Now and Then

34 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 933 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 11:36 AM
  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 4,112 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 9:15 AM

Time Machine

the first two minutes of this video shows 11th Ave. & 33rd St., looking north, and later, the traffic cop is at 10th Ave and 30th St. Abraham Lincoln's train went right through both intersections, and right under Hudson Yards skyscraper platform.

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 933 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 10:14 AM

Pretty amazing film, that!  Makes me a little sad though when I realize that no-one in the film (with the possible exception of the toddlers seen toward the end in the background) is alive today.  Oh well, time marches on. Dammit.

Vince, by the Lincoln train I'm assuming you're speaking of the Lincoln Funeral Train?  There's a local legend that on the anniversary of its run up the Hudson the "ghost" of the train makes an appearance on the old New York Central.  You know, one of those "...cold, clear, moonlit night..." kind of stories.

I've got it here in the archives of the "Fortress Firelock,"  I'll have to see if I can find it.

Found it!  'Scuse me while I blow the dust off...

POOF!  Cough, hack wheeze...

OK, this is from NRHS's "National Railway Bulletin,"  Volume 59, Number 1, from 1994.  Exerpted from an article by Anthony W. Reevy.

Lincoln's Funeral Train

Every year at midnight on the evening of April 26 or thereabouts, a chill wind runs down the tracks of the mainline between New York and Albany.  (This stretch of railroad was once the Hudson Division of the New York Central system).  If there is a moon, clouds slowly obscure it and the air all about becomes still.  Railroad men who are working then step aside and watch.  They know what's going to happen, although any chance passersby are in for a surprise.

Soon, the men know they are in the presence of the unknown.  A black carpet seems to roll down the tracks, and all sound is deadened.  Then, IT comes:  Lincoln's funeral train.  The train, which crawls slowly by, is divided into two sections:  both are led by old-time wood-burning engines with huge smokestacks, resplendent with polished brass.  The engines are heavily draped with flowing black crepe.

The first section of the trains is made up of an engine - running without a crew- that pulls several flat cars.  On one of the flat cars is a grotesque band of skeletons sitting in fantastic poses, playing noiselessly on black instruments.  That section is followed by the funeral train itself, which is an engine pulling just one flat car.  On the car is a single lonely coffin, attended by neither ghost nor skeleton.  As the train passes, ghosts of men in blue uniforms, some of them carrying their own coffins, may be seen floating in the air all around.  Neither train makes a sound as it passes by.  If another train happens to go by at the same time as Lincoln's train, the spectral special runs right through the real one without harming it.  As it does so, the sounds made by the real train are muffled.

The next morning, all the clocks on the division are unaccountably five to eight minutes behind.  What's more. all of the trains that were out on the line the night before are running five to eight minutes late.  The old-timers know why.  

Isn't that something? 


Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!


Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter