Did you receive our recent postcard for the Steam Up? If so, please let us know when it was delivered. This will help us better plan for future events.
Initial projections that the NOGC would have an empty grain train for SP 745 to pull this spring did not pan out but the railway expects there will be several opportunities for this to happen in the late Summer and Fall when grain season resumes.
As we have stated all along if for some reason the planned steam freight excursion does not happen WE WILL REFUND YOUR DONATION!
In the meantime, we will keep you posted as to exactly when this special steam freight excursion is expected to take place in August or September.
Thanks for your patience and understanding! And THANK YOU for your donations!
LASTA (Louisiana Steam Train Association)
December 16, 2017 – It was a magical day for a few in the city of New Orleans as SP 745, the last surviving steam engine built in Louisiana, headed out onto the main line. Operated by the Louisiana Steam Train Association (LASTA), SP 745 had a special mission as Santa’s North Pole Steam Train.
Children and adults alike were enchanted with this one-time holiday experience as SP 745 steamed from the Fly (near Audubon Park) to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. Once there, passengers disembarked and enjoyed a festive holiday party with hot cocoa and cookies along with a special showing of everyone’s favorite Christmas movie, The Polar Express!
After the movie, SP 745 chugged her way to the foot of Canal Street to pick up that jolly old man himself, Santa Claus! As the special train headed back to the Fly, Santa handed out a special gift and invitation to all onboard to come to LASTA’s annual Christmas Party at the railyard the following day. Additionally, each ticket holder received a 2018 LASTA family membership at no charge.
The crew of SP 745 would like to extend special thanks to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and its employees who worked with LASTA to make this event a great success. And, a very special thank you to all the passengers for taking a holiday trip!
For more information on SP 745, LASTA and future events, please see www.lasta.org.
DEC 17, 2016 | 11 AM to 4 PM at the LASTA Yard
- Ride our Steam Train and our new restored Speeder
- Live Music
- Gift Shop
- Santa Arrives at 12:30 PM
Steam Fest Is Back!!!
After several years on hiatus due to major levee reconstruction on The Fly at Audubon Park, Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive #745 returns! It’s the 2016 Steam Train Festival! The historic engine and her exhibit train will be parked on the rails at “The Fly” for all to see Saturday and Sunday, October 15th and 16th from 9 am to 5 pm both days.
SP 745 is the star attraction of Steam Fest! The nearly 100-year-old steam engine was built just across the river in Algiers in 1921 and is the only surviving Louisiana built steam locomotive. The old girl sat as a cold, static display in Audubon Park from 1956 to 1984 when she was pulled out of the park to make room for the expansion of Audubon Zoo.
Now 745 returns to Audubon Park as a hot, living, breathing, steaming, fully restored blast from the past! Visitors will be able to view this monstrous mechanical marvel and climb aboard 745 to blow her whistle and see how a real steam engine operates. Steam Fest is a rare chance to experience a unique and significant piece of New Orleans and Louisiana railroad history up close and personal.
But that’s not all! Showcased inside our theatre cars will be a special exhibit of the many historical monuments of New Orleans and their creators. The exhibit will cover monuments to real people erected from before the Civil War to the present. There will also be displays on the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad as well as the Louisiana Steam Train Association (LASTA) which maintains and operates SP 745.
As always, music is an integral part of the entertainment at Steam Fest. Hazel and the Delta Ramblers, a Steam Fest favorite, will perform along with three other musical groups…Bob and The Thunder, River Rats and Jenn Howard and Band. There will also be a bounce house and rock wall climbing to add to the excitement for the kids! Of course, Steam Fest would not be the same without good food, liquid refreshments and railroad related gifts!
All are welcome to come out, enjoy and support a special piece of living Louisiana railroad history at the 2016 Steam Train Festival!
SP 745 APPEARANCE AT THE 2016 GRETNA FEST HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Due to circumstances beyond our control, historic Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive # 745 and train WILL NOT appear at this year’s Gretna Fest! We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.
Please look for SP 745 and her exhibit train at STEAM FEST! Check back here at www.LASTA.org for the very latest on STEAM FEST, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 15th and 16th, 9 am to 5 pm both days on The Fly at Audubon Park!
If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by the yard this weekend. It will be an excellent opportunity to see the work in progress.
745 club members will be able to sit in the engineer’s seat and run the locomotive. Not a member – ask us how!
On August 5, 2012, the winning ticket for the SP-745 model train raffle was drawn. The winner, Silas Cunningham of New Orleans, was notified and was quite surprised at his luck.
- Date: Saturday December 3, 2011
- Time: 1pm to 4 pm
- Place: LASTA Yard 1501 Jefferson Hwy Jefferson, LA 70121
Track one was removed a few weeks ago. Track 3 and 4 have been gone for nearly a year.
The General Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 3, 2011 in the Jefferson car. The general meeting will be followed by the Board meeting. The meeting is open to all member and begins at 6 pm.
Cleanup in the old yard continues with the removed of switch #1. This switch will be moved to the new yard and used to expand the yard to a 3rd track.
The new “Discovery Track” is finally finished and is now home to the Sea Island and the Virginia Beach. These cars will serve as our on-site offices and meeting room. The Sea Island is almost ready to occupy; however, the Virginia Beach still needs a complete interior remodel.
Your dedicated volunteers completed the annual Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) inspection just in time to steam up and operate the engine. She is now fired and under steam at the yard in advance of the move to the West Bank during the day tomorrow under diesel powered escort. Once we arrive at the 4th Street track in Gretna LASTA will drop the fire for the duration of the event and relight for the return to Old Jefferson on Monday the 10th. Come out while we are on the move and crossing the Huey P. Long Bridge on either of these days. The exact move times will be posted as we get them coordinated with our partner railroads.
The engine will be displayed prominently on 4th St. by the intersection of Huey P. Long Avenue. LASTA is bringing the Jefferson Parlor car and the LASTA Caboose along with the “Mike Hankins” Memorial Crew Car. The 745 cab will be staffed for tours again this year. LASTA volunteer and certified instructor “Bigfoot” will staff the Operation Lifesaver display inside the Caboose. The Jefferson will be set up for our members to tour and take a break from the festival action in style.
New this year for the festival is our corporate sponsor Ellsworth Corporation’s large display trailer setup with another batch of beautifully restored marine engines and artifacts. Two of these will be connected to an external compressor in lieu of live steam to actually operate.
Wear you LASTA attire or buy some new items at our gift shop. The LASTA HO-scale model of the consist will be on display for sale of additional raffle tickets. Photographs will be allowed on the front of the engine again this year.
Pass the word along for others that may be headed to the fest to come see us and see how your generous donations have allowed your LASTA volunteers to maintain the last remaining Louisiana built locomotive with meticulous care.
Thank you for your continued support!!
LASTA Director of Marketing
745 Journal Fall 2011
Fall 2011 745 Journal
- Coverage of the yard configuration
- David Redman article on rail photography
- KC trip journal by Patty Abbott
- Rail Tales from Ray Duplechain
- Volunteer Spotlight – Mr. Charlie,
- David Bartee recalls his times and trips with LASTA.