Alexandria to Eunice, LA
— User Comments —
This Rock Island line ran on the old Texas Pacific (MP/UP) main line from Alexandria to just south of Lecompte, La., near Meeker. I believe it branched off near the old abandoned sugar cane mill at Meeker, then went on south through Clearwater, Meridian, Turkey Creek, Pine Prairie and on to Eunice. From around Clearwater on down to Turkey Creek, the railroad ran pretty much parallel to U. S. Hwy 167 on the west side of the highway. From Turkey Creek on down through Pine Prairie to Eunice it ran parallel to La. Hwy 13 on the east side for the most part, but ran right through the town of Pine Prairie. As I kid, I remember seeing the train at Turkey Creek. They used to load wood rack cars with pulp wood and lumber. There still should be some evidence of the right of way at Turkey Creek where the Glenmora Road turns off of Hwy 167 and heads west. There should also be right of way evidence just off of Hwy 167 on the various small roads turning off to the west between Clearwater and Turkey Creek.
I remember the Rock Island RR like it was yesterday. I grew up living near the tracks just south of Pine Prairie in the community of Easton. There was a pulp wood & log yard there with a side track for loading. The tracks were pulled up around 1977-78 and the old road bed remained for many years, until nature reclaimed it. I can barely remember to old depot in Pine Prairie. I was very young, but I remember the red building.
The Rock Island actually passed though the west side of Lecompte, crossing the Red River and Gulf south of the bayou, then crossing the bayou (part of the trestle is still there) and connected with the T&P tracks at Lamourie. Before highway 167 was four laned, it actually crossed the T&P at Lamourie, and ran between the highway and the T&P tracks into Alexandria. The old crossing diamond from the RR&G crossing and the Rock, is in the junk pile at the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Longleaf, west of Lecompte.
This line ran behind my grandparents' home in Lecompte. They lived on the west side of Railroad Avenue near the old Lecompte High School. I remember seeing and hearing the train come thru back in the early to mid 60's and walking across the trestle next to La Hwy 112 going squirrel hunting in the late 60's & early 70's.
Paul, you mentioned that you lived in Pine Prairie. My grandfather was the agent there in the 40's . My grandfather and family lived in the depot. Some of my fathers favorite memories were of years that they lived there.