Iowa Junction to Avondale (LA)

At Iowa Junction (MP 205.5), a UP line leaves to the north-northeast to head for Alexandria, and ownership of the Sunset Route, continuing due east, has transferred to BNSF as a result of the UP-SP merger. The line is single-track, Track Warrant Control, with speed limit 50 mph from MP 205.3 to MP 205.2, and 70-65 east of the latter, passing a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals at MP 203.6, two grade crossings, Laccasine, silos on the south side (no longer rail served, in July 2006), a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a bridge over a river, Intermediate Signals at Welsh  (MP 195.3), five grade crossings in the town, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 194.4, a grade crossing just west of the 9,947 ft. siding on the south side at Roanoke (MP 191.4), a grade crossing within the siding, a dirt track grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, three bridges over streams, Intermediate Signals just west of a turn southeast, dual road bridges overhead, a bridge over a stream, four grade crossings in a small town, Jennings (MP 185.2), a dirt road grade crossing, a detector at MP 183.3, a turn back to the east, two grade crossings, two grade crossings in a town, a deck bridge over the Mermentau River (MP 180.3), where the speed limit is 35 mph across the bridge, a dirt road grade crossing, the 2,294 ft. siding on the north side serving silos on the south side at Mermentau (MP 180.1), a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, two bridges over streams, two dirt road grade crossings, a detector at MP 177.4, a dirt road grade crossing, a bridge over irrigation, a 4,420 ft. siding on the south side at Midland (MP 174.8), whence branches once headed north and south, a grade crossing within the siding, three grade crossings over gravel roads, a grade crossing in town, a dirt road grade crossing in town, Estherwood, where the speed limit is 75-65, a dirt road grade crossing, a gravel road grade crossing, a curve east-northeast, where the speed limit becomes 79-55, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a dirt track grade crossing, a gravel road grade crossing, Mahdein Rise silos on the south side (not rail served), a dirt track grade crossing, a detector at MP 168.2, a grade crossing, and AKDN Crossing (MP 167.6), where the speed limit is 35 mph across the flat crossing with the Acadiana Railway line between Eunice, to the north, and Crowley, just to the east.

The line continues past a grade crossing, a large complex of silos on the south side, a second large complex of silos on the south side (with more than three tracks), five grade crossings in Crowley, more large silos on the south side (no longer rail served)a road bridge overhead, a grade crossing, a street to the south, and the 10,690 ft. north side Crowley Siding (MP 166.5 to 164.9), where the speed limit has risen to 79-65, a grade crossing just east of the siding, and a road bridge overhead. The line turns east again, past a road parallel to the south, two grade crossings in Rayne (MP 160.0), where a line once crossed at grade and the speed limit was 45 mph through the crossing and 70-55 thereafter, formerly rail-served silos to the south, three grade crossings still in Rayne, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, US 90 alongside to the south, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a grade crossing in Duson (MP 155.2), a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 154.3, Sadou, a grade crossing (Malt Road), a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a dirt road grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals at MP 150.2,  Scott (MP 149.7), where the speed limit falls to 45 mph, a grade crossing, US 90 turns away, three grade crossings, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, and Lafayette Yard (MP 147.1).

There are eight grade crossings, the speed limit drops to 25 mph at MP 146.4, four yard tracks on the south side, dual road bridges overhead, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a yard with 8-10 tracks, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing near the east end of the yard, still with two yard tracks, a grade crossing beyond the east end of the yard, a bridge over a road below, two grade crossings, Alex Junction (MP 145.3), where a branch continues straight ahead while the main line turns south, two grade crossings, a street to the west, BR Junction (MP 145.1), where a line from Opelousas that crosses the previously-mentioned branch at grade once trailed in from the north, and a southeast quadrant connector from that branch trails in from the northeast, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 144.8 right at a grade crossing, a grade crossing, a pair of grade crossings bracketing a street passing below, and the passenger station at Lafayette (MP 144.5), with the depot on the west side, parking to its south, and a grade crossing just south of the depot..

