North American Railroad Frequencies

Canada Only Channels (other uses in the United States):
159.810 AAR Channel 002
159.930 AAR Channel 003
160.050 AAR Channel 004
160.185 AAR Channel 005
160.200 AAR Channel 006

“Legacy” Channels used in the United States:

160.215 AAR Channel 007
160.230 AAR Channel 008
160.245 AAR Channel 009
160.260 AAR Channel 010
160.275 AAR Channel 011
160.290 AAR Channel 012
160.305 AAR Channel 013
160.320 AAR Channel 014
160.335 AAR Channel 015
160.350 AAR Channel 016
160.365 AAR Channel 017
160.380 AAR Channel 018
160.395 AAR Channel 019
160.410 AAR Channel 020
160.425 AAR Channel 021
160.440 AAR Channel 022
160.455 AAR Channel 023
160.470 AAR Channel 024
160.485 AAR Channel 025
160.500 AAR Channel 026
160.515 AAR Channel 027
160.530 AAR Channel 028
160.545 AAR Channel 029
160.560 AAR Channel 030
160.575 AAR Channel 031
160.590 AAR Channel 032
160.605 AAR Channel 033
160.620 AAR Channel 034
160.635 AAR Channel 035
160.650 AAR Channel 036
160.665 AAR Channel 037
160.680 AAR Channel 038
160.695 AAR Channel 039
160.710 AAR Channel 040
160.725 AAR Channel 041
160.740 AAR Channel 042
160.755 AAR Channel 043
160.770 AAR Channel 044
160.785 AAR Channel 045
160.800 AAR Channel 046
160.815 AAR Channel 047
160.830 AAR Channel 048
160.845 AAR Channel 049
160.860 AAR Channel 050
160.875 AAR Channel 051
160.890 AAR Channel 052
160.905 AAR Channel 053
160.920 AAR Channel 054
160.935 AAR Channel 055
160.950 AAR Channel 056
160.965 AAR Channel 057
160.980 AAR Channel 058
160.995 AAR Channel 059
161.010 AAR Channel 060
161.025 AAR Channel 061
161.040 AAR Channel 062
161.055 AAR Channel 063
161.070 AAR Channel 064
161.085 AAR Channel 065
161.100 AAR Channel 066
161.115 AAR Channel 067
161.130 AAR Channel 068
161.145 AAR Channel 069
161.160 AAR Channel 070
161.175 AAR Channel 071
161.190 AAR Channel 072
161.205 AAR Channel 073
161.220 AAR Channel 074
161.235 AAR Channel 075
161.250 AAR Channel 076
161.265 AAR Channel 077
161.280 AAR Channel 078
161.295 AAR Channel 079
161.310 AAR Channel 080
161.325 AAR Channel 081
161.340 AAR Channel 082
161.355 AAR Channel 083
161.370 AAR Channel 084
161.385 AAR Channel 085
161.400 AAR Channel 086
161.415 AAR Channel 087
161.430 AAR Channel 088
161.445 AAR Channel 089
161.460 AAR Channel 090
161.475 AAR Channel 091
161.490 AAR Channel 092
161.505 AAR Channel 093
161.520 AAR Channel 094
161.535 AAR Channel 095
161.550 AAR Channel 096
161.565 AAR Channel 097

Narrowband FM Splinter Channels:
160.2225 AAR Channel 107
160.2375 AAR Channel 108
160.2525 AAR Channel 109
160.2675 AAR Channel 110
160.2825 AAR Channel 111
160.2975 AAR Channel 112
160.3125 AAR Channel 113
160.3275 AAR Channel 114
160.3425 AAR Channel 115
160.3575 AAR Channel 116
160.3725 AAR Channel 117
160.3875 AAR Channel 118
160.4025 AAR Channel 119
160.4175 AAR Channel 120
160.4325 AAR Channel 121
160.4475 AAR Channel 122
160.4625 AAR Channel 123
160.4775 AAR Channel 124
160.4925 AAR Channel 125
160.5075 AAR Channel 126
160.5225 AAR Channel 127
160.5375 AAR Channel 128
160.5525 AAR Channel 129
160.5675 AAR Channel 130
160.5825 AAR Channel 131
160.5975 AAR Channel 132
160.6125 AAR Channel 133
160.6275 AAR Channel 134
160.6425 AAR Channel 135
160.6575 AAR Channel 136
160.6725 AAR Channel 137
160.6875 AAR Channel 138
160.7025 AAR Channel 139
160.7175 AAR Channel 140
160.7325 AAR Channel 141
160.7475 AAR Channel 142
160.7625 AAR Channel 143
160.7775 AAR Channel 144
160.7925 AAR Channel 145
160.8075 AAR Channel 146
160.8225 AAR Channel 147
160.8375 AAR Channel 148
160.8525 AAR Channel 149
160.8675 AAR Channel 150
160.8825 AAR Channel 151
160.8975 AAR Channel 152
160.9125 AAR Channel 153
160.9275 AAR Channel 154
160.9425 AAR Channel 155
160.9575 AAR Channel 156
160.9725 AAR Channel 157
160.9875 AAR Channel 158
161.0025 AAR Channel 159
161.0175 AAR Channel 160
161.0325 AAR Channel 161
161.0475 AAR Channel 162
161.0625 AAR Channel 163
161.0775 AAR Channel 164
161.0925 AAR Channel 165
161.1075 AAR Channel 166
161.1225 AAR Channel 167
161.1375 AAR Channel 168
161.1525 AAR Channel 169
161.1675 AAR Channel 170
161.1825 AAR Channel 171
161.1975 AAR Channel 172
161.2125 AAR Channel 173
161.2275 AAR Channel 174
161.2425 AAR Channel 175
161.2575 AAR Channel 176
161.2725 AAR Channel 177
161.2875 AAR Channel 178
161.3025 AAR Channel 179
161.3175 AAR Channel 180
161.3325 AAR Channel 181
161.3475 AAR Channel 182
161.3625 AAR Channel 183
161.3775 AAR Channel 184
161.3925 AAR Channel 185
161.4075 AAR Channel 186
161.4225 AAR Channel 187
161.4375 AAR Channel 188
161.4525 AAR Channel 189
161.4675 AAR Channel 190
161.4825 AAR Channel 191
161.4975 AAR Channel 192
161.5125 AAR Channel 193
161.5275 AAR Channel 194
161.5425 AAR Channel 195
161.5575 AAR Channel 196

The “Digital” Channels are listed as AAR 307-AAR 487 use the same frequencies as the analog channels listed above, but have the Nexedge modulation scheme.
They range from 160.215 MHz (AAR 307) to 161.565 MHz (AAR 487) in 6.25 KHz steps. Very few receivers are currently capable of intercepting traffic on them, but I believe one can use a software defined radio as well.

Back to References

Comprehensive Louisiana Railroad Frequencies

I Class 1 Lines:
BNSF:
Huey Pierce Long Bridge to Iowa Junction=US Highway 90 160.29

Canadian National:
Hammond to Baton Rouge via Livingston=US Highway 190 160.92

New Orleans to Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge Subdivision=LA Highway 30, 73, 44, 48 (East Bank River Road) 160.92

New Orleans to McComb MS: Hammond Subdivision=LA Highway 3139 (Earhart Expressway) and US Highway 51 161.19

CSXT:
New Orleans to Gulfport MS via Rigolets=US Highway 90 Dispatch 161.52 Road 161.37

Kansas City Southern:
Alexandria to Shreveport=US Highway 71 160.26

Baton Rouge Area to Alexandria=LA Highway 1 160.26

Lake Charles to Shreveport=US Highway 171 160.305

New Orleans to Baton Rouge: New Orleans Subdivision=US Highway 61 (Airline Highway) 160.26

Shreveport to Meridian MS: Meridian Speedway=US Highway 80 161.01

Norfolk Southern:
Back Belt Line: Metairie 160.23

New Orleans to Birmingham via Slidell=US Highway 11 160.95

Chalmette 160.62

Union Pacific:
Avondale to Livonia: Livonia Subdivision=LA Highway 18 then LA Highway 1 (West Bank River Road) 160.515

Addis, LA to Port Allen, LA: Avoyelles Subdivision=LA Highway 1 160.41

Iowa Junction to Houston via Lake Charles and Beaumount: Lafayette Subdivision=US Highway 90 160.365

Livonia to Alexandria: Alexandria Subdivision=US Highway 71 160.41

Alexandria to Monroe: Monroe Subdivision=US Highway 165 160.41

Alexandria to Shreveport: Reisor Subdivision=LA Highway 1 160.47

Lake Charles (Iowa Junction) to Alexandria: Lake Charles Subdivision=US Highway 165 160.515

Livonia to DeQuincy via Opelousas: Beaumount Subdivision=US Highway 190 160.47

Houston to Shreveport: Lufkin Subdivision=Texas/Louisiana State Line 160.32

Livonia to Port Allen, LA: Anchorage Subdivision=US Highway 190 160.515

Avondale, LA to Gouldsboro Yard, LA: Gouldsboro Subdivision=LA Highway 18 160.41

II Common Carriers:
Acadiana Railway:
161.28

Louisiana and Delta:
Branchlines off the BNSF Lafayette Subdivision=161.445

Louisiana Southern:
160.785 Road Channel Gibsland, LA to Pineville, LA

160.845 Dispatch Channel Gibsland, LA to Pineville, LA

New Orleans Public Belt:
160.32 Road Channel

New Orleans and Gulf Coast=LA Highway 23 (West Bank River Road):
160.47
160.635
160.995

Ouchita Railroad:
161.295 Channel 1 from El Dorado, AR to Lillie, LA
161.175 Channel 2 from El Dorado, AR to Lillie, LA

Timber Rock Railroad:
160.785 Road Channel from Kirbyville, TX to DeRidder, LA

160.845 Switching and Operations

III Stations and Yards:
AMTRAK:
New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal: 160.44

New Orleans Station Services: 160.215

BNSF:
Avondale Yard: 160.71 MHz and 161.43

Lafayette North Yard: 160.65

Lafayette South Yard: 160.71

Canadian National Yards:
Baton Rouge Yard Near Mississippi River *NEED FREQUENCY*

Destrahan Yard Near Interstate Highway 310 and LA Highway 48 160.92

Geismar Yard Between New Orleans and Baton Rouge on LA Highway 44 *NEED FREQUENCY*

Mays Yard Near LA Highway 3139 (Earhart Expressway):
161.28
161.46
161.1 North End
161.13 South End
160.59 Car Department

CSX:
Gentilly Yard 160.38 and 160.875
PBX New Orleans Output 161.265 Input 160.39

Kansas City Southern Yards:
Baton Rouge Near Interstate Highway 110 *NEED FREQUENCY*
Shreveport Terminal 161.25
Shreveport Deramus Yard:
161.565 Diesel Shop and Maintenance of Way
161.055 Switching Repeater
160.44 Switching
160.74 Car Department Repeater
160.86
West Near US Highway 61 in Metairie: *NEED FREQUENCY*

New Orleans Public Belt:
France Yard *NEED FREQUENCY*
Tchoupitoulas *NEED FREQUENCY*
Jourdan Terminal *NEED FREQUENCY*

Norfolk Southern:
Oliver Yard New Orleans:
160.365 Car Department
160.53 Primary Channel
161.49 Secondary Channel

Union Pacific:
Addis Yard Across Mississippi River from Baton Rouge 160.47
Alexandria Yard: 161.07
Avondale Yard: Between US Highway 90 and LA Highway 18 160.47
Edgerly Plastic Yard: Near US Highway 90 Between Vinton and Lake Charles 160.845
Lake Charles Yard: US Highway 90 and US Highway 171 160.71
Livonia Yard: Near Near US Highway 190 and LA Highway 77:
161.265 MHz Trimmer
161.115 MHz Crest
160.41 MHz Car Department
Shreveport Reisor Yard: 160.47

IV Police:
AKTRAK New Orleans: 160.335
Union Pacific: 161.205 (nationwide)

Back to References

New Orleans Area LWIN Users

You will need a digital scanner capable of handling APCO 25 Phase 1 Trunking and receiving the 700 and 800 MHz bands.

