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Godchaux Sugar Company

Leon Godchaux, realizing the importance of the plantation railroad in bringing about the centralization of the grinding and refining on the many plantations he purchased, built an amazing system of tramways. Of all the Louisiana plantation railroads, these were in a class by themselves.

Godchaux-Reserve House Historical Society

Louisiana industrial

As early as 1890, the Godchaux Sugar Company began using rails to bring its sugar cane crops to its south Louisiana mills for processing. Five years later, Godchaux had purchased its first two steam locomotives -- two Baldwin tank engines -- and had track stretching at least 20 miles. The elaborate 36" narrow gauge system was scrapped in 1958 when the mill changed hands, but not before rostering 7 active steam engines, a Whitcomb switcher, over 250 double-truck cane cars, and dozens of miles of trackage all across the plantation fields.

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