East of Lafayette, LA, the line runs through the heart of the Louisiana bayou country. The line runs through low-lying grass and croplands, interspersed with wide slow-moving waterways. The crops here include fields of hot peppers, used in famous hot pepper sauces such as Tabasco. Now heading south, the line passes a grade crossing, a grade crossing at Walroy, where it turns south-southeast and the speed limit rises to 70-55, three grade crossings, a bridge over a divided highway, a bridge over a river, a bridge over a road, a road alongside to the southwest, three grade crossings, the 6,411 ft. siding at Elks (MP 140.8), spurs to industry on the south side, five grade crossings, dual road bridges overhead, a dirt road grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, four grade crossings, a spur trailing in on the southwest side, six grade crossings, a spur curving away south into industry, MP 138.9, Billeaud, a bridge over a stream, two grade crossings, the 8,127 ft. siding on the south side at Cade (MP 132.1), where a branch once left to the east, a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, and two dirt track grade crossings within the siding, two grade crossings, a spur curving away to the south,  Ara, Segura, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, and the 6,633 ft. siding on the south side at West Tower (MP 126.1), where there are extra tracks on the south side, a grade crossing east of the extra tracks, and three grade crossings within the siding, the speed limit is 40 mph, and a branch once trailed in from the northwest.

There is a passenger station at New Iberia (MP 125.6), where the depot is on the north side, yard tracks on the west side just south of the station, a line leaves to the south-southwest, with a second leg of the wye trailing in on the southwest side, and one leaves to the east. There are three grade crossings, a grade crossing at South Weeks Avenue, a grade crossing at Carter Street, and three more grade crossings. The speed limit is 25 mph, and then successively falls to15-10, rises to 25 mph and then 40 mph again before resuming 70-55 at MP 123.0.

The line turns southeast and passes a grade crossing at Lees Street, six more grade crossings, Power House Spur, two gravel road grade crossings, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 121.4, a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, five dirt track grade crossings, a bridge over a stream, Olivier, Lifenite, a dirt track grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 117.4, two gravel road grade crossings, Patoutville, where a spur to Patout Sugar heads southwest, a dirt track grade crossing, two grade crossings, a cemetery on the south side, five grade crossings, two dirt track grade crossings, a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, two grade crossings, the 6,854 ft. Jeanerette Siding (MP 112.5), where the speed limit is again 70-65, a detector at MP 110.0, two dirt track grade crossings, Sorrell, Adeline, a grade crossing, the 10,611 ft. siding on the south side at Baldwin (MP 105.1), with a bridge over a stream, a dirt track grade crossing, and a grade crossing within the siding. A line trails in from the west near the south end of the siding, with two extra tracks on the south side, two more grade crossings within the siding, one extra track, a grade crossing within the siding, and a gravel road grade crossing just east of the siding.

The speed limit falls to 35 mph across the through girder Charenton Canal ("Baldwin") Draw Bridge (MP 104.1), which has a bridge tender, before returning to 70-65 past two grade crossings, a bridge over a stream, and four grade crossings, and falls to 25 mph again at Franklin (MP 101.0), where a line once trailed on from the northeast, before again returning to 70-65 again, past South Franklin, four grade crossings, a local road alongside to the south, Garden City, the 10,500 ft. siding on the south side at Bayou Sale (MP 95.6), with dual highway bridges over the siding, a dirt track grade crossing within the siding, the dual road turns away, and a bridge over drainage within the siding, where a branch leaves to the south-southwest at the south end of the siding, a grade crossing just south of the siding, a dirt road grade crossing, a detector at MP 94.4, Ricohoc, a divided highway grade crossing, a multi-span through truss bridge over a wide bayou at Calumet, as the line turns east, a grade crossing, a petroleum plant on the south side, the Calumet Gas Plant on the south side, Patterson, a grade crossing into another petroleum plant on the south side, two bridges over drainage, a dirt road grade crossing, five grade crossings, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, three dirt road grade crossings, a detector at MP 83.9, a dirt road grade crossing, and the 8,749 ft. siding at Berwick (MP 81.8), with MP 82 within the siding, a grade crossing within the siding east of station sign Berwick, and two more grade crossings within the siding.

The speed limit falls to 25 mph for the Atchafalaya River ("Berwick") Draw Bridge (MP 80.5), which is preceded by two bridges over roads as part of the west bridge approach, has a bridge tender for the multi-span through truss bridge itself, and has three bridges over roads as part of the east approach. There is a divided highway grade crossing at Federal Avenue, a grade crossing, Morgan City (MP 80.1), where there is extra track on the south side, a spur trails in from the southwest, and another spur trails in from the southwest, with the speed limit rising to 35 mph past Wyandotte, where the line turns southeast, there is a power plant on the south side, cemeteries on the south side, a grade crossing just west of Intermediate Signals at MP 78.4, a dirt road grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing into a shipyard, and a dirt road grade crossing, and 40 mph past Ramos, a major road bridge overhead, and a grade crossing.