These are the location of towers for the LWIN system in the New Orleans area:
Pan Am N.O. Orleans Parish:
769.16875
769.41875
769.56875
769.76875
770.00625
770.18125
770.33125
770.43125
770.60625
770.85625
770.96875
771.20625
771.60625
771.84375
772.13125
772.38125
772.63125
772.95625
773.20625
773.45625
774.03125a
774.31875a
774.56875a
774.78125c
853.88125a

Bridge City Jefferson Parish:
769.50625
769.70625c
769.95625a
770.10625
770.53125
770.78125
771.10625
771.35625
771.65625
771.93125
772.28125
772.58125
772.88125
773.08125a
773.38125
773.53125a
773.78125
773.96875
774.28125
774.53125

Superdome Orleans Parish:
769.19375c

North Simulcast N.O. Metro Jefferson Parish:
770.70625a
770.70625
772.69375
774.06875
774.38125
774.65625
774.84375
851.1625
851.2875
851.4625
851.5625
851.6875
851.9875
852.0375
852.3625
852.575
852.7375
852.800
853.1375
853.1625
853.275
853.375
853.475a
853.600
853.675
853.750
853.850a
853.900c
854.6125
858.6125

Kenner Jefferson Parish
771.01875a
852.775a
853.525c

Kenner (KMSY N.O. Intl Airport) Jefferson Parish
769.85625a
773.13125a
853.500a
853.875c

LaPlace Saint John The Baptist Parish:
769.36875
769.65625c
769.90625a
770.58125
771.23125
772.15625
772.65625
772.98125
773.48125
773.73125
773.91875
774.16875

Saint Tammany Parish Simulcast:
769.34375a
769.79375a
770.16875c
770.28125a
770.41875
770.66875
771.04375

Hammond Tangipahoa Parish:
769.20625c
769.45625a
770.35625
772.35625
772.70625
772.94375c
773.03125
773.28125
773.43125
773.68125
774.08125
774.43125

Buras Plaquemines Parish:
769.15625c
769.55625a
770.01875a
770.34375
770.61875
770.86875
771.21875
773.06875
773.56875
774.08125
774.33125
774.58125

Lafitte Jefferson Parish:
769.10625a
770.15625a
771.44375
773.23975
774.14375
774.83125
856.2375
857.2375
858.2375
859.2375a
860.4625c

Reggio Saint Bernard Parish:
769.86875
771.00625
771.25625a
771.53125a
771.78125a
773.64375c

Bayou Gauche Saint Charles Parish:
770.05625c
771.41875
771.81875
772.33125
772.50625a
772.71875
856.9625
857.4625
857.9625

Hahnville Saint Charles Parish:
770.36875
771.30625
771.55625c
772.20625a
772.83125
773.24375
856.7625
859.4625
859.7625

Wilmer Tangipahoa Parish:
769.08125
769.69375c
769.94375a
770.35625
770.44375
770.83125
771.15625
771.40625
771.80625
772.10625
774.34375

Talkgroup ID Numbers
First Number in Decimal, Second Number in Hexadecimal:

New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Talkgroups:
26530 67a2 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 1
26531 67a3 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 2
26532 67a4 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 3
26533 67a5 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 4
26534 67a6 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 5
26535 67a7 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 6
26536 67a8 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 7
26537 67a9 New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 8
26538 67aa New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Ops 9
26539 67ab New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
26540 67ac New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
26541 67ad New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
26542 67ae New Orleans Public Belt Railroad

Orleans Parish Talkgroups:
8538 215a EOC Main-New Orleans
8540 215c EOC Main-Harvey
29460 7314 Orleans Parish Coordinate 5
29461 7315 Orleans Parish Coordinate 6
29462 7316 Orleans Parish Coordinate 7
29463 7317 Orleans Parish Coordinate 8
29464 7318 Orleans Parish Coordinate 9
41676 a2cc Orleans Parish Coordinate 1
41677 a2cd Orleans Parish Coordinate 2
41678 a2ce Orleans Parish Coordinate 3
41679 a2cf Orleans Parish Coordinate 4
New Orleans Fire Department Talkgroups:
29551 736f Fireground 2A
29552 7370 Fireground 3A
29553 7371 Fireground 4A
29554 7372 Fireground 5A
29555 7373 Fireground 6A
29556 7374 Fireground 8A
29557 7375 Fireground 9A (Fire Watch)
29558 7376 Fireground 10A
29559 7377 Fireground 11A
29560 7378 Fireground 12A
29561 7379 Alt Ops
29562 737a Dispatch
29563 737b Fireground 2
29564 737c Fireground 3
29565 737d Fireground 4
29566 737e Fireground 5
29567 737f Fireground 6
29568 7380 Information
29569 7381 Fireground 8
29570 7382 Fireground 9
29571 7383 Fireground 10
29572 7384 Tactical
29573 7385 HAZMAT Ch. 1
29574 7386 Command
29575 7387 HAZMAT Ch. 2
29576 7388 HAZMAT Ch. 3
29577 7389 Supply Shop Ch. 1
29578 738a Supply Shop Ch. 2
29579 738b Supply Shop Ch. 3
29580 738c Company Talk
29581 738d Staff
29582 738e Admin Ch. 1
29583 738f Admin Ch. 2
29584 7390 Admin Ch. 3
29587 7393 MTA 1
29588 7394 MTA 2
29589 7395 MTA 3
29590 7396 MTA 4
29591 7397 MTA 5
29592 7398 MTA 6
29593 7399 MTA 7
29594 739a MTA 8
29595 739b Comm 1
29596 739c Comm 2
29597 739d Chief
New Orleans City Talkgroups:
29655 73d7 New Orleans Executive Channel
29717 7415 NOFD First Responder Operations
29850 749a New Orleans Emergency Operations Center – Security
29853 749d New Orleans Emergency Operations Center – Operations
29937 74f New Orleans City Hall Security

New Orleans Area Medical and Hospital Talkgroups:
5541 15a5 Flight Care Medevac (Ochsner and SEMAAD)
6851 1ac3 Acadian Ambulance Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles Parishes
6865 1ad1 A-MED Ambulance Service – New Orleans area
29700 7404 New Orleans EMS – Dispatch 1
29701 7405 New Orleans EMS – Tactical 1
29702 7406 New Orleans EMS – Detail
29703 7407 New Orleans EMS – Med Control
29705 7409 New Orleans EMS – Talk 1
29706 740a New Orleans EMS – Talk 2
29719 7417 New Orleans EMS – Tactical Shared
27837 6cbd Gretna EMS
27976 6d48 West Jefferson EMS Dispatch
27977 6d49 West Jefferson EMS Tactical 1
27978 6d4a West Jefferson EMS Security
27979 6d4b West Jefferson EMS Maintainence
27980 6d4c Westwego EMS Dispatch
27981 6d4d West Jefferson EMS Backup
27982 6d4e West Jefferson EMS Supervisor
27983 6d4f West Jefferson EMS Tactical 2
27984 6d50 West Jefferson EMS Emergency Room
27985 6d51 West Jefferson EMS ER Tactical
27986 6d52 West Jefferson EMS Security Tactical
27987 6d53 West Jefferson EMS Maintainence Tactical
27988 6d54 West Jefferson EMS Operations 1
27989 6d55 West Jefferson EMS Operations 2
27990 6d56 West Jefferson EMS Operations 3
27991 6d57 West Jefferson EMS Operations 4
28026 6d7a East Jefferson EMS Dispatch 1
28027 6d7b East Jefferson EMS Tactical 1
28028 6d7c East Jefferson EMS Backup
28029 6d7d East Jefferson EMS – Special Response Teams
28030 6d7e East Jefferson EMS Talk
28031 6d7f East Jefferson EMS Command
28032 6d80 East Jefferson EMS Operations 3
28033 6d81 East Jefferson EMS Administration
28034 6d82 East Jefferson EMS Tactical 2
28035 6d83 East Jefferson EMS Tactical 3
28036 6d84 East Jefferson EMS Operations 1
28037 6d85 East Jefferson EMS Operations 2
28038 6d86 East Jefferson EMS Dispatch 2
7565 1d8d Jefferson Parish Hospital Security
29784 7458 West Jefferson Medical Center
29785 7459 Ochsner Medical Center Westbank
29786 745a Chalmette Medical Center
29787 745b Ochsner Medical Center-Main Campus (Jefferson)
29788 745c East Jefferson General Hospital
29789 745d Tulane Medical Center
29790 745e Touro Infirmary
29791 745f Ochsner Medical Center Kenner
29792 7460 University Medical Center
29793 7461 Childrens Hospital
29795 7463 Ochsner Baptist Medical Center
29796 7464 Hospital Talk 1
29797 7465 Tulane Lakeside Hospital
29798 7466 New Orleans East Hospital
29799 7467 Region 1 Hospital All

