Category Archives: Rock Island

Southern Pacific-Rock Island Golden State

The Chicago-LA  streamliner Golden State wasn’t orange and white, as this artist’s rendering looks, but red and silver, and was that for only the first couple of years of its life as a streamliner, from 1948 until soon after 1950, … Continue reading

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Chicago to LA streamliners in 1949: Super Chief, Chief, El Capitan, City of LA, Golden State

Train service changed continually, so we can talk only about a moment in time. Travel back with me to June 1949. There were far less people in the world than there are today, and less had money to travel, and, … Continue reading

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Rock Island, Southern Pacific Golden State sleepers on Pennsylvania Admiral at Horseshoe Curve

Click to enlarge the photo and click again to enlarge the enlargement. The Admiral is two hours late, according to the caption of this photo from Don Ball, Jr.’s Pennsylvania Railroad 1940s-1950s. The sleepers from the Golden State are coming through from … Continue reading

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Rock Island Rocky Mountain Rocket, post card, late 40s or early 50s

 

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Rock Island and Southern Pacific Golden State Limited: in the lounge car

  This wonderful Southern Pacific photo, reproduced here from Beebe and Clegg The Trains We Rode, predates the streamlined life of the Golden State. The authors’ caption reads, in part, “A highball with a fellow traveler in the lounge as the New … Continue reading

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Rock Island and Southern Pacific Californian: at the bar

The Californian didn’t live to become a streamliner, although some streamlined chair cars were added to its consist in the ’30s. Soon after WWII, two Chicago-West Coast trains were “dropped,” one of them the Californian. What actually happened were name changes. The … Continue reading

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Rock Island parlor observation car, interior, late 30s, early 40s

Pullman-Standard photo, Phil Weibler collection, reproduced her from Greg Stout, Route of the Rockets: Rock Island in the Streamlined Era. In the book’s foreward Stout says, “Rock Island… died from too many agricultural branches, overdependence on trackage rights, and a route map that … Continue reading

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Rock Island Twin Star Rocket brochure

Click to enlarge, and click again to enlarge further. I have little promotional material for Rock Island trains, except for the Golden State, which I’ll post at a later date. Above is one page about the Twin Star Rocket from … Continue reading

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Rock Island Twin Star Rocket in Dallas and Houston

The three photos above, of the Twin Star Rocket, are from “Down South” on the Rock Island, Steve Allen Goen. In the top two pictures (from the same shot by Dr. Tom Hughes, Steve Goen collection) the train is leaving Dallas Union Station … Continue reading

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Rock Island Jet Rocket

“To increase the ‘gee-whiz’ factor of the Jet Rocket [inaugurated between Chicago and Peoria in 1956] the train was delivered with a closed-circuit TV camera installed in the nose. The camera fed a television set in the lounge area. The idea … Continue reading

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