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Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad


Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad

Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad
Locale Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA
Dates of operation 1882–1946
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Chicago, IL

The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad (Y&MV) was incorporated in 1882 and was part of the Illinois Central Railroad system (IC). Construction began in Jackson, Mississippi, and continued to Yazoo City, Mississippi. The line was later expanded through the Mississippi Delta and on to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1892, the IC bought the Memphis-New Orleans Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railway and they later purchased the Mississippi & Tennessee Railroad. These lines were merged it into the Y&MV.

Between 1945 and 1946 the IC began to absorb its subsidiaries and the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad ceased to operate as an independent railroad.

Blues music

The railroad - or its predecessor, the Yazoo Delta Railway (Moorhead-Ruleville) - appears in a number of blues songs as the Yellow Dog Railroad. According W. C. Handy, locals assigned the words "Yellow Dog" to the letters Y.D. on the freight trains that they saw.[1]

The Mississippi Blues Commission placed a historic marker at the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad depot site in Rosedale, Mississippi, designating it as a site on the Mississippi Blues Trail. The marker commemorates the original lyrics of legendary blues artist Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside Blues" which traced the route of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad which ran south from Friars Point to Rosedale among other stops, including Vicksburg and north to Memphis. The marker emphasizes a common theme of blues songs of riding on the railroad, which is seen as a metaphor for escape.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Father of the Blues: An Autobiography By W. C. Handy, Arna Wendell Bontemps Contributor Abbe Niles Published by Da Capo Press, 1991 page 267. ISBN 0-306-80421-2, ISBN 978-0-306-80421-2
  2. ^ "Mississippi Blues Trail Markers To Be Unveiled in Bolivar County". Mississippi Development Authority. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 

External links

  • Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Chapter NRHS
  • Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Company Ledger(MUM00497) at the University of Mississippi, Archives and Special Collections.
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