Jefferson Parish Talkgroups (Immediately West/Southwest of New Orleans):
27554 6ba2 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 5
27555 6ba3 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 6
27556 6ba4 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 7
27557 6ba5 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 8
27558 6ba6 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 9
27559 6ba7 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 10
27560 6ba8 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 11
27561 6ba9 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 12
27562 6baa Jefferson Parish Coordinate 13
27563 6bab Jefferson Parish Coordinate 14
27564 6bac Jefferson Parish Coordinate 15
27565 6bad Jefferson Parish Coordinate 16
41640 a2a8 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 1
41641 a2a9 Jefferson Parish Coordinate 2
41642 a2aa Jefferson Parish Coordinate 3
41643 a2ab Jefferson Parish Coordinate 4
28300 6e8c Jefferson Parish Levee Board
27836 6cbc Gretna Fire
28081 6db1 Emergency Operations Center Tactical 2
28082 6db2 Emergency Operations Center Tactical 3
28085 6db5 Homeland Security 1
28086 6db6 Homeland Security 2
28328 6ea8 East Bank Levee District – Water Safety
29219 7223 Kenner Fire Talkaround
29419 72eb HAZMAT
28077 6dad Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Dispatch
28080 6db0 Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Tactical
28126 6dde District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Tactical 1
28127 6ddf Parishwide Hazardous Materials
28128 6de0 District 2 – Harahan Fire Tactical 1
28129 6de1 District 3 – Third District VFD Tactical 1
28131 6de3 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Tactical 1
28132 6de4 District 6 – Harvey VFD Tactical 1
28133 6de5 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Tactical 1
28134 6de6 District 8 – Marerro Harvey/Estelle/Ragusa Tactical 1
28135 6de7 District 9 – Westwego Fire Tactical 1
28136 6de8 Gretna Fire – Tactical 1
28138 6dea Kenner Fire – Fireground 1
28139 6deb District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Dispatch
28140 6dec District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Tactical 2
28141 6ded District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Tactical 3
28142 6dee District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Private
28143 6def District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Chief
28144 6df0 Parishwide Fire Alarm – DISPATCH
28145 6df1 District 2 – Harahan Fire Dispatch
28146 6df2 District 2 – Harahan Fire Tactical 2
28147 6df3 District 2 – Harahan Fire Tactical 3
28148 6df4 District 2 – Harahan Fire Talk
28149 6df5 District 2 – Harahan Fire Private
28150 6df6 District 2 – Harahan Fire Chief
28151 6df7 District 3 – Third District VFD Dispatch
28152 6df8 District 3 – Third District VFD Tactical 2
28153 6df9 District 3 – Third District VFD Tactical 3
28154 6dfa District 3 – Third District VFD Talk
28155 6dfb District 3 – Third District VFD Private
28156 6dfc District 3 – Third District VFD Chief
28163 6e03 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Dispatch
28164 6e04 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Tactical 2
28165 6e05 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Tactical 3
28166 6e06 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Talk
28167 6e07 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Private
28168 6e08 District 5 – Terrytown VFD Chief
28169 6e09 District 6 – Harvey VFD Dispatch
28170 6e0a District 6 – Harvey VFD Tactical 2
28171 6e0b District 6 – Harvey VFD Officer
28172 6e0c District 6 – Harvey VFD Tactical 3
28173 6e0d District 6 – Harvey VFD Private
28174 6e0e District 6 – Harvey VFD Chief
28175 6e0f District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Dispatch
28176 6e10 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Tactical 2
28177 6e11 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Tactical 3
28178 6e12 District 7 Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Tactical 4
28179 6e13 Avondale – Private
28180 6e14 Bridge City – Private
28181 6e15 Herbert Wallace – Private
28182 6e16 Live Oak – Private
28183 6e17 Nine Mile – Private
28184 6e18 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Chief
28187 6e1b District 8 – Marerro Harvey/Estelle/Ragusa Dispatch
28188 6e1c District 8 – Marerro Harvey/Estelle/Ragusa Tactical 2
28189 6e1d District 8 – Marerro Harvey/Estelle/Ragusa Tactical 3
28190 6e1e District 8 – Marerro Harvey/Estelle/Ragusa Private
28191 6e1f Marrero-Harvey – Private
28192 6e20 Marrero-Harvey – Chief
28193 6e21 Marrero-Ragusa – Private
28194 6e22 Marrero-Ragusa – Chief
28195 6e23 Marrero-Estelle – Private
28196 6e24 Marrero-Estelle – Chief
28197 6e25 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Talk
28199 6e27 District 9 – Westwego Fire Dispatch
28200 6e28 District 9 – Westwego Fire Tactical 2
28201 6e29 District 9 – Westwego Fire Tactical 3
28202 6e2a District 9 – Westwego Fire Talk
28203 6e2b District 9 – Westwego Fire Private
28204 6e2c District 9 – Westwego Fire Chief
28205 6e2d Gretna Fire – Dispatch Fire
28206 6e2e Gretna Fire – Tactical 2
28207 6e2f Gretna Fire – Tactical 3 Fire-Tac
28208 6e30 Gretna Fire – Talk Fire-Talk
28217 6e39 Crockett Fire Fire Dispatch
28218 6e3a Kenner Fire – Dispatch Fire Dispatch
28219 6e3b Kenner Fire – Fireground 2
28220 6e3c Kenner Fire – Fireground 3
28221 6e3d Kenner Fire – Fireground 4
28222 6e3e Kenner Fire – Training
28223 6e3f Kenner Fire – Chief
28237 6e4d District 5 – Terrytown VFD Officer
28238 6e4e District 6 – Harvey VFD Chief 2
28239 6e4f District 5 – Terrytown VFD Chief 2
28241 6e51 District 1 – Eastbank Consolidated Fire Talk
28245 6e55 Parishwide Fire Training (Some Encryption Used)
28373 6ed5 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Tactical 1
28374 6ed6 District 8 – Marerro Harvey/Estelle/Ragusa Tactical 1
28400 6ef0 District 7 – Avondale/Bridge City/Live Oak Manor/Nine Mile Point/WKB Dispatch
New Orleans International Airport Talkgroups:
29176 71f8 KMSY Emergency Operations Center
29177 71f9 KMSY Security
29178 71fa KMSY All Emergency Services
29179 71fb KMSY Fire Dispatch
29180 71fc KMSY-Fireground
29182 71fe KMSY-Fire HAZMAT Operations
29183 71ff KMSY-EMS Operations
29185 7201 KMSY-Transportation Security Agency
29186 7202 KMSY-Fire Talkaround
29194 720a KMSY-actical Operations
29195 720b KMSY-Land Operations
29196 720c KMSY-Air Operations Other
29197 720d KMSY-Field Operations Talkaround
29202 7212 KMSY-Maintanence

Plaquemines Parish Talkgroups (located to the South of New Orleans)
28901 70e5 Plaquemines Parish Fire North Dispatch
28902 70e6 Plaquemines Parish Fire South Dispatch
28903 70e7 Belle Chasse Fire
28904 70e8 Woodlawn Fire
28905 70e9 Lake Hermitage Fire
28906 70ea Point-a-la-Hache Fire
28907 70eb Port Sulfur Fire
28908 70ec Buras Fire
28909 70ed Boothville-Venice Fire
28916 70f4 Plaquemines Parish EMS Dispatch
28917 70f5 Plaquemines Parish EMS Tactical 1
28918 70f6 Plaquemines Parish EMS Tactical 2
28924 70fc Plaquemines Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
28934 7106 Plaquemines Parish Ferry
28936 7108 Plaquemines Parish Government Operations 1
28937 7109 Plaquemines Parish Government Operations 2
28938 710a Plaquemines Parish Government Operations 3
28939 710b Plaquemines Parish Government Operations 4
28940 710c Plaquemines Parish Government Operations 5
28941 710d Plaquemines Parish Government Operations 6
28862 70be Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 5
28863 70bf Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 6
28864 70c0 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 7
28865 70c1 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 8
28866 70c2 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 9
28867 70c3 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 10
28868 70c4 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 11
28869 70c5 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 12
28870 70c6 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 13
28871 70c7 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 14
28872 70c8 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 15
28873 70c9 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 16
41684 a2d4 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 1
41685 a2d5 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 2
41686 a2d6 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 3
41687 a2d7 Plaquemines Parish Coordinate 4

Saint Bernard Parish Talkgroups (located to the East/Southeast of New Orleans):
28576 6fa0 Saint Bernard Parish Fire Dispatch
28577 6fa1 Saint Bernard Parish Fireground 1
28578 6fa2 Saint Bernard Parish Fireground 2
28579 6fa3 Saint Bernard Parish Fireground 3
28580 6fa4 Saint Bernard Parish Fireground 4
28581 6fa5 Saint Bernard Parish Fireground 5
28526 6f6e Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 1
28527 6f6f Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 2
28528 6f70 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 3
28541 6f7d Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 5
28542 6f7e Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 6
28543 6f7f Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 7
28544 6f80 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 8
28545 6f81 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 9
28546 6f82 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 10
28547 6f83 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 11
28548 6f84 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 12
28549 6f85 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 13
28550 6f86 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 14
28551 6f87 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 15
28552 6f88 Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 16
41708 a2ec Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 1
41709 a2ed Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 2
41710 a2ee Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 3
41711 a2ef Saint Bernard Parish Coordinate 4

Saint Charles Parish Talkgroups (located further West/Southwest of New Orleans)
41712 a2f0 Saint Charles Parish Coordinate 1
41713 a2f1 Saint Charles Parish Coordinate 2
41714 a2f2 Saint Charles Parish Coordinate 3
41715 a2f3 Saint Charles Parish Coordinate 4
32126 7d7e Saint Charles Parish Government Common
32142 7d8e Saint Charles Parish Fire Dispatch
32143 7d8f Saint Charles Parish Fireground 1
32144 7d90 Saint Charles Parish Fireground 2
32145 7d91 Saint Charles Parish Fireground 3
32146 7d92 Saint Charles Parish Fireground 4
32147 7d93 Saint Charles Parish Fireground 5
32148 7d94 Saint Charles Parish Fireground 6
32149 7d95 Saint Charles Parish EMS Dispatch
32150 7d96 Saint Charles Parish EMS Talkaround
32154 7d9a Saint Charles Parish Fire Announcements
32155 7d9b Saint Charles Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness

Saint John The Baptist Parish Talkgroups (Western edge of New Orleans Metro):
41724 a2fc Saint John The Baptist Parish Coordinate 1
41725 a2fd Saint John The Baptist Parish Coordinate 2
41726 a2fe Saint John The Baptist Parish Coordinate 3
41727 a2ff Saint John The Baptist Parish Coordinate 4
32085 7d55 LaPlace Fire Dispatch
32086 7d56 Reserve Fire Dispatch
32087 7d57 Garyville Fire Dispatch

Saint Tammany Parish Talkgroups (located North/Northwest/Northeast of New Orleans)
41744 a310 Saint Tammany Parish Coordinate 1
41745 a311 Saint Tammany Parish Coordinate 2
41746 a312 Saint Tammany Parish Coordinate 3
41747 a313 Saint Tammany Parish Coordinate 4
34574 870e Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Dispatch East (Slidell)
34575 870f Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Dispatch West (Unifire)
34576 8710 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 1 East (Slidell)
34577 8711 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 2 East (Slidell)
34578 8712 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 3 East (Slidell)
34579 8713 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 4 East (Slidell)
34580 8714 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 5 East (Slidell)
34581 8715 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 6 East (Slidell)
34582 8716 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 7 East (Slidell)
34583 8717 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 8 East (Slidell)
34584 8718 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 9 East (Slidell)
34585 8719 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Fireground 10 East (Slidell)
34586 871a Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Prevention 1 East (Slidell)
34587 871b Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Prevention 2 East (Slidell)
34588 871c Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 EMS 1 East (Slidell)
34589 871d Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 EMS 2 East (Slidell)
34590 871e Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Special Ops 1 East (Slidell)
34591 871f Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Special Ops 2 East (Slidell)
34593 8721 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 1 West (Unifire)
34594 8722 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 2 West (Unifire)
34595 8723 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 3 West (Unifire)
34596 8724 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 4 West (Unifire)
34597 8725 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 5 West (Unifire)
34598 8726 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 6 West (Unifire)
34599 8727 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 7 West (Unifire)
34600 8728 Saint Tammany Parish Fire DIstrict 12 Fireground 8 West (Unifire)
34601 8729 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 9 West (Unifire)
34602 872a Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Fireground 10 West (Unifire)
34603 872b Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Prevention 1 West (Unifire)
34604 872c Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Prevention 2 West (Unifire)
34605 872d Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 EMS 1 West (Unifire)
34606 872e Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 EMS 2 West (Unifire)
34607 872f Saint Tammany Parish Fire DIstrict 12 Special Ops 1 West (Unifire)
34608 8730 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Special Ops 2 West (Unifire)
34609 8731 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 1 Slidell Fire Department (Slidell)
34610 8732 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 2 Madisonville Fire Department (Unifire)
34611 8733 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 3 Lacombe Fire Department (Unifire)
34612 8734 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 4 Mandeville FIre Department (Unifire)
34613 8735 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 5 Folsom Fire Department (Unifire)
34614 8736 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 6 Lee Road Fire Department (Unifire)
34615 8737 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 7 6th Ward Fire Department (Slidell)
34616 8738 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 8 Abita Fire Department (Unifire)
34617 8739 Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 9 Bush/Sun Fire Departments (Unifire)
34618 873a Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 10 Sun Fire Department (Unifire)
34619 873b Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 11 Pearl River Fire Department (Slidell)
34620 873c Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 12 Covington – Outside of City (Unifire)
34621 873d Saint Tammany Parish Fire District 13 Goodbee Fire Department (Covington)

