Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ghost Trains


There are many stories of sightings of ghost or phantom trains. They are not unique to just one country or region. These sightings all have taken on folklore status. Here are just a few well-known ghost train stories.

Stockholm, Sweden has a phantom subway train that is called the Silverpilen or Silver Arrow. So many stories are told that it has become an Urban Legend.

This phantom train is said to stop at random stations. It is seen either completely empty or with ghostly passengers inside. A warning is given never to board it or you will end up at “Kymilinge”--the station of the dead. This is a real subway station that is abandoned.

Actually, Silverpilen was a “real” experimental subway train. It was used in test runs during rush hour. People considered it an eerie sight for it had no graffiti or advertisements displayed. It was rarely used and was retired in 1996.

It has gained a frightening reputation and to this day it is said it haunts subway workers in abandoned tunnels.

The Canadian St. Louis Ghost Train better known as the St. Louis Light is seen along an old abandoned rail line that runs between Prince Albert and the small village community of St. Louis, Saskatchewan. Today all that remains of the tracks is a gravel road.


This phantom train has been seen for many generations. Its light appears at twilight or at night. It is always seen at a distance.

Two legends for the reason this light appears are:

It is actually the ghost of a man holding a lamp that was struck by a train and killed or…

The light seen is a phantom train.

In more recent years two students were able to duplicate this phenomenon. Their efforts discounted the sightings of this phantom train.They stated it was just a “diffraction of distant vehicle lights.” They won an award for their efforts. 

But if this light was seen before the invention of cars--one has to wonder if this is the real reason. Here is a link to an article that mentions sightings of this ghost train.

Engine that pulled Lincoln's
funeral train.
In America, the most famous phantom train is seen on a regular basis. This ghost steam engine travels between Washington, D.C. and Springfield, Illinois--passing 180 cities each April. It is seen around the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death.

Lincoln is not seen but his flag draped coffin is seen guarded by ghostly Union soldiers.

This phantom train is seen emerging from a thick black fog towing several dark cars. It supposedly stops watches and clocks in the surrounding areas it passes. It is said that as it arrives people feel the air become heavier and colder.

This train it appears never reaches it final destination--Springfield.

In Ireland a famous phantom train sighting occurred along the line from Clones in the north to Armagh in the west. This line no longer runs.


In the summer of 1924, two men were sitting alone on a platform bench waiting for a train. When suddenly they heard several voices in the train station behind them. Besides hushed voices they heard a series of moans and groans.

Curious, one arose to peak into the station window. He was surprised to see a deserted room that held benches and a long table but no people.

As this man returned to the bench where his companion sat they both heard the sound of a train approaching the station. They moved to the tracks to look down the line in anticipation.

The sound of this approaching train became louder and louder. As it passed where they stood they heard a loud scream. They jumped back startled. They then heard a defeating train whistle blow.

Despite these sounds they never actually saw a train.

Minutes later when the signalman came out on the platform the two men questioned him. He had not heard the train go by.

He then told them that just the year before a man had jumped in front of a train. He had been brought into the station’s waiting room but he was seriously injured and nothing could be done for him. The signalman pointed to the long table inside and stated, “He died right there on that table.”

2 comments:

briarhopper said...

There is a one-time railroad tunnel leading into the small town of Dingess, West Virginia. Built in the late 1800's, it was converted in the 1960's into a one-lane road for vehicular traffic. It's almost a mile long, and since traffic moves both ways in it, a driver must look for oncoming headlights before he ventures into the tunnel from either direction. The trip alone through the claustrophobic confines is unnerving enough, let alone the rumors that abound of ghosts resulting from murders and construction accidents. My father was a complete skeptic before he and my mother drove through the tunnel in the 1970's. "What do you hear?" she asked him. "A train," he admitted. And so did she.

Virginia Lamkin said...

Thakns for sharing.