Rock Island

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Bob Collins, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thought rockislandmike and I guess there are others, who might have some interest in an article in the Spring issue of Classic Trains. It is called "Iowa Getaway" and was mainly written about the Chicage Great Western, but there is a lot of info about the Rock Island Silvas, IL shops, etc. It was written in 1965.

  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Thanks Bob, I shall have to check it out. I think my fave mag store down the street carries said publication.
  3. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Thanks again, Bob. Picked up the issue yesterday, some very kewl stuff. A nice little magazine overall too, even if I am modeling 1980. Still some interesting stuff, and some great stories.
  4. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Every time I see you RI fans on here I am reminded of what I remember as being a very sad scene with regards to the RI. I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa where the RI was, along with seven other railroads. I guess we all took then pretty much for granted until they began to go under. I haven't been there to look for something over a year, but for many years the old RI yards on the southeast corner of CB was loaded FULL of blue railcars of all descriptions. As I recall many/most of them were grain hoppers, but there was a little of everything except motive equipment. Don't know why it was kept there all those years and even if it is still there. Certainly it would take a major effort if anyone wanted to bring it back into service.

    The other thing I recall about the RI was that for many years they had a line that ran along the northern part of Kansas just south of the Nebraska state line. When the RI went under it was abandoned. Later an outfit that wanted basically to move grain bought a part of the right of way from about Smithville or Phillipsburg, Kansas to where the line intersected with the UPRR east of Denver. It is called the Kyle. Have no idea if it is srtill in operation or not.

  5. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Thanks Bob

    I was only 9 years old when The Rock went bankrupt in 1980. I still remeber the news broadcast about the past train that came into the Quad Cities. I grew up in Moline, ILL.

    Thanks for the posting Bob!

  6. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I sort of had the best of both worlds when it came to riding the train as a small boy. One grandparent lived in Des Moines, so when I went to visit her I rode the Rock Island Rocket, which stopped in downtown Des Moines. My other grandparents lived in Cedar Rapids, so I took the Hiawatha to visit them as it stopped in Marion, while the Rock Island went to Iowa City, some thirty miles away and a long drive in those days (early '50's)

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Been there....

    I've been to Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf etc). :D

    Forget the Outback Steakhouse there (along with all the others) though..... Really..... call that thing "Aussie"?? :rolleyes: And it's not even proper Fosters. :(

    BTW. Nobody in Oz drinks Fosters any more. Bout 2% of the beer market.
  8. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    (Sigh) Here I live in Bettendorf, but never got to ride the ROCK!

    We moved here in 1991 from Wichita...

    I grew up in Georgia and the North Carolina Smoky Mountains, actually. USAF sent me to Kansas after graduating from the University of Georgia. Then got a job in Davenport after I got out of the service (and picked up another degree at Wichita State).

    ... so no Rock Island Lines when we got here. :(

    At least I can model it! :)

    And talk about it! We have almost a "Rock Island Model Forum" going on in the HO scale list under "Picking on the little guy" thread.

    Jump on in - those who haven't yet!!!

    - George
  9. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Email for George


    I need your email adress! One of my best friends had The Rock tracks going right through his back yard! He lived on River Drive in Moline. We always waved at the engineer as he went by! :D


    Maybe if I would be as rich as Bill Gates. I would bring the Rock back. I can only dream!
  10. RI541

    RI541 Member


    Thanks for the info on the magizine,I'm always looking for little bits of information on the Rock Island lines but nowadays its rare to find anything,I have found alot on the web but not as much as I would like.

    I grew up on Foster's oil cans and always had a good time I think:D .

  11. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I served in Vietnam with the Aussie Task Force and don't believe I ever saw a can of Fosters. Always Vitoria Bitter or Castleman XXXX or something else, but not Fosters. The troops from Western OZ would complain because there wasn't any brew from there. They also drank some sort of foul tasting rum:p

    George; Think I told you I have a brother who lives in Davenport and works at the RI Arsenal.

