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The Legend of Casey Jones



The Legend of Casey Jones
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.54

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    fatality, visibility, collision, repaired, originally, early, unconscious, siding, heading, foggy, injury, engineer, brakes, shortly, lines, engine
     content words:    Illinois Central Passenger Train No, Sam Tate, Passenger Train No, Sim Web, Casey Jones, Wallace Saunders, Casey Jones Railroad Museum, Water Valley


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The Legend of Casey Jones
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     In the early morning hours of April 30, 1900, near the Mississippi town of Vaughan, a terrible train wreck occurred. The Illinois Central Passenger Train No. 382 left Memphis, Tennessee, heading south to Vaughan. The steam train's engineer, J. L. "Casey" Jones, had taken over the run for engineer Sam Tate, who had called in sick.
 
2     Under the circumstances, the railroad would have allowed Jones to make the run the next day, but Jones loved a challenge. It had been raining. It was foggy and visibility was poor. The run had several difficult and dangerous curves. Jones felt he could bring the train to Vaughan on schedule, even with these difficult challenges.
 
3     One hundred and eighty-eight miles away in the town of Vaughan, three trains were on the siding, waiting for access to the main track. Passenger train No. 26 was given a "saw by." (A "saw by" is a maneuver in which two trains can meet and pass at a siding that is too short to hold the complete length of either train.) One at a time, they eased back onto the track after the rail lines were clear. Then, an air hose broke on Freight train No. 72. It had to be repaired in order to move. This left the last four cars of No. 83 on the main line.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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