Casey Jones: You’d Better Watch Your Speed

(Originally published in 2015)

Today marks the 115th anniversary of the death of legendary train engineer Casey Jones.

Here are some things you may not know about Casey Jones:

One: On board engine number 382, Jones and fireman Sim Webb departed Memphis, Tennessee for Canton, Mississippi. By the time they took over, the train was 95 minutes late leaving Memphis.

Two: By the time the train reached Goodman, Mississippi, which was 163 miles away, the train was only five minutes late and likely to arrive on schedule at Canton.

Three: Because of train congestion and a disabled train, the main line was blocked at Vaughan, Mississippi, by the last four cars of a freight train.

Webb yelled to Jones when he noticed the obstruction and jumped from the train when Jones told him to.

Jones reversed the throttle and slammed on the airbrakes, but it wasn’t in time as Jones’ train collided with the caboose and the three other cars before derailing.

Jones had managed to slow the train from 75 miles per hour to about 35 miles per hour.

Because of his bravery, Jones likely saved the lives of many of the passengers on board. Jones was the only person killed in the collision.

Our question: Jones was engineering on the Illinois Central Railroad’s Cannonball passenger line. Which two cities were at the end of the Cannonball line?

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