The speed limit rises to 70-65 as the line curves back east, past a grade crossing, a road alongside to the south with a ship yard beyond, Intermediate Signals at MP 76.x, a detector at MP 76.1, a disused spur trailing in from the southwest, a divided highway grade crossing, and a grade crossing just west of the bridge, before dropping to 35 mph again for the deck Bayou Boeuf Draw Bridge (MP 73.3), which has a bridge tender, after which it rises to 70-65 again, past a bridge over a dirt road on the east bank, a spur trailing in from the southwest (along the east bank), and a divided highway grade crossing.

The line continues past  the 3,157 ft. siding on the south side at Ursa (MP 71.2), turns east-northeast past Intermediate Signals at MP 70.8, a divided highway grade crossing, a road alongside to the south, trees alongside the line between line and road, Intermediate Signals, a bridge over a dirt road, a detector at MP 67.0, a bridge over a river, a dirt road grade crossing, and Gibson, and then just north of east past road ramps surrounding a road bridge overhead, a bridge over a waterway, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, Donner, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 61.4, a grade crossing, a divided highway bridge overhead, two bridges over drainage, a grade crossing, and a dirt road grade crossing, to the 7,760 ft. north side siding and passenger station at Schriever (MP 55.00), where there is a depot on the south side with extra track south of the depot and extra track on the north side of the line.

There are Intermediate Signals at MP 54.7/8, a bridge over drainage, a road bridge overhead, a bridge over drainage, a dirt road grade crossing, and two bridges over roads below. There is a 55 mph speed limit through Thibodaux Junction (MP 51.4), where a short line heads north to Thibodaux, and 79-65 to its east, past La Fourche, where the line turns just south of east, past five dirt road grade crossings, a through truss bridge over a river, a detector at MP 49.6, four dirt road grade crossings, Intermediate Signals, Rousseau, six dirt road grade crossings in the woods, Ewing, Theriot, a dirt road grade crossing in the woods, Bowie, a bridge over a waterway, and three dirt road grade crossings, to the 10,828 ft. siding on the south side at Raceland Junction (MP 40.2), where the line turns northeast as a short line trails in from the west-southwest, and a spur curves away southeast, at the east end.

There is a grade crossing, a road alongside to the south, a detector (box on the south side) at MP 36.1, Intermediate Signals, the road to the south edges away, the speed limit becomes 70-65 at MP 35.6, and then falls to 35 mph across the deck Bayou des Allemands Draw Bridge (MP 32.5), which has a bridge tender, returning to 70-65 past a grade crossing, a road briefly alongside to the south again, Des Allemands (MP 31.6), a turn just east of north, a dirt road grade crossing, the road alongside to the south again, and then east-northeast past a dirt road grade crossing, Vallier, Paradis, a dirt road grade crossing, the 5,068 ft. south side siding at Boutte (MP 24.2) and extra track on the south side, a dirt road grade crossing, dual road bridges overhead, a grade crossing, a divided highway (SR 32) alongside to the south, and a detector at MP 22.5.

There  is a grade crossing, the speed limit rises to 79-65 at the 9,773 ft. siding on the south side at Salix (MP 18.9), where there is a highway alongside to the south, there is a draw bridge over a wide waterway, a bridge over a waterway, MP 17, and falls to 70-65 again at MP 16.7. The line is joined by the former Texas & Pacific along its north side, followed by a grade crossing, as it turns east-southeast at Avon South Junction (MP 14.15), where there is a connector/crossovers between the two lines run as parallel track (with two tracks on the ex-T&P), followed by Intermediate Signals, Live Oak, where CTC starts, four grade crossings, with a parallel track to the south (the west end yard lead), MP 12.4, and Waggeman, before reaching Avondale Yard (MP 11.3), where the two ex-T&P tracks reduce to one and then split again with crossovers to the ex-SP track, and the lines turn east, the large ex-SP marshalling yard is to the south (three tracks at its west end, then at least ten tracks, with a pair of tracks just south of the main line), and the ex-T&P yard to the north, Intermediate Signals near the east end of the yard, a dirt road grade crossing, and West Bridge Junction (MP 10.5), where ex-SP and ex-T&P continue due east (as a single track) at the double track New Orleans Public Belt turns away northeast, with a closed tower in the southeast quadrant.