Tangipahoa Parish Talkgroups (located West/Northwest of New Orleans):
41748 a314 Tangipahoa Parish Coordinate 1
41749 a315 Tangipahoa Parish Coordinate 2
41750 a316 Tangipahoa Parish Coordinate 3
41747 a313 Tangipahoa Parish Coordinate 4
35500 8aac Tangipahoa Parish OEP – All Call
35501 8aad Tangipahoa Parish OEP 2 – Operations
35502 8aae Tangipahoa Parish OEP 3 – Operations
35503 8aaf Tangipahoa Parish OEP – Law
35504 8ab0 Tangipahoa Parish OEP – Fire
35505 8ab1 Tangipahoa Parish OEP – Schools
35507 8ab3 Tangipahoa Parish OEP – Hospitals
35516 8abc Tangipahoa Parish Fire Dispatch – South
35517 8abd Tangipahoa Parish Fire Dispatch – North
35588 8b04 Tangipahoa Parish Fire – Fireground 1
35589 8b05 Tangipahoa Parish Fire – Fireground 2
35590 8b06 Tangipahoa Parish Fire – Fireground 3
35591 8b07 Tangipahoa Parish Fire – Fireground 4
35520 8ac0 Amite City Fire Dispatch
35510 8ab6 Hammond Fire Department
35553 8ae1 Kentwood Fire Dept.
35566 8aee Ponchatoula Fire
35515 8abb 8Th Ward Fire Protection District
35560 8ae8 Natalbany / Loranger Fire Paging
35594 8b0a Tangipahoa Parish Maintenance 1
35595 8b0b Tangipahoa Parish Maintenance 2
35600 8b10 Tangipahoa Parish Water District

Other Interesting Talkgroups in New Orleans Area:
29656 73d8 Army National Guard New Orleans Regional OEP 1
29657 73d9 Army National Guard New Orleans Regional OEP 2
16500 4074 Private Security New Orleans Area

Back to References

Runaway Teens

Though the grammar from the original was terrible, the raw emotion was still very powerful. I would like to think the grammar is somewhat better now but probably still needs work, so just be patient and please, try not to nit-pick…This may be offensive to some, but my intention isn’t/wasn’t to offend. Rather it is to relive memories of what my writing was like in the early days…

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of pure fiction. I began work on this story when I was 16 in that wonderful summer of 2003. However, what I thought was a good idea at the age of 16, I sometimes no longer think so. I’m just trying to relive that time in my life because of the recent unfortunate events that took place. For all the troubled children and teens out there: Meeting people online isn’t always a good idea, so be very wise and careful when doing so.

Furthermore running away, breaking and entering, and boarding freight trains is NEVER a good idea. It is dangerous and illegal! If you are being abused at home tell the police or a trusted professional at your school. Don’t do the activities that take place in this story, they can put you in more danger than you already are. Now that I’ve said this, please try to enjoy the following: This story is about two teens who find each other online. They end up running away together and become soulmates.

…Schriever, Louisiana… …December 1, 2002… Thanksgiving break was coming to a close on this chilly but dry Sunday night. Jakob Newman was looking at other peoples’ ICQ profiles on his family computer. He was an awkward sixteen-year-old with many friends but none of them were very close. His family was extremely strict and held him to high standards. In fact, if they would have known he was trying to talk to girls online instead of being in bed on a school night, he would have been whipped and grounded. However, everyone in the house was dead asleep. Jakob, despite this, was a very kind-hearted and affectionate individual. He only wished he had someone to show his kindness and affections to. The previous summer, he had developed an interest in freight hopping and began devising a plan that would allow him to get away from everyone by riding the rails for free. He read many online articles on the subject and also subscribed to several local railfan publications to find out what trains passed through his town. He had memorized the timetable of the BNSF Lafayette Subdivision. After becoming quite learned on the subject, he bought a portable scanner and tools to assist him in one day secretly boarding a freight train, such as bolt cutters for getting into freight cars, a utility knife and a long metal flashlight for protection. Jakob also stockpiled as much candy and soft drinks as he could secretly hide. Finally, he acquired a heavy-duty duffel bag to store these items in and be ready for when he decided to make his move. As the months went by he became more and more serious about getting away from it all and ending up on another side of the country. Jakob continued to look at ICQ profiles and he came across one that belonged to a fifteen-year-old girl named Klara Holden. Meanwhile, Klara was online writing. She was editing some of the work on her Express Page website. Like Jakob, if Klara’s family, especially her step-dad, knew she was not in bed and online both writing such incriminating literature and talking to boys online, she would have been severely beaten and grounded. But, like in Jakob’s house, everyone was dead asleep. She had discovered writing the previous spring as she found it to be an outlet for the pain and suffering she experienced at home. She also secretly hoped that someone would discover her work, recognize it as a cry for help and then rescue her. Despite all of these unfortunate events, Klara still remained to have a very free and unbreakable spirit. All of the violence that she suffered was never able to break it. However, she had no one to love her and felt as if all of her affections were going to waste.

Jakob decided to message Klara. “Hi. I was looking for other people who live in Schriever and I found your profile. Do you mind if I add you?”

He patiently waited for the reply, then suddenly he heard his computer say “Uh-Oh.” This meant that he had received a message.

“Sure I don’t mind.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you at school. Where do you go?”

“I’m home-schooled. My mom and my step-dad decided that because they don’t want me talking to boys.”

“Well, I hope I don’t get you in trouble.”

“If my step-dad knew I was talking to you, he’d be livid.”

“Would he hit you?”

“Yes.”

“What does your real dad think about that.”

“Nothing. He’s dead.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“That’s all right.”

“I understand, but I definitely want to get to know you.”

“So do I. What do you do for fun?”

“Oh, I like to travel, but can’t afford to.”

“Maybe one day then?”

“Maybe sooner than later. I’ve been researching ways to travel for free.”

“Like how?”

“Train hopping. A busy railroad line passes right through Schriever, so I can get on easily and quickly. I just haven’t worked up the nerve to do it. What do you like to do for fun.”

“Write short stories and poetry.”

“Nice. I wish I could do that, but I know it takes talent which I don’t have.”

“What is your family like?”

“Strict as hell. That’s the reason why I want to get away.”

“Does anyone hit you too?”

“Not too much anymore, but definitely when I was younger.”

“Who hit you.”

“Basically every adult. They still come down hard on me, but they don’t hit me as much.”

“You seem like a good guy. I don’t understand why they would want to hit you.”

“Well, I almost caught a charge for hacking someone’s ICQ account.”

“Why’d you do that.”

“Because he was spreading false things about me.”

“I see.”

“They try to monitor what I do on the computer and if they knew I was on ICQ right now, they’d be super angry. It’d be worth it for you though.”

“You’re making me blush.”

“Sorry.”

“No, don’t be. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

“Okay. Now I think I’m blushing too.”

“You said you like trains, right.”

“Yes.”

“My step-dad hates them. Many times they wake him up and he starts yelling and cussing. If one passed right now, he’d wake up catch me on the computer then beat me to a pulp.”

“I can let you know when one is coming, so you’ll have ample warning.”

“How’s that?”

“I have a radio that lets me hear the conversations between train crews and dispatchers.”

“Cool. I didn’t know there was such a thing.”

“Yes. I can also hear the cops on it. I bought it to help me run away.”

“Oh, okay Neat! Turn it on, so you can alert me.”

“Will do.”

“Now when you alert me and I suddenly go offline, don’t be offended. It’s because I’ll unplug the computer. I’m just trying to not be caught by my step-dad.”

“I understand. Hey, do you think I could read some of your short stories and poetry?”

“Sure. It’s on my Expage site. I’ll send the link.”

“Awesome. I’ll read when you sign off.”

“I hope you enjoy them.”

“What’s your step dad’s job.”

“He does something on oil rigs, but he’s away for two weeks then home for a whole week.”

“And unfortunately he’s home now, right?”

“Yes. You can say that again.”

“Well I have my radio scanner on and I will let you know if anything is coming.”

“Thank you for looking out for me.”

“I’d do anything for you.”

“I’m blushing again.”

“So am I!”

Suddenly Jakob’s scanner began talking. It was a combination of the dispatcher and engineer, “BNSF DS 209 to BNSF 7022 West.” “BNSF 7022 West, go ahead.” “What is your head end location?” “Milepost 50.” “Okay roll up West Siding Switch Berwick when you can.” “Will do.” “Thank you very much, DS 209 out.”

Jakob became highly distressed.

Quickly he typed a message to Klara, “Please be careful there is a train that will be in Schriever in a little over five minutes.”

“Okay, I’ll get off and I’ll be back as soon as I can. Thanks for the heads-up, you’re very sweet.”

“It’s the least I can do. I would love to do more for you!”

“Thanks. I’ll go lay in my bed and pretend to sleep, but I’ll be thinking of you. What are you going to do?”

“Read your work.”

“Awesome!”

“Now you go make yourself safe.”

“Okay.”

Klara then went offline. Jakob looked at her Expage site and began to read her stories. He was highly focused on them. Everything around him seemed to disappear as he read. He discovered that she wanted someone to love her and take her away from all her trouble and now wanted deeply to be that person. Jakob realized that the only thing that kept him from running away just yet, was the fact that he always wanted someone to run away with him. He knew Klara was that someone. Meanwhile, Klara got into bed and pretended to sleep just as she heard the train approaching the town. She covered her whole body from head to toe and listened for if her step-dad would wake up. The rumbling and the whistle got louder and louder.

Like clockwork, her step-dad woke up and began ranting and raving.

He was walking through the house and suddenly started shouting, “Why is the computer unplugged?”

Klara heard his footsteps approaching her bedroom. They were getting louder and louder. Soon he was banging on her door, “Klara, you were on the computer weren’t you? You were talking to a boy. I am going to beat your butt!”
Klara pretended to sleep until he kicked the door down.

Her mom was woken up by the loud noise. “What’s going on?” She asked in distress.

“Klara is talking to boys on the computer.”

“How? She is sleeping in bed.”

“Then why is the computer unplugged.”

“Honey you need a Xanax. Now take one.”

“I’m going to beat Klara’s butt first.”

