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"Rock Island"  railroad | by Loco Steve
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"Rock Island" railroad


The Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railway (CRI&P), also known as the Rock Island or the Rock, was a class 1 railroad running west, southwest and northwest from Chicago. It had trackage in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas. Major lines included Chicago to Denver and Colorado Springs and Chicago to Tucumcari, New Mexico where it connected with the Southern Pacific for trains to Los Angeles and cars to San Diego. Other through routes included Minneapolis to Houston, and service to major cities such as Kansas City, Dallas, Fort Worth, St. Louis and Memphis. In the 30's the Rock Island introduced a series of early streamlined diesel-electric powered passenger trains, the "Rocket" series. The Rocky Mountain Rocket was one of the first, from Chicago and to Denver and Colorado Springs. The Rock took the luxury train, the Golden State, from Chicago to Tucumcari, New Mexico where it connected with the Southern Pacific for the run to Los Angeles.

The Rock Island dieselized very early, and all steam locomotives were retired by

Rock Island

July 1940

1953. Passenger service was continued, for a short while, after Amtrak took over the national passenger rail service in 1971. After long and unsuccessful attempts, the Rock Island was unable to obtain a merger partner during the merger period, beginning in the 1960's. The plant and equipment deteriorated during this time and the Rock went back into receivership in 1971, and closed down in 1980. Scraps of the railroad exist today, operated by various carriers,

This was on display in the Mac Donalds restaurant in Chicago Union Station

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Taken on January 1, 2011