Whistle Blowing at Erwin Tenn

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Mar 13 20:33:51 EST 2005


             The late Johnny Cash made the phrase, "I Hear That Train A 
Coming", famous in his song entitled "Folsom Prison Blues".  He sings of 
being in prison listening to the steam train's lonesome whistle blowing and 
wishing that he were far away from the predicament that he was currently in.

             On Saturday, March 19, 2005, at approximately high noon 
(12:00p.m.), you can once again have the opportunity to hear those lonesome 
steam whistles sound off during a special demonstration of whistle blowing 
and techniques sponsored by the Watauga Valley Chapter of the National 
Railway Historical Society.

             Located in Erwin, TN at the beautiful Rock Creek Park, special 
guest, Mr. Lee Alley of Bristol, will have on hand his one of a kind, home 
built and self proclaimed "Wizzle Blowing Machine".  This machine is 
capable of blowing many different types of steam whistles.  The public is 
invited to dust off those old whistles that they have and bring them by and 
have them sounded off once again for old time sakes.  Big whistles, small 
whistles, steam locomotive whistles, as well as sawmill whistles, are all 
welcome, as well as any railroad memorabilia that you would like to share.

             Mr. Alley will have on hand for your listening enjoyment, his 
steam whistle that once sounded the way for Norfolk and Western M-class 
382, as she made her way from Abingdon, VA to Wester Jefferson, NC along 
what is known today as the Virginia Creeper Trail.  This whistle was 
recorded by the late O. Winston Link and made famous on his recording, "The 
Fading Giant".  Also, Watauga Valley N.R.H.S. historian, Gary Price, will 
have on hand his Clinchfield railroad steam whistle so it can be sounded in 
Erwin, TN as it did over 50 years ago.

             Admission to the event is free, however, the park charges a 
$2.00 parking fee per vehicle.  Please note that this will be a very loud 


Gary Price

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