Fifty Years on the Clinchfield: "Captain Tom" Goodin

It has been said of him that he loved railroading better than his wife or life itself. 

Year after year, for 51 years, Thomas E. Goodin faithfully served as a conductor with the Clinchfield Railroad with no demerits and no personal injuries.  This record was an anomaly in railroad history. 

His superiors described his character traits as: faithful, loyal, careful, sober, dependable, persevering, alert, strictly attentive to duty, and always doing the right thing at the right time.  He was lauded for his attitude toward his work, the safe handling of the Company's property, and the safety of his fellow workers.

Letter after letter from patrons to the general managers and superintendents of the railroad praised Goodin for his kindness and consideration of the passengers. 

While Goodin acquired many nicknames in his 58 years on the railroad such as Daddy, Uncle Tom, Big Tom, and Kingfish, he was most often affectionately referred to as "Captain Tom."

This is a story of a man who lived out his passion - and his passion was the railroad.


curated by Sandy Laws