“Please don’t.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” He stormed into the room with a belt, pulled the covers off of her bed. Klara was shaking and awake in her bed. “I know you were talking to boys online and you’re getting a beating for it.”

He struck her five times as she let out cries and shrieks. She couldn’t take it anymore. The thoughts of Jakob somehow taking her with him on his adventure had become very real to her.

Klara’s mom intervened “If you don’t take a Xanax and go to bed, I’m going to call the cops.”

“I got connections, you don’t scare me. I’ll just say I was disciplining her for trying to meet a boy online.”

“I’ll divorce you then and I’ll take your house if you try that.”

“You *word I should not use*. You wouldn’t.”

“Oh, I would unless you take a Xanax and go to bed right now. I’m going to need one as well because of the stress you put me through.”

Klara secretly watched as they both went to the kitchen and popped the pills.

Soon they had crashed and Klara got back on the computer.

“I’m so scared,” She typed to Jakob.

“What happened?”

“My step-dad beat me because he suspects I’m talking to a boy online.”

“God how I wish I could protect you!”

“Maybe you could.”

“How? Name it!”

“You can take me with you when you decide to run away.”

“You would really want to come with me?”

“Of course!”

“I have a confession to make, Klara. When I read your stories and poems, I greatly desired to be the one to take you away from all of this. I just didn’t know how to ask.”

“Well, then all the more reason, take me with you!”

“When do you want to leave?”

“How about tonight?”

“Okay, I guess. Can you meet me at the Jubilee Food Store on the corner of Main Project Road and Highway 20?”

“Yes, my house is only a few feet from there.”

“Awesome, pack whatever you can and meet me there. Just sit down and wait for me in a dining booth! I have some food, drink, and supplies.”

“I guess the next time we talk will be in person.”

“Yes. I cannot wait!”

Both logged off of their family computers. Klara packed her clothes and flash drives into her backpack, then headed out.

Jakob grabbed his duffel bag with all of his supplies and headed out. Both were filled with anticipation and excitement as they headed to the Jubilee. Klara soon arrived and sat down in the booth. The cashier was fast asleep.

She looked out the window waiting for Jakob to come walking through.

Finally, she saw a teenage boy walk in with his duffel bag.

She smiled at him and said, “Jakob?”

“Yes, Klara, it’s me,” He replied blushing.

They embraced and then stood there in awkward silence.

Jakob then said, “My God, Klara you are so beautiful!”

“Thanks. You know you’re quite handsome, yourself!”

Both hugged again, blushing.

Klara whispered in Jakob’s ear, “Why don’t we get out of here before we get caught.”

“Good idea.”

So they exited the building and began walking East on Highway 20.

As they were walking, Jakob said, “I figure we can stay under the Schriever Overpass and wait for the next freight train that parks on the siding. I wouldn’t dare try to hop on a moving train and I sure as hell wouldn’t make you do it either.”

Klara kissed him on the cheek and smiled. After a few minutes of walking slightly awkwardly, they made it to the Schriever Overpass and hid underneath it. It was getting cold, so they snuggled next to each other.

“I’m glad we found each other,” Jakob said.

“So am I,” Klara replied.

Powerful hormones began to overtake their minds and bodies and they began to kiss and pet each other with great passion.

Suddenly Jakob’s scanner began talking again, “BNSF DS 209 to the UP 4739 West, over…”

Jakob and Klara couldn’t hear the response as the train was too distant.

Then, the dispatcher came back on. “Track Warrant, when you’re ready, over…”

Jakob told Klara, “This might be the train we get on, depending on if it stops in Schriever or not.”

There was another silence as the train was too far away for the scanner to pick up the train crew side of the conversation.

The dispatcher came back on, “Track Warrant Number 827-1, eight twenty-seven dash oh in ee. Addressed to the UP, Union Pacific 4739 four seven three nine West, double you ee ess tee. X in box 2 tee double you oh proceed from West double you ee ess tee Siding Switch Raceland, to the West double you ee ess tee Siding Switch Schriever on the main, em ay eye in track. X in box 3, tee H are double E, clear as last named point. This warrant has two boxes marked, 2 and 3, over…”

The conductor repeated the warrant, but they couldn’t hear.

The dispatcher, then said “Track Warrant Number 827-1, addressed to the UP 4739 is in effect at Midnight Twelve, Zero Zero One Two. Dispatcher MWU.”

There was a silence, then the dispatcher said, “Let me know when you get to Schriever.”

Then a silence.

“Thank you, DS 209 out.”

Jakob told Klara, “This train will indeed stop in Schriever. Thus our new life together begins. Our train will be here in less than a half-hour. Are you sure you want to come with me on this adventure?”

“As sure as I’ll ever be,” Klara replied with a kiss.

“I’ll try my best to take care of you with the little that I have.”

“I know you will!” Klara said as she held his hands.

They sat together under the Schriever overpass and waited for the train.

The scanner talked again, “Union Pacific 4739 coming to the East Siding Switch Schriever.”

The saw the headlights and ditch lights of the locomotive.

Soon afterward, they could see the stature of the conductor as he threw the switch. The train then entered the siding track. When it came to a stop and Jakob saw the conductor get back into the locomotive he searched with his flashlight for a decent freight car. Finally, he saw an old boxcar. He cut the lock on it and discovered that it was empty.

“This is our chance!” Jakob exclaimed.

“Let’s go!” Klara replied with puppy dog eyes.

So Jakob helped Klara into the boxcar then entered and closed the door behind them.

Thus they began their new life together and soon became two young lovers on the run…

Back to “Original Stories From 2003”

Why I Like Trains?

My interest in trains and railroading is a long one, that goes back into the days of my infancy.

In this piece, I will try to tell you, the reader, about what caused me to become interested and maintain an interest in trains.

I have a razor-sharp memory, but I am low on sleep at the moment, so I hope I can write this and keep it interesting.

The first time I remember seeing a train was right around the time I started talking. I guess that was in 1987 or 1988, but my parents and grandparents were taking me to the doctor for a checkup and probably vaccines. I vaguely remember telling the doctor “…Not nice, not funny…” because I was such a touch-me-not child, believe it or not. On the way to the appointment, we rode under the Lafourche Crossing and I remember seeing a westbound train powered by a dark gray locomotive with a red nose. Years later I came to realize that this was a Southern Pacific locomotive and the now defunct Southern Pacific owned that railroad line at the time.

My favorite children’s book was none other than “The Huffin’ Puff Express”, written in 1974 by David L. Harrison. My mom would read it to me frequently throughout my childhood.

For Christmas of 1988, I was one going on two and received several toy trains, which further enriched my interest.

Also, around this time, every weekend my parents and I would sleep at my maternal grandmother’s house in Metairie. The house was well within the hearing range of trains traveling on the Illinois Central mainline in Harahan and Old Jefferson. I definitely enjoyed hearing them run all day and night.

In 1990, my brother and sister were born.

In the earlier parts of my brother’s childhood, he too seemed to enjoy trains as well. He enjoyed them probably as much as me if not then more than me.

In 1993 and 1994, the highlight of our trips to my grandma’s house for both of us was traveling over Destrehan Yard on the Hale Boggs Bridge.

Also, my brother’s favorite show at the time was Shining Time Station and he had most of their die-cast metal locomotives.

I couldn’t watch it because I had to go to school.

In the summer of 1994, my mom had done some Christmas shopping and hid the presents in the closet between the pantry and utility room. We were digging and found a remote controlled train set which we would secretly play with.

It was now 1996 or 1997 and I remember being in Third Grade. The weather was mild and pleasant, so the climate controls were switched off and the windows were opened. A train was going through Raceland and sounding its horn. Sadly that was the last time I thought about trains as a child.

My brother’s interest in trains seemed to disappear as well, probably never to return again. I blame video games for this more than anything else.

Then, in 2002, at age fifteen, I began to do research about scanners. I learned that one could hear railroad communications on them, but I was more interested in being a rebel and wanting to listen in on police communications. I felt so empowered knowing that I could listen in on the police and they couldn’t do me anything. Such rights and freedoms aren’t guaranteed in most of the modernized world. That Christmas I was able to get a scanner that could pick up the cops and also have a search function for finding hidden frequencies.

On January 4, 2003, my family went for a day trip to Metairie. On the way back home we were driving through Boutte, LA and I saw a westbound freight train. Hurriedly I programmed the EOT frequency in my scanner (452.9375) and listened. Within seconds I picked up the data transmissions from the train. This was the first railroad signal I picked up on a scanner.

It was one evening in February of 2003, I was searching with my scanner on the VHF High Band. My scanner locked in on 160.29. Looking in retrospect, what I heard was probably a track warrant being discussed between an engineer or conductor and the dispatcher, but I thought it was the Feds. It wasn’t until a few days later that I learned this was a railroad channel.

Later that year, my younger sister began taking gymnastics lessons in Schriever, Louisiana. That town will always have a special place in my heart and did back then too, so I would come along for the ride and wait in the parking lot inside my mom’s Ford Explorer.

Sometime in the Spring of 2004, I left the gymnastics building parking lot and went exploring on foot.

I went walking to the Schriever Overpass because that previous summer, I had written a love story about two runaway teens who boarded a freight train from underneath there. I was there because I wanted to meditate on that story. It’s one of my weird, quirky writing habits, I guess. I was walking on the tracks when I heard a loud rumbling. I wrongly assumed it was an eighteen wheeler applying the jake brake on the overpass. I kept looking to see the truck, but never saw it. Then I realized that it was a train. Hurriedly I hauled my butt off the tracks, almost getting my foot stuck between the rails and the cross ties. With seconds to spare, I made it off the tracks and saw a mighty freight train pass by me. The ground shook. Everything in my hands shook as well, especially when the horn was sounded. That was the first time I saw a train up close and I thought it was so cool. I think this was the catalyst that caused my train interest to come back. In that moment I was so impressed by the power and speed of that train that seemed to have forgotten how I nearly got myself killed a mere seconds before. I was wrong to walk on railroad tracks and I’ll admit that until the cows come home. That day, I could have easily been another statistic presented by Operation Lifesaver, but God was watching over me. Nowadays I preach to people not to pose for pictures on railroad tracks and to stay off the tracks in general. This has made me quite unpopular at times, but most of the time, I don’t care. Most recently, two young ladies blocked me on Facebook for preaching this to them. I’m hurt, I guess, for the simple fact that I only posted that warning because I cared enough about them to say that their lives are astronomically and exponentially more important than having a cool looking background for a picture.

In the months prior to the summer of 2004, I began looking online at pictures of trains that were taken in my state. I did this throughout the summer as well and kept it up continuously.

In the summer of 2006, I was now nineteen and rode on a [conventional] train for the first time, namely, the Washington DC Metro. Later on, in that summer I was hanging out with my dad in his bedroom and my scanner was picking up railroad traffic. We both listened and he said how it reminded him of what we heard while on the DC Metro and the WDW Monorail. What we heard was a “Proceed from Point A to Point B on the main track” from a track warrant.

In the fall of 2006, I began attending trade-school, so I completely forgot about trains for that period of time which would last until I finished two years later in 2008.

At some point in 2009 or 2010, I discovered people were recording videos of trains and posting them on YouTube. I would watch them sometimes for hours on end during my off hours.

In February of 2011, I attempted it but wasn’t too successful.

