Railroad Folklore

Casey Jones

A Tennessee Legend

retold by

S.E. Schlosser 

Casey Jones, that heroic railroad engineer of the Cannonball, was known as the man who always brought the train in on time. He would blow the whistle so it started off soft but would increase to a wail louder than a banshee before dying off. Got so as people would recognize that whistle and know when Casey was driving past.

April 29, 1900, Casey brought the Cannonball into Memphis dead on time. As he was leaving, he found out one of the other engineers was sick and unable to make his run. So Casey volunteered to help out his friend. He pulled the train out of the station about eleven p.m., an hour and thirty-five minutes late. Casey was determined to make up the time. As soon as he could, he highballed out of Memphis (highballing means to go very fast and take a lot of risks to get where your headed) and started making up for lost time.

About four a.m., when he had nearly made up all the time on the run, Casey rounded a corner near Vaughin, Mississippi and saw a stalled freight train on the track. He shouted for his fireman to jump. The fireman made it out alive, but Casey Jones died in the wreck, one hand on the brake and one on the whistle chord.

The Ballad of Casey Jones is still sung today.

You can read the real Casey Jones story at the Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum website.



You can read more Tennessee folktales in Spooky South by S.E. Schlosser.

 

Comments

this is awesome

this is a cute story(:

inspiring.

OMG!!! i live in memphis but it wasent really scary just kinda scary

Casey jones was a great man he sacrficed his life for his train attends. There was a train in front of him and behind him. He drove to the one in front were his attends wouldnt die. Caseys grave is in some graveyard in Jackson Tennesse. Go to the Casey Jones village the muesuem is realy and the food is great at old country store

that was cool

Its rather sad, becouse he was only trying to help but died in the mean time. :( :-0

I appreciate the truthful tribute to Casey Jones the person gave on 10-21-2010. I lived there for 11 years. I visited often the CaseyJones Village n Jackson, TN. That is a great town to stop n rest when traveling the long I 40.

cool

Nice! Great story!

awesome(:

I don't think any of these are REAL!

you never hear anything like that in britain!

reminds me of the british "engineer" who saved people by leaving a gunpowder train in a station and taking away a burning wagon!

he is a good person

Cool

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