Last Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2000

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Louisiana & Gulf

Louisiana & Gulf

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Owner: Chris Bullitt

History: [Note- an "f" in parentheses denotes a freelance predecessor] In the 1890s, textile magnate Benjamin Bullitt had the grand idea to ship his merchandise via his own transportation compny. His idea was to link the Gulf south in a network of rail lines. Unable to persuade investors to fund his venture, the idea stagnated for several years. It took a marriage between Benjamin's son, Edward, and Marie Arnaud, daughter of railway tycoon Pierre Arnaud, to make Benjamin's idea a reality. The Arnaud family owned railways in Canada and the Northeastern United States. Ground was broken in 1906 and the New Orleans & Gulf (f) began regular operations in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and the citrus country of Florida. Operations continued into the 1920s. The "Roaring Twenties" brought prosperity to the NO&G, with a the acquisition of several shortlines in Louisiana and Georgia. This prosperity was not to last. In 1929, the stock market crashed and the "Great Depression" began. The NO&G's business dropped off sharply. Shipments over the NO&G were few and far between, and the line was in disrepair. in 1936, the NO&G went bankrupt. All that remained was the line between New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1938, the line to Lafayette was sold to the Southern Pacific. The NO&G continued switching and transfer operations in New Orleans. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States was drawn into the Second World War. The US government helped the dying NO&G to its feet. During the War, the NO&G shipped war materials to and from Louisiana. This included soldiers, sailors, and even PT boats. Interstate operations resumed after the NO&G merged with the Louisiana Pacific (f) in 1943, forming the Louisiana & Gulf. The NO&G/LP merger gave the L&G an area of operations from New Orleans to Houston, Kansas City, and east to Florida.

The L&G received its first F-units, Phase II F-3s, in 1947. The L&G continued to use F-units until 1959, when GP9s outnumbered them. The L&G evolved into a Class I railroad, extending its line to Dallas and Oklahoma City between 1971 and 1974. In 1981, the L&G felt the blow of the railroad recession that swept the country. The railroad reorganized and, by 1984, it had completely recovered. In 1992, the management of the Louisiana & Gulf was regained for the Bullitt family, who had lost it in the 1930s, by Chris Bullitt. The L&G continues to modernize into the 21st century, most recently with the purchase of several SD70s and SD70MACs.

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