Originally published December 29, 2013, on Tumblr.

Train stuff tonight.
Story of the Engine that Thought It Could.

Published in the New York Tribune on April 8, 1906, this story is attributed to a sermon by the Rev. Charles S. Wing to the Norstrand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn; the church had just paid off its mortgage after many years.  This is earliest full version:

In a certain railroad yard there stood an ex
tremely heavy train that had to be drawn up an 
unusually heavy grade before it could reach its
 destination. The superintendent of the yard was 
not sure what it was best for him to do, so he
 went up to a large, strong engine and asked :
“Can you pull that train over the hill?”
“It is a very heavy train,” responded the en
He then went to another great engine and 
“Can you pull that train over the hill?”
“It is a very heavy grade,” it replied.
The superintendent was much puzzled, but he 
turned to still another engine that was spick
 and span new, and he asked it:
“Can you pull that train over the hill?”
“I think I can,” responded the engine.
So the order was circulated, and the engine
 was started back so that it might be coupled
 with the train, and as it went along the rails it
 kept repeating to itself: “I think I can. I think
 I can. I think I can.”
The coupling was made and the engine began
 its journey, and all along the level, as it rolled 
toward the ascent, it kept repeating to itself:
 “I —think —I can. I —think —I— can. I —think— I —can.”
Then it reached the grade, but its voice could 
still be heard: “I think I can. I—– think—–I—–can. 
I —–think—– I—– can.”
Higher and higher it climbed, and its voice
grew fainter and its words came slower:
“I ——-think ——–I——-can.“
It was almost to the top.
“I ———think”
If was at the top.
“I ———can.“
It passed over the top of the hill and began 
crawling down the opposite slope.
‘I ——think——- I—— can——I—– thought——I——-could I—– thought—– 
could. I thought I could. I thought I could.
 I thought I could.”
And singing its triumph, it rushed on down 
toward the valley.

Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk (live)