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Late Freight: Train songs.

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by A.W.U.K., Feb 21, 2013.

  1. A.W.U.K.


    Sep 27, 2002
    Years ago I saw a TV series on Trains narrated by the late, lamented DJ John Peel. I did save it on video but that is long gone now :D
    One episode was entitled "Late Freight" and included a song by the folk singer and ex-fireman Dave Goulder, which I liked so much I recently searched for it on youtube.
    The song is called "Eight Freight Blues", referring to the "class 8" 2-8-0 locomotives which were the mainstay of goods operations in the dying days of steam. Their numbers normally begain with an eight and they were known as "Black Eights" because of their unrelieved black paintwork.
    "We are running late in a sorry state, on eighty-two fifteen,
    She's overdue for boiler work and I can't get her to steam"
    You need to fast forward to 5.15 to get straight to Dave Goulder's song.
    N.U.R. = National Union of Railwaymen, A.S.L.E.F. = Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.

    Another common engine in the last days of steam was the Stanier "Black 5" - a plain black, mixed traffic 4-6-0 loco more often seen hauling a rake of coal wagons than a passenger train but nevertheless capable of a fair turn of speed.
    Years ago I went on a steam special excursion to the Christmas Fair in Lincoln, a very enjoyable day out. The departure for our 3 hour return journey was delayed by about an hour and twenty minutes but the journey back, through a white, frosty December night, will be one I will always remember. A full moon illuminated the fat white exhaust streaming seemingly inches above the carriage roofs as the Black 5 dashed onwards through the white countryside, it's cab aglow with orange fire. I was startled to discover when we pulled into the station that we had made up the 80 minutes and arrived precisely on time! A veritable "Hound of Steel" :)

    Requiem for Steam - Dave's lyrics here are a little over-pessimistic as the (Flying) Scotsman has made many more runs and "cold as the stone" Mallard has steamed again.

    The Lickey Bank, or Lickey Incline, is a steep 2 mile stretch of line on the South-West approach to Birmingham. Although a modern IC125 high speed train, with 4,500 diesel horsepower at it's disposal, can climb the bank scarcely losing speed whilst the passengers experience a sensation like going up in a lift, It was a different story in steam days. Driver and fireman had to judge the approach very carefully and heavy trains had to be pushed up from behind by an engine called a "banker". For 40 years the service was provided by a unique 0-10-0 locomotive affectionately known as "Big Bertha".
    Just for context, a modern recreation on the Lickey Bank, the banking engines are 0-6-0 pannier tank locos, which replaced Big Bertha when she was scrapped.

    Feel free to add your own songs and investigate Dave Goulder, quite a character it seems.
  2. Doug C

    Doug C

    Mar 15, 2005

  3. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
  4. mwerner


    Apr 23, 2002
    Steve Goodman... City Of New Orleans

    Doc Watson.... Freight Train Boogie

    Kinky Friedman... The Silver Eagle

    Guy Clark.... Desperadoes waiting for a train. (Not REALLY a train song, the train is a metaphor for death)

    And of course.. "Somebody robbed the Glendale train, this mornin' at half-past nine...." New Riders Of The Purple Sage.
  5. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
    Dirty South Blues Train Harmonica

  6. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
  7. Doug C

    Doug C

    Mar 15, 2005
  8. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    The Wreck of Old #9 - Mac Wiseman

    The Wreck of the Old 97 - Johnny Cash and a few hundred traditional Appalachian singers

    Life's Railway to Heaven (a crossover between a train song and mountain gospel, but it does compare life to a railroad) - Ralph Stanley, The Statler Brothers, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline and many others

    The Wabash Cannonball - best known by Roy Acuff, but many have done it
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  9. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
  10. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
  11. bld522


    Feb 3, 2004
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  12. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
  13. 555


    Feb 5, 2007
  14. Doug C

    Doug C

    Mar 15, 2005
  15. 555


    Feb 5, 2007

  16. Doug C

    Doug C

    Mar 15, 2005

  17. Daft Slice 1986

    Daft Slice 1986

    Jun 3, 2012
  18. Daft Slice 1986

    Daft Slice 1986

    Jun 3, 2012
  19. Steven65

    Steven65 Traditional Hog Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    A wonderful piece of music from Daniel Pemberton created for the show "monster Moves"
    This was the episode where they transported a Scottish made Steam Loco from Bloemfontein in central South Africa back to Scotland.................

  20. java

    java Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot


    Big Steel Rail - Gordon.....again


    Downbound Train - Chuck Berry


    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

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