Orleans, an Alco passenger loco (3-windowed engineer's CPT) heading a long train, very much parcel post business. GM&O passenger service to New Orleans ended the day their terminal at Basin & Canal closed and the Southern moved to the new Union Passenger Terminal on Loyola Ave. In 1972, the GM&O merged with the Illinois Central, forming the Illinois Central Gulf RR, and a few years later, much of the original GM&O was spun off to the Kansas City Southern and several small carriers.
|21898||1923||||1 42'5" P&B Gas Rail Body|
(from 21634 “for stock”)
|Service Motors Inc.||10/17/1923|
|21981||1924||||1 42'5" P&B Model 55 (like 21992)||2/27/1924|
|21981¼||"||||1 81M truck|
|21981½||"||||1 81T truck|
|22857||1930||350, 351||75' P&B Gas Elec MC bodies||Order made 3/3/1930||Promised 7/1930|
|22857¼||"||||2 27MCB5 motor trucks|
|22857½||"||||2 27MCB3 trailer trucks|
|11106(S-2)||"||||Seats for 22857|
|22858||"||||2 73'6" pass trailer car bodies||"||"|
|22858½||"||||4 27MCB3 trailer trucks|
|11106(S-3)||"||||Seats for 22858|
|22859||"||||1 pass obs body|
|22859½||"||||2 27MCB3 trailer trucks|
|11106(S-4)||"||||Seats for 22859|
|22860||"||||1 P&B trailer car body|
|22860½||"||||2 MCB3 trailer trucks|
|11106(S-5)||"||||Seats for 22860|
|Brill builder's photo, order no. 22859, showing New Orleans Great Northern observation car 390, with a drumhead sign lettered St Tammany Special.|
Copyright © 2015, 2018 Louis C. Hennick. All rights reserved.
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