A Tribute To A Great Locomotive
Thomas G. Lee and Stephen A. Lee in the cab of Locomotive #8444.
Pres. International J. I. Case Heritage Foundation 1508 Kentucky
1080 Calhoun, Kentucky 42327
Our American Heritage is rich in history and lore of railroading
in this great country of ours. Songs and volumes of books have been
written about various steam locomotives and the men who ran them,
and about the Golden Age of Steam Railroading in America.
First, we have the Western & Atlantic Railroad's little
4-4-0, No. 3 better known as the General. This now famous
locomotive was stolen at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) Georgia, April
12, 1862 by 19 Union Army soldiers disguised in civilian clothes,
led by James J. Andrews, a Union Secret Service Agent. The events
that followed that day in 1862 are remembered today as 'The
Great Locomotive Chase.' The General was completely overhauled
by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1962 and she ran once
again under steam across many parts of the country during the Civil
War Centennial. She is now on permanent display at Kennesaw,
Secondly, we have the New York Central & Hudson River (later
New York Central) Railroad's 4-4-0 No. 999. This now famous
locomotive, while still equipped with high 86 inch drivers, was
officially clocked at a speed of 112.5 miles per hour near Batavia,
New York, May 10, 1893, thus becoming the first steam locomotive to
officially exceed 100 miles per hour in the United States. The
famed 999 was officially retired from service in 1921 and was
presented to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry for
permanent display in 1962.
Third, we have Illinois Central Railroad's 4-6-0 No. 382
that was involved in a now famous train wreck at approximately 5:00
a.m. April 30, 1900 at a little town named Vaughan in Mississippi.
The engineer, John Luther (Casey) Jones was the only one killed.
The legend of Casey Jones and the wreck of his passenger train
known as the Cannon Ball were forever immortalized in a ballad
'The Brave Engineer,' by a black engine-wiper by the name
of Wallace Saunders, a friend of the late engineer. The locomotive
382 was scrapped by the Illinois Central, July, 1935.
Fourth, we have Southern Railway's 4-6-0 No. 1102 that
jumped the rails on a sharp curve leading into Still House Trestle
near Danville, Virginia on Sunday September 27, 1903. The
locomotive, No. 1102, was pulling Southern's famous and very
fast Mail & Express train No. 97. The locomotive and cars ended
up in the creek 75 feet below. Ten crew members including the
engineer, fireman, conductor, flagman and six mail clerks, lost
their lives in this very destructive wreck. The 1102 spent her last
days on the St. Louis division and was scrapped by the Southern
Railway at Princeton, Indiana September 9,1935. That fatal day in
1903 will always be remembered because of the classic ballad
'The Wreck of The Ole 97.' It is indeed ironic that this
train wreck will be remembered by the number of the train, not the
number of the locomotive.
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