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Godchaux Plantation Railroad No.4 The Pride of the Fleet

September 16, 2008

Godchaux Plantation

The following is an exerpt from the excellent Mississippi Sugar Belt Railroad site. Visit the link for more information on this interesting operation.

In 1904, what was to become the flagship of the plantation fleet, Godchaux No. 4, was purchased from Baldwin_ a majestic little [ 36″ narrow gauge ] 2-6-0 with full size tenders, weighing twenty-six tons. this little engine proudly carried a brass eagle just below its headlight. 

In November of 1955, as No. 4 was crossing Highway 61, North of LaPlace, pulling a train loaded with cane to the mill, it was hit by a truck traveling at a high rate of speed and carrying a heavy load of piling. The driver failed to heed the warning by the flagman, and the vehicle plowed into the train, striking the first car behind the tender. The impact was so great it tore the car to shreds, derailed others, and dragged the locomotive and tender into a ditch some thirty feet away. The brakeman riding the pilot beam was killed, and another railroad employee, also riding the pilot beam, lost one of his legs. During the sixty-three years the platation road operated, this was only the second fatality that occurred. The other happened at LaPlace, where a man was killed as he walked into the path of No. 4.

 The engine and tender were lifted back on the track and pulled to the roundhouse. After a thorough inspection by Jones and Cambre, it was determined that the locomotive had a bent axle and a number of other things to be repaired. It was late in the grinding season when the wreck occurred, and there was not enough time to put it back into service for that crop.

To see how pivitol No.4 was to the operations of the Godchaux plantation, read more here.

Godchaux owned a large plantation house that currently needs money to be restored to its former glory. To take a closer look at this classic southern plantation house, visiti their site: Godchaux Plantation House

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