Claiborne and Polk Military Railroad

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • 2 posts
Claiborne and Polk Military Railroad
Posted by trainpainter on Friday, November 06, 2009 6:20 PM
Does anyone have any information about the Claiborne and Polk Railroad in Louisiana? It was built during WW II at Camp Claiborne as a training facility to train railroad personnel for service in Europe. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
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Posted by KCSfan on Sunday, November 08, 2009 12:27 PM

In 1941 the Army built the 48 mile long Claiborne and Polk between Leesville (Fort Polk) and Alexandria (Camp Claiborne) in Louisiana to train WW2 Railroad Operating Battalions. Much of the line was intentionally built over the very unstable mud of the Louisiana swamplands and had numerous wooden trestles. The intent was to train soldier/railroaders in the adverse conditions they might encounter in the war zones. Derailments didn't have to be staged, they ocurred naturally due to roadbed conditions, and trains were followed by a big hook and work train to see how fast the derailed engines and cars could be re-railed, and the track repaired and returned to operation. I recall reading an account of one run where the locomotive derailed five times and the big hook in the following wreck/work train another three times. Trestles would be intentionally blown up and work crews raced around the clock to rebuild them and reopen the road asap. Backshop forces were trained to repair locomotives and cars in very primitive conditions. IIRC the C&P rostered 7 engines, 4 ten wheelers and 2 concolidations. A few photos of the C&P can be found on Mike Palmeri's Louisiana Rail site.

Mark

  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • 1 posts
Posted by C&PMRR on Friday, September 23, 2011 1:25 PM

Yes, I know, what information are you requesting

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • 2 posts
Posted by trainpainter on Friday, September 23, 2011 7:53 PM

Any information regarding the circumstances surrounding the intended purchase of the Red River and Gulf and the sudden change of plans. What happened? What was the relationship of the Crowells with the Army? What was the extent of the rolling stock?

 

Thanks

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    September, 2014
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Posted by KENNETH MUELLER on Monday, September 07, 2015 10:11 AM

https://youtu.be/D-8gV4DJZUw

  • Member since
    December, 2018
  • 6 posts
Posted by D.Hearne on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 12:38 PM

I know this is a few years late, but the reason the army didn't purchase the Red River & Gulf line was it was still active and Crowell Lumber Company (owner of the RR&G) was a large supplier of lumber to the war effort. Crowell made the suggestion for them to relay the track on an adjacent abandoned logging line and tie into that line just west of Camp Claiborne. This info is written about in the book "Up and Down the Red River and Gulf" available at the Southern Forest Heritage Museum which is located at Longleaf La and is the old Crowell Lbr Co's sawmill complex and has on it's grounds some of the RR&G's equipment. Included there are three locomotives, one Lidgerwood skidder, two loaders and the complete locomotive machineshop. I recently bought some property west of there and I am now the owner of about 700 ft of the C&P right of way. 

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