Matthew Swayne has worked as a reporter and as a music reviewer for several newspapers and online outlets, and is a regular contributor to the recently revitalized version of Omni Magazine, called Omni Reboot. During the first half of the show, he shared tales of ghost trains, phantom conductors, and other railroad related hauntings. According to Swayne, older trains are usually associated with ghostly happenings, but some modern trains have legends surrounding them as well. One such case is a silver train that once serviced Stockholm, Sweden. Passengers claimed to have been taken to unexpected stops, lost time, and even after it was taken off-line some witnesses alleged it was still running, he explained.
The most haunted part of a train is probably the caboose, Swayne continued, noting the caboose acted as the living quarters and office for the rail crew. He compared it to a mobile haunted house. One conductor reportedly saw the spirit of a widow roaming within the caboose on his train, Swayne revealed, adding the conductor attempted to debunk the sighting but in the end could not explain it. He shared details about a possessed caboose on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad which "when the train was stopped would shimmy and shake like it had its own spirit." It once took off on its own on level rails and jumped the track even though its brakes were set, Swayne noted. He also shared the story of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. Witnesses claimed to feel a rumble and see belching smoke before the train engine passed by carrying a funeral car populated with the ghosts of Union soldiers, he reported.
Open Lines followed in the latter part of the program. George opened a hotline for callers to share the most fortunate moments of their lives. Tom in Spring Valley, California, recalled the time in 1986 he had stopped drinking. According to Tom, he had been sober for only six says and with the encouragement of two women he met one night at a Denny's he has remained sober for the last 33 years.
Nancy from Decatur, Illinois, shared her own most fortunate moment which took place seven years ago after she had an adverse reaction to a prescription she was taking for a nerve injury. The medication had caused her to pass out so she did not make it to work that day. Fortunately, a co-worker came to check on her, saw her passed out on the couch, and called 9-1-1. According to Nancy, the doctors who saw her when she arrived at the hospital admitted she would not have been alive had one more hour passed.
Catherine in Houston told George about the time she saved her younger sister's life after she had run onto railroad tracks and gotten stuck with a train barreling down the line. Catherine recalled her sibling asking for help and then telling her exactly what she needed to do in order to free herself from the rails. She was able to roll off the tracks just in the nick of time before the train passed, Catherine reported.