Death at the Crossing

A few hours outside Chicago, a fiery catastrophe ensues after a fabled train hits a flat-bed truck

In a lament over the decline of the railways, Arlo Guthrie in 1972 sang of the train the City of New Orleans passing "trains that have no name" and "the graveyards of the rusted automobile" while onboard the "magic carpet made of steel" sat "mothers with their babes asleep...rockin' to the gentle beat and the rhythm of the rails is all they feel." The City of New Orleans that left Chicago three minutes behind schedule last Monday night promised prouder vistas as it coursed along the Mississippi: historic Cairo, the blues from Beale Street in Memphis and, as finale, the Big...

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