  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Beer? Did someone mention VB? Yes please. :D

    Around the time of Vietnam, it was Fosters, but for some reason, VB (Victoria Bitter) now has about 70% of the national market. XXXX (fourex) is Queensland, and very hard to get anywhere else. WA is Swan Lager or Emu Bitter.

    The Garahbara Gully Pub sells VB. :D

    Attached Files:

  13. RI541

    RI541 Member

    Is that your car out front???:D :D

  14. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Bought and read the magazine!

    Hello All:

    I have baught and read the magazine! Great article. I remember as a boy going pass the Silvis, ILL yard. It was something to see. I am sorry to see the Rock go bankrupt. I am also sorry to see passenger service was dropped shortly after I was born. :( The memories live on. Long live the Rock!

    A true Rock Island Railfan!
  15. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    ok, ok, OK, I SURRENDER!!!
    After 3 months of brainwashing by you RI enthusiasts, I decided to go visit web pages about the RI which had me fascinated.
    I'm in limbo with a freelance HO layout but have BN & CB&Q power in this gauge and BN, NP and GN diesels in N gauge.

    Now, the burning question ..... Can I (legitimately) intermix RI power and rolling stock with my northern stuff? I don't have access to (nor could I afford) the heaps of books you lucky guys have access to. I suspected BN either ran through Sioux Falls or got very close to it. Someday I'll fall over a web map of both Companies. Last October I was in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota and I'm really taken with the areas I travelled through.

    My RR needs purpose. HELP! ... or I'll go my own merry way and probably screw up!:eek:

    I'm not a detail nut (close enough is good enough) :) but I'm beginning to see why some modellers are keen on some of the more important detail and I kinda like that.

    Help this poor ignorant modeller :confused:

    Errol ..... The Lone Ranger is running round in circles! :)
  16. RI541

    RI541 Member

    You just can't become a Rock Island guy over night.It takes years and years of consant studies.

    Or a little N-scale caboose that happened to start my "obbsession" with the Rock Island.

    So pull back on Silvers reins and grab Tonto.

    If you go over to the HO section in here and then go to the "Picking on the little guys" thread There are some web links there that will get you started in the "right" direction.

    As for the engines you have I'm not sure about,But the RI is an easy paint if you chose to go that direction.The biggest desission would be what era you'd want,Some like the Bankruptcy Blue,I'm more parcial to the red,black wings scheme.

    Which ever way you deside to go there is help right here and we're more than willing to give all the help we can.

  17. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    I have a pretty good map in front of me that shows that if Sioux Falls is your place then the BN is your railroad. About the next closest rr is the C&NW which runs/ran, depending on your era, to the north, east and west of Sioux Falls. I'm not sure the RI ever was that far north.

    In my old hometown, Council Bluffs, Iowa, the CB&Q mainline actually crossed the mainlines of both the RI and the Milwaukee. They have done some re-routing now and I think all of the east/west BN traffic crosses the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, Nebraska instead of across the UPRR bridge at Omaha-Council Bluffs. They run lots and lots of coal trains along that east/west mainline.

  18. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Shane, you have me chuckling here. And it's no good trying to put me off with all those years of research! :D I have 2 RI steel box cars in N gauge, does that count?

    Bob, Council Bluffs you say??? Heck, close enough is good enough! :D :D Whats 200 miles between friends? :)

    I'm off to do a little surfing for maps now.

  19. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

  20. RI541

    RI541 Member


    Only if the box cars are the silver express:D :D :D .

    I have all sorts of information on the RI.

    I do the RI in N-scale with a ficticius lay-out.So anything possible.All my engines are as close to prototypicle as possible, most of my rolling stock is store bought.I have painted some.

    I've painted alot of my engines. When I first started about 8 years ago there wasn't much on the market for either,I did manage to get alot of older Bachmanns and a couple Life-Likes.

    Looks like George just showed up,Lets see what he's got to say.


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