Eye witness account to Casey Jones Wreck.....

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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, October 22, 2021 10:43 AM

Casey Jones' peers comment on him:   from Erie Railroad Magazine   April 1932

   A. J. ("Fatty") Thomas, who often ran as a conductor on trains pulled by Casey and the 638, writes: "...for he (Jones) was not a rounder but a car roller, and in my estimation the prince of them all.  We had a number of fast men, and since then I have had hundreds of good engineers pull me on different western roads.  But I never met the equal of Casey Jones in rustling to get over the road."

   "The 'whistle's moan' in the song is right.  Casey could just about play a tune on the whistle.  He could make the cold chills run up your back with it, and grin all the time.  Everybody along the line knew Casey Jones' whistle."

   "I never saw him with his mouth closed -- he always had a smile or a broad grin.  The faster he could get an engine to roll, the happier he was.  He would lean out of the cab window to watch his drivers, and when he got he going so fast that the side rods looked solid, he would look at you and grin all over, happy as a boy with his first pair of red boots. Yet he had a reputation as a safe engineer.  With all his fast running I never knew of him piling them up, of any but a few derailments and never a rear-ender.  He was either lucky, or else his judgment was as nearly perfect as human judgment can be."

   Ed Pacey, another conductor who knew Casey Jones, writes: "Jones was famous for two things:  he was a teetotaler in days when abstinence was rare, and he was the most daring of all engineers in the days when schedules were simply 'get her there and make the time, or come to the office and get your time.'"

                                                   * * * * * 

   When I look at the long-ago photographs of the engineers and others in my old railroad town who worked for the Atlantic & Great Western Railway and later the Erie Railroad...I see the deep pride in their machines and in their work that's noted above.  As a representative of such railroaders, Casey Jones was or is an archetype...and that's why he's in folklore Valhalla.



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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, October 22, 2021 10:58 AM

It seems to me we really don't have sufficient primary source and investigation info to make a valid judgement. But it sure sounds like Casey liked to run fast.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, October 22, 2021 1:16 PM

According to the subscript below the Passenger Forum, this historic  thread belongs in Classic Trains. This forum is supposed to be about  Amtrak, past and present and future for Amtrak and other modern passenger services, including abroad.

"The place to discuss Amtrak, the future of passenger rail, and high speed proposals."

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Posted by 243129 on Friday, October 22, 2021 8:28 PM

NKP guy

   On one of the two video clips Mr. Webb says Jones brought the train speed down from 75mph to 35mph...when he was told, "Jump, Sim!"


Even jumping at 35mph I should think you would suffer more injury other than being knocked unconscious.

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