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Altoona Freight Wreck

This song is by Riley Puckett and appears on the compilation People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938 (2007).

They had just left the point at Kittanning
Freight Number Twelve Sixty-two
She traveled right on down the mountain
And brave were the men in her crew

The engineer pulled at the whistle
For the brakes wouldn't work when applied
The brakeman climbed out on the car top
For he knew what that whistle had cried

With all of the strength that God gave him
He tightened (?tied in) those brakes with a prayer
But she kept right on down that mountain
Her whistle was piercing the air

She traveled at sixty an hour
Gaining speed every foot of the way
And then in a crash it was over
And there on the track the freight lay

They found them at their post in the wreckage
Both had done their duty so well
The engineer still held the whistle
And the fireman still hung to the bell

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