PAGE  305  - SEPTEMBER 16, 2007


 

"......And the cars that roll through the lows and the highs

All ride on the backs of the little guys, they’re my railroad family. "

 

The photo below was given to Conductor Jim Vail by the now retired Amtrak (former B&M) Conductor Jay Marsden, his conductor on train #306.
This engine was named in honor of Jay's brother, Billy "Zeke" Marsden, who was also a conductor on the B&M and the MBTA Commuter Rail Service operated by Amtrak.
Zeke's son Billy is following in his fathers foot steps as a Commuter rail Engineer.
During their  travels both Jay and Zeke became friends with singer Harry Chapin.
Even though Harry is no longer with us, the Marsden's and Chapin's have remained close and Harry's brother Steve wrote the song below in memory of Zeke and in honor of his "1921."


Photo by Norton D. Clark

 

They Named an Engine After Me
Written by Steve Chapin

 


They named an engine after me, it seems at last the world can see

That the long steel rails and the wooden ties

And the cars that roll through the lows and the highs

All ride on the backs of the little guys, they’re my railroad family.

They named an engine after me.


Like my father before me, I work the trains, it was always mine

And his father too, the spirit remains up and down the line.

No one can say I didn’t work it hard, every morning I’d kiss “Peachie”

And I’d head for the yard. I raised some hell, but I worked it well,

Now I hold the the winning card.


They named an engine after me, it seems at last the world can see

That the long steel rails and the wooden ties

And the cars that roll through the lows and the highs

All ride on the backs of the little guys, they’re my railroad family.

They named an engine after me.


Every time that I feel maybe my luck’s gone dry, I remember the fun.

I’ve taken my life, looked it straight in the eye, there’s things to be done.

There’s a time to bullshit and a time to boast,

There’s a time to savor what matters the most.

I’ve found my fame, you can see my name, up and down the Eastern coast.


They named an engine after me, it seems at last the world can see

That the long steel rails and the wooden ties

And the cars that roll through the lows and the highs

All ride on the backs of the little guys, they’re my railroad family.

They named an engine after me.


Got a brother - he’s younger, You all know Jay, the family card

Well he came by to see me, just the other day, we drove to the yard.

He laughed and handed me a bottle of champagne,

Everyone was with me when I christened my train.

I’m a railroad boy, you can’t believe the joy, that’s whistling through my brain.


They named an engine after me, it seems at last the world can see

That the long steel rails and the wooden ties

And the cars that roll through the lows and the highs

All ride on the backs of the little guys, they’re my railroad family.

They named an engine after me.


They’ve got engines named for presidents and senators and such

And all the famous people you can see and never touch.

But there’s a sixteen wheeler, and it’s gold and red and sleek

Number nineteen hundred and twenty-one, with my name on it - “Zeke.”


As the days roll on I’ve got nothing to fear

I’m safe with the friends that gathered here

And I’ve got my name on a heavenly train

That whips the weeds on the Boston & Maine.

And the longs steel rails and the wooden ties

And the cars that roll, through the lows and the highs

Will ride on the backs of the little guys,

They’re my railroad family,

And they named and engine after me.
 

 


Hi Brian,
I wasn't sure if you knew or not but the 1921 was rescued from a trip to the scrap yard by the Hobo RR . They kept the same scheme as well as the Minute Man and my Dad's name on it. The only change was it now reads "HOBO 1921" on the side instead of "MBTA 1921". 
They don't have a picture at their website of it but I have included one in case you wanted to show our fellow railroaders how it looks today.
 Best Wishes,
 Billy Marsden Jr.


  Still "The Pride of Charlestown" in all of her glory
at The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

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