This Day (I’m a Train Wreck Edition)

Published:September 27, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1903, the Southern Railway freight train called the Fast Mail no. 97, or the “Old 97,” left the tracks and crashed at the Stillhouse Trestle outside of Danville, killing eleven people. The video above is a great overview of the incident, which inspired the ballad “The Wreck of the Old 97,” which in turn inspired the (awesome) band the Old 97’s. Listen to Johnny Cash kill it here. I’m not sure if the Old 97’s have ever recorded “The Wreck of the Old 97,” but here’s Rhett Miller from the band singing “I’m a Train Wreck” (close enough!) right here in Charlottesville. Just try watching this video and not completely focusing on the dude in the suit. Who is he?!