Train event gives rare glimpse into depot

Published 8:53 am Friday, February 6, 2015

The GM&O Historical Society South End Regional Meet is scheduled for Saturday at the old passenger depot on Austin Street in Bogalusa.

Activities include two railroad audio visual programs from 1 until 3 p.m. by railroad enthusiast, author and historian Louis Saillard, who is from Baton Rouge. The visuals will take place at the north end of the depot.

Also, live railroad music is scheduled throughout the day in the south end waiting room. A railroad flea market with model trains and unique railroad artifacts, railroad T-shirts, sweatshirts and other items will be on display for sale.

“We’re fortunate to have our regional GM&O Historical Society meeting Saturday in our local depot,” Historical Society member Terry “Foots” Quinn said. “Mr. Saillard has been charting our railroad history and photographing the railroads in our area since he was a young man in the early 1960s.”

The GM&O, or Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, began in 1940 through a merger with Gulf, Mobile and Northern Railroad. On Aug. 10, 1972, the GM&O merged with the Illinois Central Railroad, currently Canadian National.

“Shortly after the merger in 1972, some fellows in Chicago formed the GM&O Historical Society to preserve the history of the GM&O. That’s the organization that is meeting Saturday,” Quinn said. “There will be officials there from all over, including Texas, Tennessee and Alabama.”

Quinn said musical guests will include Kathryn Hobgood Ray and possibly The Petty Bones, a local group.

Railroad employees, former employees and railroad enthusiasts will be on hand to tell their stories. GM&O Historical Society officers from around the region will attend to present a new book on the old GM&O.

Additionally, an actual wood train caboose will be on display at the property.

For more information, contact Quinn at 985-516-0084 or email