At some point in 2011, I decided to go on Yahoo answers and describe what I was hearing on my scanner when it picked up railroad traffic. A few people kindly explained to me about track warrants and that is what I was hearing. I was now beginning to have an understanding of what was being said on those channels.

By September of 2011, I quit my job because I wasn’t getting enough hours to make it worth the gasoline I was burning to go to work. I was fed up with that God Awful job at this point as well. I was twenty-four going on twenty-five and suddenly had a lot of free time on my hands. This is what allowed my train interest to become full blown. I decided to start meeting up with other local foamers and began to make many friends.

In December of 2011, I purchased a scanner that was dedicated specifically to listening to railroad traffic. I began to research which frequencies were used by which railroads in Louisiana. At this point, I began to find police communications boring and depressing, but railroad communications could keep me entertained for hours, sometimes days on end.

In 2012, I traveled several times to the Raceland Junction and would watch trains there. I was once accused of being a terrorist, but the track foreman soon realized I was just another foamer. Now the place is locked off to the public.

In September of 2014, I started a Facebook group formerly known as “The Railroad Scanner.” It is a group dedicated to listening to railroad communications. Three years later, in 2017, I changed the name to “Foamers With Scanners” after remembering reading that phrase used in an online conversation a few years back.

In the spring of 2017, I began working on a story series about two foamers who are in love. Unfortunately, I’ve only written two pieces.

My train interest is still growing at the time I am writing this in November of 2017. A good bit of the friends I have on Facebook around the country and world are also foamers. Most days I listen to railroad traffic on my scanner, though I can usually hear only two lines under normal conditions.

I hope my train hobby will continue for the rest of my life. It’s good clean fun and gives an appreciation for the logistics of just about every item we use in our lives.

I am a Human G.P.S.

Ever since I’ve known myself, I have always been interested as to which highways (and later waterways and railroads) go where. Even in my very early childhood, I would pay close attention to where my parents would drive and memorize the routes. Also, I remember asking from a very early age what were the names of certain roads we traveled on. The only explanation as to why navigation interests me is because I inherited this interest genetically from my dad. In the first half of the year 1991, he would drive me to a nursery/preschool at a church in Schriever, Louisiana. As he drove, he would teach me about the roads we traveled on to get there. I was only four years old, but I was paying close attention. It’s in my genes, I guess, but unfortunately, my brother and sister didn’t inherit this interest, as they take after my mom. In fact, as early as age six, in the summer of 1993, I was giving driving directions to my mom! Other family members recognized my skills with memorizing and figuring out routes. Many were impressed, but I’m sure others questioned why would a young child who cannot legally drive yet (not even reach the pedals) be interested in highway navigation.

The current route of US 90 in my area didn’t have its alignment until the late Summer of 1999. Between Raceland and Morgan City, US 90 was routed through Houma on what is now LA 182. When I was a young child, the highway that would be the new four-laned US 90 ended at its interchange with LA 311. Traffic wanting to continue west went North on LA 311 until Schriever then went West on LA 24 and finally West on LA 20 towards Gibson where it was connected to US 90 once again. Very slowly, and I mean at a snail’s pace, the new US 90, temporarily known as LA 3052, was being built and by 1998 it had reached LA 20 out in the Atchafalaya Swamps in Western Terrebonne Parish. In the defense of the government and the construction contractors, the swamp bridge that carries this highway is indeed one of the longest bridges in the world. However, when the railroad coming through this area back in the 1850s, it didn’t take anywhere near as long as long to build though. In fact, there was a railroad between Algiers (New Orleans on the Westbank) and what is now Morgan City completed between 1852 and 1857. Most of it still exists to this day. It took over 20 years to upgrade US 90 in my area. I remember reading a newspaper article in the Summer of 1998, that the New US 90 would be complete in 1999 and that its former routes would be known as “LA 182.” A year later, we rode to New Iberia and all of the westbound portions of the New US 90 were complete, but some of the eastbound portions still needed a little work. A few weeks later my dad was bringing me and my brother to the YMCA in Houma, LA, and some of the LA 182 signs were up. It wasn’t until December of 1999 that the route numbers of LA 3198 and LA 3199 (also part of US 90’s former route) in Raceland were changed to LA 182. I remember seeing those signs on a bus ride home one day. The change happened while I was in class. I was sure happy to see those new signs.

In my preteen years, I began to collect, study and memorize roadmaps. I would also go to the library, just to get on the computer to use the program Microsoft Streets and Trips 2000. If the library staff would have allowed me to, I could have looked at those maps for hours on end. That was also one of the programs my parents purchased when they acquired a computer in the Summer of 2000. Because of this computer program, I also began to memorize which waterways went where, though I wouldn’t get heavily interested in that until fifteen years later. I don’t remember if the said map program labeled the railroads, therefore I couldn’t figure out which ones went where. However, I do remember thinking about how most of the railroads were there before the highways and looking at them while passing by the Raceland Junction one day in the Summer of 2000 while coming back from my maternal grandmother’s house. It would be eleven years later from that point when I started memorizing the railroad lines and routes.

At age fourteen a fellow classmate referred to me as a “human GPS” while on a field trip to Baton Rouge. This was in January of 2001, though, and while I indeed knew what a GPS was, not everyone else did. Some people were annoyed at this hobby of mine, yet still impressed at least to a very slight degree. At the age of fourteen, I wanted so badly to be a truck driver, for the simple fact that I would get paid to travel the roads and collect road miles. My family wouldn’t hear of it though because they wanted me to go to college instead. Also, in the summer of 2001, however, things started to change. I had discovered radio communications while doing research online and began to forget about studying maps. This would go on for the next five to six years.

At age sixteen, I discovered writing and every now and then, my navigation hobby would inspire my writing. Certain highways in my area are the inspiration for certain highways in my works of fiction.

On December 30, 2003, just a few days shy of turning seventeen, I finally got my driver’s license.

In the Summer of 2006, at the age of nineteen, I got a hand me down 1998 Ford Taurus, but it wouldn’t be until 2007 that I began to start exploring on my own.

In late January of 2007, I drove myself and my girlfriend (now soon to be ex wife) to Kenner and we spent the day at the Esplanade Mall.

Another time in February 2007, I drove over the Huey Pierce Long Bridge (prior to the widening or traffic lights at the West Traffic Circle) and took her to the Clearview Mall in Metairie, LA.

Around Mardi Gras of 2007, I drove her to Morgan City, LA and Bayou Vista, LA but took the Old US 90 (LA 182) back home, all the way through Houma, LA, much to her dismay.

Around Easter of 2007, I drove her to Metairie, LA to show her the house maternal grandmother lived in and later the Riverwalk in Downtown New Orleans. We crossed the River back home on the Canal Street Ferry.

In 2008, I drove all the way to just north of Alexandria, LA to evacuate from Hurricane Gustav.

All of these trips (except the last one mentioned) had an ulterior motive and that was to hone my navigational skills. I pretty much knew how to get to these places by studying the map, but actually doing it was a whole new accomplishment for me. Many times my girlfriend got nervous because she doesn’t like riding in unfamiliar territory. This, of course, is where we butt heads frequently, especially now as husband and wife. UPDATE: My wife and I are in the process of getting a divorce. My heart is broken, but will heal eventually.

Believe it or not, despite being a human GPS, I have never driven outside of Louisiana and I am thirty going on thirty-one at the time of writing this.

However, I have indeed helped others, friends, family, and in-laws navigate through unfamiliar areas many times.

UPDATE: On December 30, 2017, the fourteenth anniversary of me getting my driver’s license, I drove across a state line for the first time.

For both waterways and railroads, my interest in learning their routes started at age thirteen, but they were forgotten about until my mid to late twenties.

I had been interested in trains from a very young age, probably because my parents read me children’s books about them, but also I had a few toy trains as a young child. As an older child, the interest went away, not to come back except slightly as a teen when I discovered that I could hear trains on a scanner. It wasn’t until age twenty-four that I became fully engulfed in my railroad hobby.

As for waterways it was seeing their routes on a computer that interested me, but it wasn’t until age twenty-eight that I became interested in them when I realized that railroads might upgrade their communications systems to where scanners cannot hear them, but VHF Marine will still be in the clear for years to come. To me watching barge traffic is almost as fun as watching railroad traffic.

In 2011 at the age of twenty-four, I began memorizing the railroad lines in my state and a few other states. Railroads are a bit tricky because they are mostly privately owned in the USA. Therefore getting too close to some of them is considered trespassing. Also, most railroads in the USA are used more for transporting freight and not necessarily passengers, though this wasn’t always the case.

In 2015 at the age of twenty-eight, I started to learn the [navigable] waterway routes of my area. Like railroads, [inland] waterways don’t really carry passengers anymore, rather they too carry mostly freight. Also like railroads this wasn’t always the case.

Being a human GPS comes in handy many times, I must say, though I think it is under-appreciated by most around me. This is especially true in the age of smartphones with built-in navigation apps.

I still like showing off my navigational skills when I can, but now I don’t give a damn whether others like it or not. If anyone is going to give me grief about it, I don’t need them in my life anyway.

Hopefully, I have been informative and maybe entertaining…

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Trains, Scanners and Memories (initially written in 2012.)

Let’s go back to Christmas of 1988: I was one going on two. That Christmas had a VERY strong impact on my life and still does. I was given my first flashlight and was also given several toy trains. (Two of the three things I am fixed on even today. The third one is writing.) I had several other memories that are re-surfacing as I write this. The first time I remember seeing a train in real life; I was about one year old and my parents (and grandparents) were driving me to the Children’s Clinic in Thibodaux. I remember seeing a train going across the Lafourche Crossing and sounding its horn. It was powered by a Southern Pacific locomotive because I remember the gray and red colors. I have a very strong memory of my infancy for those of you who didn’t know that already. I also remember going to my maternal grandmother’s house every weekend as a young child. She lived not far from Airline Highway in Metairie. When we would spend the night over there, I remember being woken up several times a night by the noise of locomotive horns from trains passing on the nearby Illinois Central mainline. The final childhood memory I have with trains is on Spring and Autumn days at Saint Mary’s Nativity School in Raceland. During those seasons; the teachers didn’t run the climate controls, rather, they opened the windows. Now that campus is not far at all (as the crow flies) from the former Southern Pacific Sunset Line. The last time I remember hearing a train while in class at that school was when I was in Third Grade in 1997.  This was one of the VERY FEW pleasant memories of going to that school. For some time after that, I forgot about trains and occupied my free time with other things.

In my mid-teenage years, I cultivated an interest in radio communications and scanners. This would come to re-ignite my interest in trains.

What got me re-interested was the fact that I could listen to railroad communications on my scanner. I had just turned sixteen and it was on a Saturday night in February 2003. That previous Christmas, with the cash I got, I purchased a scanner (Uniden BC-80xlt.) On that February night, I was searching the VHF High Band and heard a conversation on 160.29 MHz. I, at first, thought it was from the Feds (they too operate on VHF High Band around 160 MHz.) Little did I know, this actually was an engineer and dispatcher discussing a track warrant. They were talking very fast and I had no idea what they were talking about.

