Subscriber & Member Login

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

Clinchfield 311 Ghost Train - info please

2952 views
7 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: San Diego
  • 954 posts
Clinchfield 311 Ghost Train - info please
Posted by stokesda on Friday, September 14, 2018 10:30 AM

My dad asked me about the background on the Clinchfield ghost train story. I'd never heard about it before, so did a little Googling to get the basics. I found links to a bunch of fictional ghost stories about a Clinchfield 4-8-2 number 311, but no seemingly legit historical information from the usual sources (not even Wikipedia! Big Smile). Some of the ghost stories were clearly "fan fiction" but had quasi-historical information in them. From the scant information Google turned up it was hard to tell if it was based on actual historical events, or if the whole thing was made up. The back story involves a Frisco 4-8-2 that was loaned to the Clinchfield, then went over a bridge while hauling a train full of logs one night.

Does anybody know anything about the background of this ghost story? Is it based on actual events, or is it just some completely made up urban legend?

Dan Stokes

My other car is a tunnel motor

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 4,292 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, September 14, 2018 3:07 PM
Gidday Dan, looks like the story is just a story. According to the Clinchfield Steam Roster, #311 was a Baldwin built 2-8-0, built in 1909 and retired and then scrapped in 1951.
 
From the roster it appears that the Clinchfield never had any 4-8-2 locomotives.
 
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: San Diego
  • 954 posts
Posted by stokesda on Friday, September 14, 2018 9:38 PM

Thanks, Bear, that's what I suspected. Might make a good modeling subject for a Halloween project for the layout. If only I had a spare 4-8-2 lying around! Hmm

Dan Stokes

My other car is a tunnel motor

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 1,204 posts
Posted by snjroy on Saturday, September 15, 2018 7:36 AM

IHC/Mehano made a decent and low-cost 4-8-2. I see them regularly on Ebay...

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Posted by GN24 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:24 PM
I know everything about 311. she was an old 4-8-2 mountain locomotive made in 1929 for the Frisco railroad as no.1513 after several hard years of work she was bought by the Campton southwestern and worked for about 5 months then the jinx hit and she got her bad reputation so she was then sent to work on the clinchfield however matters only got worse after arriving on Colorado she was then yanked off the clinch roster in late 1956 and left in an unused storage track in alcorn shop complex were she awaited her fate then she was saved by the manager of the C.S.W. when he was in search of a large freight locomotive to handle the lumber contract so she was sent to work on the mountain line but one year later she had the tragic wreck.
  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Posted by GN24 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:26 PM

this is the ghost story and part one of the clinchfield curse script for my HO/00 remake I am working on

  (Campton southwestern railroad oct 31,1957)

It was raining on the night of Halloween on the campton southwestern railroad

sitting quietly was x clinchfield 311 an old 4-8-2 mountain type locomotive 311 was 

to take a load of logs from campton to black wolf lodging camp then deliver another train back down on the return journey. Earlier that morning weather reports had been warning of a storm that was to roll in during the evening. It was raining lightly but this was only a sign of the bad weather approaching

̈ well old girl looks like we got a storm coming in ̈                                                                                       ¨just great having to pull this train through a storm and then another one back  down the mountain¨                                                                                                                                                              ¨oh don’t worry about it have confidence that we will make it¨                                                                                   ¨confidence seems to be the only thing keeping me going despite what the others say¨ 

¨hey don't worry the manager won’t let any of those fools touch you not as long as he or me or you're fireman are here ¨

¨you are the only ones who have shown me sympathy and i am very grateful for it

,when's our arrival time back in campton?¨

¨ our arrival is one AM right on the dot¨                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ¨ ok lets get rolling¨

   The ride was going smooth and they were making good progress  going at 15 mp hr the correct speed through the miller river canyon followed by the sound of thunder and whistling winds.They arrived at black wolf logging camp and by then night had fallen over the mountain.311 was serviced and checked over by her crewand they were ready to leave but there was a short delay due to the signal for the all clear on the return journey back to campton malfunctioned. It was repaired but this only made 311 late for her return journey.

  ̈ ̈ugh this rain is impossible to see through and knowing how dangerous this line is in these conditions it’s almost suicidal¨                                                                                     ¨ oh don't worry about it we will be home as quick as we can just as soon as we deliver these logs, but  like I said I am confident that we will make it back safely and be home free!¨ 

Due to the rain a series of major flash floods were reported all across the line. The flash floods loosened large rocks and trees from the banks causing them to be pulled down stream plunging into the raging rapids below. (As they began to cross the bridge the supports gave out and they plunged to their doom). No word of 311 and her crew was heard the next day. As the minutes turned to hours, great concern grew so search teams were sent out for a rescue operation. When they came across the miller river bridge they had discovered that it had collapsed but there was no indication that a train might have gone over it. Other than the bridge itself, whatever happened the remains of 311 and it’s crew had vanished into thin air.

 

   A few years later, a new stronger bridge was completed but strange events began to occur: one night an engine was pulling a freight train up the same line that 311 had disappeared.The locomotive and driver claimed to have seen a headlight hearing a bell ring and a whistle sounding out, then they all vanished together without a trace. Similar reports throughout  the decades soon followed. People and engines alike had reported seeing an engine trying to cross the bridge but never does. According to the legend if  you walk along the mountain line of the highland valley logging and mining company railroad in the fall  you might hear the cry of a whistle in the wind if you are brave enough to walk the line during the thunderstorm on Halloween, you just might get a glance of a 4-8-2 with a blood red lamp as it flares past you it’s whistle screaming into the distance only to vanish in the night.

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Posted by GN24 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:32 PM

I already have a demon 311 in HO scale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWRz7lrmtsI&t=67s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHog7C_q_88

these are my youtube links to some of the videos I made of it.

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Posted by GN24 on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:50 PM

if you want to make a good 311 model you could watch som of my 311 model videos.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvjr11zZkRdBzW_OFnyEQCQ

Subscriber & Member Login

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

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!