Rest in Peace

Our good friend and proud railroadman Chris Perrone left us on March 7, 2006.

Chris was an honest to goodness railroadman, who loved the railroad, loved his coworkers and took great pride in giving his passengers a safe and comfortable ride.

Even in his final days as he suffered with severe pain, he made every effort to give the railroad and its' passengers their money's worth.

Besides being the last Locomotive Engineer to actually look like a railroad engineer, Chris was one of the last people we knew of that actually had some degree of faith and hope that the railroad would some day return to its' glory days.

I always remember him saying that he felt lucky that he had a job that he loved and was happy to wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work.

As is almost always the case for railroadmen, railroading wasn't an easy life for Chris Perrone, but it was his railroad life that made him happy.

Although the railroad has lost another great railroader, Chris Perrone's spirit of pride, devotion and enthusiasm for railroading, railroaders and his cherished railroad life will live on.

 Photos  by G.A. Cassidy

Come all you rounders if you want to hear
A story 'bout a brave engineer,
Casey Jones was the rounder's name
"Twas on the Illinois Central that he won his fame.

Casey Jones, he loved a locomotive.
Casey Jones, a mighty man was he.
Casey Jones run his final locomotive
With the Cannonball Special on the old I.C.

(Excerpts from "The Ballad of Casey Jones")

"Professor Pepperoni" on Amtrak #137 - Enjoy Yourself!

HIT HERE to view the movie



Some thoughts from Chris Perrone's Pals.

From Bill Sample.....

I knew Chris from our days back on the Valley Railroad in the 80s.  After he left his service there for "the big time" I'd see him occasionally on the job when he worked the inland route. (I'm a 32 year Amtrak employee in stations, primarily Berlin, Meriden and Hartford over the years)  Once in a while I ham out at the New Haven ticket office, and I think it was there where I last saw him, late last year.  

Yep, he was one of the last to really look the part, wearing the traditional cap and jumper of a locomotive engineer, something you rarely see anywhere these days, even on the tourist lines.

I'm a 38-year member of a group now known as the Railroad Museum of New England, on the board of trustees for the past 28 years.  We helped to set up the and run the Valley, now run the Naugatuck RR.  I run there and when I'm in the seat I like to dress the part, just to let the people, especially the kids, see what an engineer is supposed to look like, and thought of Chris from time to time doing the same on the big road.  (especially when running ex Amtrak 138, now once again New Haven 529).

I would have been to his wake today if I didn't have to go to my wife's uncle's service up in Sharon, Mass.  I thought of Chris during Uncle Ted's service when the pastor spoke of Ted's weekday commute on the New Haven to Back Bay.

Yep, over Chris's iron. 

I've known a lot of railroad men over the years, starting when I used to beg cab rides back in the 60s.  Chris was right up there with the best of them, and I'll miss him here, now that he's running on the "Happy Valley" in the great beyond.  WS


From George Cassidy.......

Chris was a great friend and a railroad co-worker. At the Valley RR Company we worked together in steam service.

His daily trips as an AMTRAK engineer past our home at MP 134.2, his smile & wave and the special blow on the whistle was an event we always looked forward to -even at 4:30 AM with train #66!

Add my wife and I to the long. long list of friends who will miss him greatly. The end of the line for a great railroader and dear friend. Clear block ahead Chris!

George & Mary-Jane Cassidy
Mar 10, 2006
Stonington, CT


Someplace he'd rather be.

"Even when the loss of his presence gives us pain,
still a certain pleasure arises in our mourning and lamentation;
for pain is felt at the loss of the beloved,
but pleasure in remembering him,
and, as it were, seeing him as he lived and moved."
"A passage from the Rhetoric of Aristotle"


Christopher A. Perrone
, 56, of North Kingstown, died Wednesday at home.

Born in Brooklyn, NY a son of Mary (Silvestri) Perrone of NJ and the late Albert L. Perrone he had lived in RI since 1968. He was a Locomotive Engineer at AMTRAK for over 20 years. Mr. Perrone was a member of the National Train Collectors Association.

He is survived by a daughter, Jennifer A. Perrone and a son, Carl A. Perrone both of North Kingstown; four sisters, Valerie Diamond of VA, Andrea Tripp of AZ, Claudia Carroll of NJ, Lorraine Montgomery of TX and two brothers, Lawrence Perrone of CA and Vernon Perrone of NY.