A short time later, I discovered a web page dedicated to scanner listening for my area (Cajun Frequencies; By Cliff Shewmaker, Jr.) I happened to be looking at the page for frequencies in Terrebonne Parish. Accidentally, I came across the aforementioned frequency. It was listed as Union Pacific Railroad in Schriever (partially incorrect; the rail line and frequency belong to BNSF). I figured out that there were railroad communications that could be intercepted on a scanner. This definitely further invoked my interest in railroading. Also, later in 2003, I discovered the art of writing.

In 2003 and 2004, my little sister would take gymnastics classes in Schriever. My mom drove her from school in Houma and I would always tag along. While waiting, I would usually walk to the Amtrak depot or underneath the Schriever overpass. For a moment, I thought the line might be abandoned. One day, in the Spring of 2004, while out on one of my walks, I was underneath the Schriever Overpass standing on the tracks. Suddenly, I heard something that sounded like a heavy truck. I thought nothing of it, as I had assumed that the tracks were abandoned. The sound was getting louder. I kept looking towards the top of the Schriever Overpass and saw no truck passing. Then, it dawned on me, a train was coming. I thought to myself “Oh shit, this line is not abandoned, that’s a damn train!” Pardon the language of my inner thoughts. Hurriedly, I ran off the tracks. Seconds later, the train came barreling through. The ground shook as it passed by. I remember seeing several Tropicana Juice cars (one of my favorite kinds of rolling stock.) I think that train was powered by a CSX locomotive. On that day, I was amazed by the sheer power and bulk of that train. That did it, I hooked on trains from that day on. However, it wasn’t until age twenty-four that I had been able to really entertain this interest.

Anyway, may I enjoy Writing, Flashlights, and Trains for many years to come.

Back to “Personal Reflections”

Remembering 9/11-Sixteen Years Later

I don’t remember September 11, 1996, at all. If there was any press coverage of the Union Pacific takeover of Southern Pacific, I didn’t see it. My train interest in those days was dormant. I had liked trains as a very young child but somehow managed to forget about them some time around the age of eight. The interest came back around age sixteen when I discovered that I could hear them on my scanner. I even wrote a story about freight train hopping done by two teen runaways, but somehow my interest in trains went away again. It wasn’t until age twenty-four that I became a full blown foamer. And it wasn’t until age twenty-eight that I started listening to marine traffic on the regular.

However, this piece isn’t about September 11, 1996, which, despite my razor sharp memory, I don’t remember at all.

It is about September 11, 2001, which I vividly remember. I remember where I was, what I was doing and whom I was with when the news broke of America being attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. Get ready, readers, because I will show exactly how powerful my memory actually is:

That was sixteen years ago today.

The weather was sunny, dry and unusually mild for a Louisiana September. In fact weather wise, it was a very pleasant day.

I was an eighth grader at Vandebilt Catholic High and was sitting in the second period Reading class. The teacher, Mrs. Shellen Liner, was absent that day and we had a substitute, Mr. C. J. Tastet (my math teacher at first period and a distant cousin of mine, actually.)

We were probably given some form of busy work, which I don’t completely recall.

But then towards the end of the period, the principal, Mr. David Kiefe, activated the public address system and told of how the World Trade Center was bombed and had collapsed and that the Pentagon was also bombed. It was considered an act of war on American soil, something that hadn’t happened for almost sixty years.

When I heard this, I assumed that Iraq and the ruling Hussein dictatorship was behind it. I honestly thought that it was payback for the Persian Gulf War, ten years earlier. I was only four years of age during the Persian Gulf War, but remember it well thanks to my Paternal Grandparents (who helped raise me) keeping their television set locked on a news channel, usually CNN. I didn’t know anything about Al-Queda, the Taliban or Usama bin Laden. I remember seeing an article in Teen Newsweek some months prior about Buddhist statues in Afghanistan and how the Muslims there angrily destroying them. Afghanistan was originally a Buddhist nation, by the way.

As the day went on, we attended class, but no lessons were taught. I remember, during the third period, hearing how the Twin Towers could fit the entire population of Houma in them from my Earth Science teacher, Mr. Scott Ayo.

For Louisiana History, at the fourth period, I remember my teacher Mr. Rafe Blades saying how we are currently “at war.” He then turned on a boom box, tuned to WWL-AM and the announcer said the very same words “at war”, just as he turned it on.

There were some girls freaking out because President Bush was being kept safely at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana. I had a desire to comfort them but didn’t know exactly what to say.

Then there was lunch. I was quite underweight at the time, so I was drinking a Boost shake for lunch. Those things had an awful aftertaste and I was also taking Aderal, (misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD) which suppressed my appetite even further. A female classmate (whom I shall not name) saw I that I had a radio in my pocket. It was a cheap little Coby pocket sized radio I bought a week prior at Big Lots, that could tune in AM, FM and the audio portions of VHF TV Channels 2-13. Television broadcasting was still done in analog in those days, so such a device was possible. She threatened to tattle on me for having the radio. I don’t know what I said, but I talked her out of it.

This may shock some of you readers out there, but I didn’t own a radio scanner at the time. I had only known such things existed for two months prior to that and being an unemployed fourteen-year-old with fiscally conservative parents, I could never afford one anyway. I wouldn’t actually own one until a year later and when I did, it was an entry level table top model that I got for $30 on clearance at Wal Mart. Looking back, I wish I could have heard, at least what my local public safety personnel was talking about on that terrible day. It would have been interesting to hear railroad and marine traffic as well. All aircraft were eventually grounded that day, so there would have been no [civilian] air traffic to listen to.

Mr. Rafe Blades also taught me Physical Education that year and we didn’t dress out that day. We just sat in the gym and watched television.

For the seventh period, which would have been religious studies with Mrs. Kathy Tarantino, the whole school assembled in the gym and prayers were recited by Mr. Calvin Buxton. If there was anything good that came out of this, it was me telling my mom that the man who was reciting prayers was the same man who taught the girls physical education at the same period as the boy’s P. E. class I was in and he would frequently make peacock calls, something which always amused me. She told me who he was and not long after I befriended him. Unfortunately, he passed away in January of 2016, but I remember him telling me how I was one of his favorite students (he taught me Old Testament Religious Studies, my sophomore year.)

At the eighth period, the final period of the day, there was English with Ms. Rhonda Ledet. We continued to watch the television sets.

School finally let out. My mom, who also teaches at Vandebilt, drove me home and I remember tuning the car radio, but all stations were covering the events that had happened. Many were simulcasting each others’ programming.

I logged onto my family computer and dialed into the AOL server. My mom at first didn’t want me to use the computer for fear of a cyber attack, but for whatever reason, I did anyway. I then started my ICQ app and saw that people were virtually/figuratively lighting candles online. Social media was in its infancy at the time and there was no Facebook, no not even Myspace. The way to communicate was AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ.

Later my dad came home from work. My brother and sister also got off the bus. We tuned in the television to the local CBS affiliate, WWL-TV. I stood on the driveway with my Coby radio, also tuned it to the audio portion of WWL-TV and listened to Dan Rather anchoring the coverage of these events. I listened to that radio for the rest of the evening.

Eventually, I went to bed, not fully realizing that America had lost its innocence for good…

All kinds of laws that eat away at the Constitution, no matter how necessary in this post modern world, were put into place.

Also, I believe 9/11 probably didn’t help in preventing the Housing Market Crash of 2008.

On a personal level, because of these terrorist attacks, I frequently get questioned and sometimes even harassed when out watching railroad or marine traffic. Some of my older foamer friends tell me that before 9/11 one could walk into a railroad yard and watch trains all day long and even take pictures. I guess one could also go into dockyards and marine terminals and watch/take pictures of all the boats and barges passing by, without much heckling as well.

I guess these policies work because there has never been another terrorist attack in America that involved using transportation equipment and infrastructure. Most terrorist attacks on American soil were done with crude IEDs and bullets. Although in 2013, there was an unusually high amount of train derailments, however, I’m going to sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist if I continue elaborating on that.

As for the impact, that day had on my growth and development as a person, I guess the main thing I learned is that life is short and no one is guaranteed their next breath. Come to think of it, 9/11 was a factor that made me want to write, but I remember thinking during school on that day to find any girl I had a crush on (there were a few) and stay near her as much as possible in case of a terrorist attack on the school and just try to shield and protect her. This idea stayed in my head for a few days until I realized there probably wouldn’t be any more attacks. Some of my stories I would come to write, years later did indeed incorporate these values and events in them. 9/11 is also partially a reason why I carry a flashlight with me everywhere, though it would be a little less than four years afterward (May 5, 2005,) that I began that practice. I think of being trapped in a building or transportation vehicle and its dark, but if I have a flashlight, I can help get myself and others out. By the way, in 2008 while an HVAC student at L. E. Fletcher, the power went out and I had my trusty flashlight on me. The same female classmate who wanted to tattle on me for having the radio on 9/11, gave me much kudos for having the flashlight! She still shall not be named, though. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned about 9/11, is that while America leads the free world, many nations and organizations (both foreign and domestic) hate us with a passion. And not only that, they know our weak points and are like a brood of vipers ready to strike. The next attack, on America I believe will be against our electronics, personal, commercial, industrial and maybe even military, with an electromagnetic pulse. Such an attack would catapult us back into the nineteenth century and do collateral damage resulting in casualties that will make 9/11 look like Kindergarten…I pray that this will never happen, but will God answer that prayer?

Back to “Personal Reflections”

 

 

How They Met (Two Foamers in Love)

I am off for the next two weeks. That’s because the schools have closed down for Christmas Break.

Today I drove to a train show that my city is hosting to see what railroad artifacts I could purchase.

I have $100 in my pocket that I had been saving for this event for the last few weeks.

As I am looking at some vintage brakeman’s lanterns, there is a cute young lady standing near me.

I look at her and she smiles at me, brightly.

Politely, I smile back.

She walks away and I continue to look at the lanterns. All of the antique models are out of my price range, but then I see an unused mint in the box Star 2012 LED Trainman’s lantern.

So I ask the vendor, “How much for this modern day lantern?”

“$55.” He replies.

“You got yourself a deal! I’ll make it an early Christmas gift for myself.” I tell him and pay him the cash.

“Excellent choice.” He tells me, shakes my hand and hands me the lantern. I leave his table and continue to look around.

Suddenly, my scanner clipped to my pants pocket begins talking. It’s a train dispatcher discussing a signal indication with an engineer.

I hold it up to my head so I can get a better reception.

The young lady walks up to me and asks, “What is that old phone looking device you’re listening to?”

“That’s a scanner,” I reply, “It allows me to listen in on the railroad workers comminicating on their two way radios.”

“That is so cool!” She says, then continues, “I didn’t know there was such a thing.”

“I take it you like trains. That’s cool, I wish more women and girls liked trains.”

“I think trains are the neatest invention ever.”

“There’s an awkward silence, but then the young lady says, “You’re cute. Could I have your number?”

“How old are you?” I ask.

“It’s impolite to ask a girl her age.”

“Sorry. I don’t mean to be impolite, but I would give you my number if you can prove you’re at least eighteen-you look young and I don’t want to mess with jailbait.”

“I see what you mean. But I am twenty two going on twenty three and I can show you my I.D. card.”

She pulls it out and shows me. Her birthdate does indeed show that she is indeed twenty two going on twenty three.”

