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The first of several train wreck songs involving Chesapeake and Ohio (C & O) Railway. This true incident involved the C & O's Fast Flying Virginian (FFV) train near Hinton, West Virginia on October, 23, 1890. The train was on its way to Clifton Forge, Virginia, when it hit a rock slide. Early accounts record that the engineer, George Alley, remained on the train to try to slow it and save the lives of its passengers. Alley died at the scene.
The song was first recorded in September 1924 by George Reneau as "The C & O Wreck".
The actual author of the song is unknown, but likely authored by one of the train engineers at the scene and first published in a 1913 railroad magazine. The tune appears to be the same as the one for The Wreck of the Old 97, which was in turn borrowed from Henry Clay Work's 1865 song The Ship That Never Returned.
Along came the F.F.V.
The swiftest on the line
She was runnin' down the C&O road
Just twenty-five minutes behind
There are two other different train wreck songs on SHS involving the C & O Railway with very similar names, The Wreck of the C & O No. 5 and The Wreck of the C & O Sportsman. Additinoally, Carson Robison wrote two very similar themed train songs called The Wreck of the Number Nine and The Wreck of the 1256.
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