Steam Fest Showcases Last Surviving LA-Built Steam Locomotive, Historic SP 745
NEW ORLEANS – The 2017 Steam Train Festival brings the annual appearance of historic Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 745 to Audubon Park.
SP 745 and her exhibit train will be parked on the tracks on “The Fly,” 6500 Magazine St., at Audubon Park for all to see Saturday Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., both days.
SP 745 is the nearly 100-year-old steam engine that was built just across the river in Algiers in 1921 and is the only surviving Louisiana built steam locomotive. It 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 SP 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, organizers said.
Steam Fest is a rare chance to experience a unique and significant piece of New Orleans and Louisiana railroad history up close and personal, they said.
Showcased inside theatre cars will be a special exhibit documenting the history of the many passenger train stations of New Orleans from 1832 to 1954. There will also be displays on the Louisiana Steam Train Association (LASTA), which maintains and operates SP 745.
Steam Fest will feature food and, on Saturday, La Cocinita and Ironside Waffles food trucks will be on hand to satisfy culinary cravings. There will also be ice cream from Laurel’s Licks.
Sunday will be jambalaya and hot dog day, and liquid refreshments and railroad related gifts will be available both days.
Hazel and the Delta Ramblers, a Steam Fest favorite, will perform along with three other musical groups – Bob and The Thunder, Victoria Coy and Jenn Howard and Band – organizers said. There will also be a bounce house and rock wall climbing to add to the excitement for the kids and a special appearance by the Garden Railroad from City Park.