“I’m sorry I doubted you, but I thought you would have been only fifteen or sixteen.”

“Awe thanks for the compliment!” She says then pecks me on the cheek.

I am shocked but equally turned on.

There is an awkward silence but then she says, “You told me you would give me your phone number if I could prove to you that I am at least eighteen.”

“You’re right. I’ll give you my number.” I tell her.

She pulls out her smartphone and I call it out.

“Do you want my number as well?”

“Yes,” I tell her.

“Do you have your phone on you?”

“Yes.”

“Then I’ll call it out and you enter it in your phone.”

“Will do.”

I then pull my phone from my pocket and she dictates her number to me. I add her information to my contact list.

She then asks me, “How old are you? You know my age but I don’t know yours.”

“I’m thirty going on thirty-one.”

“How can that be? I thought you would be no older than twenty five. I still like you though.”

“I guess I look young because I never had kids with anyone. Children will age you quickly.”

“I don’t have any kids either. But since you have no kids and I have no kids, we can be totally dedicated to each other.”

“That much is true!” I say.

She smiles and holds my hand.

Together, we then walk around the event center, then she asks me “So I know you like to listen in on railroad workers, is there anything else you like about trains?”

“I like to watch trains in real life and I also like to collect railroad tools and artifacts, like this lantern I bought today,” I show her the lantern, then ask, “What about you?”

“I like to learn about this history of all the railroads and I was looking for some books and DVDs.”

“Do you like to go near the tracks and watch trains?”

“I would love to do that, but I cannot drive.”

“Maybe one day I could take you.”

“You really would?”

“Of course. It could be like a date!”

Her eyes light up and she pecks me on the cheek again.

I blush and I am very turned on. Here is a girl who is into trains and she likes me. Every other girl I tried to date got annoyed with my train hobby and I never got too far with any of them. But this girl on the other hand, she seems a little odd but still very perfect for me.

We walk up to another table where the vendor is selling historical railroad DVDs.

She looks at the DVD’s with excitement. There are two that she is particularly interested in: National Geographic’s Love Those Trains and Switzerland’s Amazing Train Rides.

“How much for these?” She asks the vendor.

“$15 for the Swiss video and $22 for the Nat Geo one.”

She looks at her checking account balance on her smartphone, then, says, “I don’t have enough for both.”

I then tell her, “I’ll get them for you.”

“You really would?”

“Of course.”

“Oh thank you! I’ll pay you back on the first of the month.”

“No need, consider it a Christmas gift.”

She pecks me on the cheek once more and I hand her the DVDs.

We then go sit on a bench outside and talk more.

“Where do you work that you have all this money?” She asks me.

“I work for the school board. I help maintain and repair all of the mechanical stuff.”

“So you’re Mister Fix It?”

“I guess you could call me that,” I pause then continue, “I really wish, though, that I could work for the railroads, just something, anything with trains. But I don’t have the right qualifications, especially in this economy.”

“My dad knows people who could get you a job like that. Maybe he could help you.”

“Oh I don’t know.”

“Where do you live?”

“In an apartment all by myself. I’m trying to get my credit really good because there is land I want to purchase southwest of the city. It sells for dirt cheap and it is located right next to the railroad line.

“That’s neat. I still live with my parents and they are very over protective. At least you have your own place, so count your blessings.”

“Would your parents be all right about us being together?”

“I sure hope so, because I really like you!”

She pecks me on the cheek again.

I look into her eyes and she smiles brightly at me.

She then asks, “Are you ever going to kiss me or am I just going to keep kissing you?”

“I can kiss you, I just don’t want to over step my bounds.”

“You won’t over step your bounds, now give me a kiss.”

We close our eyes, our faces meet and our lips lock.

“That was wonderful!” She says with excitement, “Did you like it too?”

I nod with a soft smile.

We kiss again.

She moans with ecstacy.

Suddenly her phone rings.

She answers it, “Hi mom.” “Yes I had a good time.” “I met someone special.” “No he’s very different.” “He’s so sweet and he even bought me some train DVDs!” “Please give him a chance.” “Please give him a chance.” “If you don’t give him a chance I will do something not nice.” “Okay I’ll be waiting outside of the event center.” “Okay, bye.”

She looks at me with sad eyes and says, “My parents are coming pick me up. I want to be with you so much, but I’m afraid my parents will give you a hard time.”

“I’ll be willing to make it work.”

“Well still you better go elsewhere for now. I’ll try to call you later tonight.”

We kiss once more, then embrace. Afterwards I stand in the doorway and watch her walk up to her parents’ mini van, a maroon Ford Windstar…

With only $8 left in my pocket I head to my apartment and listen to train traffic on my scanner…

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Pilot (Two Foamers in Love)

My life may not be glamorous, but I think it is at least interesting. I made thirty-one this year and at least my life seems to be headed in mostly the right direction. I bought a piece of land with a trailer. It may be out in the sticks, but at least it’s mine. The property was so cheap because a mainline railroad passes directly in front of it. Most people hate trains but I find them so interesting.

So does my my wife. In fact, we met at a train show a a year ago and have been together ever since. A few weeks ago, we were married.  At first her parents were over protective and tried to keep us apart, but then they finally accepted me and now they even like me. She is twenty three and has special needs, but I love her and cannot picture myself with anyone else. I know she is eight years my junior and people make comments about our age difference from time to time. I guess it is because they assume we don’t have much in common and I’m just after her for sex. Her disability many times reinforces these comments and beliefs. Yes, she is mildly Autistic, but very high functioning. She also has heart defects. I see past these issues and love her for her. She sees past my various faults and bad habits and loves me for me. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be loved? For those who think we don’t have much in common, they are dead wrong. We both like trains. I also greatly enjoy reading all the stories she writes. And finally, we are passionately attracted to each other physically. Maybe those around us are just simply jealous because of all this.

After a series of lay offs, I finally secured at decent job at a chemical plant. It is a two hour drive west of where I live and situated on the same railroad line that runs in front of my property. It would really be nice if the government could put a commuter train on this line so I wouldn’t have to incur so much wear and tear on my aging truck, a 1997 Dodge Ram. I won’t hold my breath for that to happen though.

I get up early every morning that I work and fire up my truck. The ride is long and stressful at times, since it is on a two lane highway with no shoulder for most of the route. It is especially dangerous in fog or rain, but I pray every time I take the road. I installed a scanner in my dash so I can hear the communications of train crews, maintenance workers and dispatchers for the mainline. It keeps me entertained and informed during my work otherwise boring commute. When I arrive at my job there is a list of tasks for me to complete. The work is not very stimulating, but a job is a job. At least it pays my bills, puts food on my table and gives me and my wife some cash for our train hobbies. I help keep the pipes in order, write various logs, clean the tanks and other mundane tasks. What I do enjoy though is when I get to clean rolling stock from the trains that serve the plant-that way I get to see the trains in the receiving and shipping area.

Another day is done on this brisk December evening. The sun is almost set and I have just clocked out of work. From my personal locker, I pull out my Kyocera DuraForce Pro smartphone my call my wife.

By the light of my work issued Energizer Intrinsically Safe Flashlight I leave the building and walk through to the parking lot as the I hear the ringing signal.

“Hello.” She finally answers.

“Hey, I just got off of work and I’ll be home in about two hours.”

“Be careful, I can’t wait to see you!”

“I will and I can’t wait to see you either.”

“How was your day?”

“Same old. I got to see the chemical unit train arrive at the plant during my lunch break.”

“Cool! Did you get any pictures?”

“A few on my smartphone. Do you want me to send them to you?”

“No, show me when you get home. I don’t want you texting and driving.”

“Will do.”

“What did you do today?”

“Watched the local freight trains pass through and did a little writing.”

“You write beautifully. I can’t wait to see what you wrote today.”

“You inspired it last night. Are you going to inspire me more tonight?”

“Your wish is my command!”

“I can’t wait!”

“Well I’m at my truck now and you know how narrow the highway is. I’ve got to keep both hands on the wheel.”

“Okay, well I love you, bae. Be safe.”

“I love you too. Wait when I get home!”

We then hang up.

I unlock my truck, enter it and fire it up. Thank God the engine turns on with no trouble. After I put my truck in gear and turn on the headlights, I switch my scanner on and monitor the railroad channels. I head back east to my trailer where my wife waits for me. About thirty minutes into my ride the scanner begins to talk. I hear the engineer of a westbound manifest train. He is coming in almost crystal clear. I keep one eye on the road ahead of me and one eye on the tracks. It’s getting harder and harder to see with the sun down though. Finally I see the head light and ditch lights and then hear the whistle. If the road had a shoulder, I would pull over and watch it, so I just slow down. I keep going slowly until horns are sounded at me from impatient drivers. So I speed up and miss the tail end of the train. It’s dark by now anyway so I cannot see the train to begin with. I drive on. The scanner is quiet and has been for a while. I look at my Casio G-Shock. It reads 7:15, that means if all goes well I should be home in give or take forty five minutes. I keep driving after a while, my scanner begins to talk again. There is another westbound, a maintenance train, hauling welded rails. The line has been replacing the rails for the past few weeks now. I pull into a filling station and wait for the train. I pick up the EOT transmission on my scanner. Since it is lit fairly decent in this area, I pull out my smartphone and turn on the camcorder feature. The train sound’s its whistle and I press record. I catch the ditch lights flashing and the bright headlight. The train comes and goes. I fill up my truck, then buy two soft drinks, a Cherry Vanilla Pepsi for me and a Big Shot Creme Soda for my wife. Caffeine is detrimental to her heart, so I’m careful watch what drinks I buy her. After paying for my fuel and drinks I get back on the road. The yellow lines are hypnotizing me so I take a sip of my drink and look at my watch. It’s 7:43. At least I’m on time, and almost to my home town. I keep driving. The scanner talks but it’s distant dispatch towers I am picking up. There will be trains coming through in a while, but I’ll be home doing other things. Finally, I arrive at my drive way and pull in, crossing the tracks. I carefully look both ways and proceed, after confirming that no train is coming. I knock on my front door and look at my watch. The time is 8:02. My wife rushes up to me. She jumps into my arms. We embrace and she wraps her legs around me.

“Finally you’re home. I missed you so much bae.”

“I missed you too,” I tell her with a kiss.

“I made us dinner-white beans and fried catfish.”

“Awesome! Thank you, bae. I’m starved,” I pause, then continue, “I got you a Creme Soda.”

“Good, I’ve been wanting something sweet.”

We sit down and eat dinner.

Afterwards we relax on the sofa. I show her the pictures and videos of the trains I saw during the day.

She then reads her stories to me.

Soon we are in the mood for intimacy, her stories usually bring out that sort of mood.

With that, we go to bed together.

Passionately, we make love.

As we begin to climax a long freight train passes near my property. It makes the whole trailer vibrate. The engineer sounds the whistle right as the train crosses my driveway. This would annoy most people to the maximum degree but we thoroughly enjoy it.

After the bursting of release, we cuddle into the night.

“Do you have to work tomorrow or are you off?”

“I could get overtime, but I’d rather spend the weekend with you.”

“Good bae, I’ve been missing you all week.”

“Then let’s spend the day together tomorrow.”

Soon we fall asleep in each other’s arms…

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