Celebrated in the 1930s American blues-folk song "Rock Island Line" by Lead Belly, the "Rock Island Line is the Road to ride."
Read about the Rock Island Railroad from its original charter by the Illinois Legislature in 1847 to the highly publicized trail of Rock island's right to construct and use a bridge across navigable waters defended by Abraham Lincoln in 1855.
By 1937 the railroad had its own fleet of Rocket passenger trains to herald the Stream-lined Era. Rock Island's stainless steel trains were led by locomotives in "art-deco" maroon and red, trimmed with black-edged aluminum stripes.
Photos include the Peoria Rocket, Des Moines Rocket, Quad City Rocket, Texas Rocket, Kansas City Rocket, Twin Star Rocket, Zephyr-Rocket, Rocky Mountain Rocket, the flagship Golden State between Chicago and Los Angeles in partnership with Southern Pacific, and suburban commuter service between Chicago's La Salle Street Station and Joliet, Illinois. Also included are a system map, timetables, travel brochures and full-color section of Rock Island depots and stations.
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