Casey Jones (1863-1900) was a real-life engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad. The ballad that made him famous was written by Wallace Saunders after the great train wreck in Vaughan, MS that took Jones' life. I wanted to remain true to the original ballad, as well as the historical event, which took place the evening of April 29 and early morning of April 30. I didn't want all of my evening paintings to look the same, so I designed my book to take the viewer through a 24-hour period. The first illustration (the book cover) is during the day and portrays Jones coming home. The story continues through the evening and into the next morning, and then ends the next "day" with Jones in that "Great Train" in the Promised Land.This painting, the second in my series of eight, depicts Jones coming into the roundhouse at the end of a hard day's work on April 29. However, for Jones, the story is just beginning.
The roundhouse is actually based off of a roundhouse in Mississippi, not Memphis, TN where the story begins. Here is the original photo and 3-D model I built for lighting purposes.