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Wabash Cannon Ball Shirt

Wabash Cannon Ball Shirt


Wabash Cannon Ball

  • Printed on Front
  • 100% Cotton
  • Shirt Color - Wabash Blue


There are many theories of the origin of "The Wabash Cannonball". Utah Phillips states that hobos imagined a mythical train called the "Wabash Cannonball" which was a "death coach" that appeared at the death of a hobo to carry his soul to its reward. The song was then created, with the lyrics and music telling the story of the train. Another theory states that the song is based on a tall tale in which Cal S. Bunyan, Paul Bunyan's brother, constructed a railroad known as the Ireland, Jerusalem, Australian & Southern Michigan Line. After two months of service, the 700-car train was traveling so fast that it arrived at its destination an hour before its departure. Finally, the train took off so fast that it rushed in to outer space, and for all is known, it is still traveling through space. When the hobos learned of this train, they called her the "Wabash Cannonball" and said that every station in America had heard her whistle.


In the wake of the song's popularity, the Wabash Railroad renamed its daytime express run between Detroit and St. Louis as the Wabash Cannon Ball in 1949, the only actual train to bear the name, which it carried until the creation of Amtrak in 1971, when it was discontinued. However, the train was named after the song, not the other way around. On October 26 and 27, 2013, Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society's Nickel Plate Road 765, in conjunction with the Norfolk Southern Railway's "21st Century Steam" program, pulled a 225-mile round-trip excursion, retracing the Cannon Ball's former route between Fort Wayne and Lafayette, Indiana.   (Credit - Wikipedia) 


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