30 years ago today... the end of The Rock...

Discussion relating to The Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), including mergers, acquisitions, and abandonments.

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30 years ago today... the end of The Rock...

Post by mdamico23 »

Hi Everyone,

Today (March 31) marks a sad anniversary for Rock Island fans, as it marks the
30th anniversary of the shutdown of "The Rock." I was only 8-years old at the
time, and living in New Jersey, so I missed the days of the final operations.
Does anyone recall what the last days were like? I would love to get some
insight from both former employees and railfans. Was there a sense that The Rock
would be saved at the 11th hour or was the shutdown more definitive? Anyhow, I
would love to hear some stories of the final hours of the Rock Island, and the
phoenix-like resurrection of much of the railroad.

Thanks very much..


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Location: Lisle, Il. (BNSF MP 24.4)

Re: 30 years ago today... the end of The Rock...

Post by arnstg »

ABC 7 in Chicago had a neat video today depicting what it was also reflecting on what it was 30 years.

It can be seen at: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=7361229&pid=7361042


TB Diamond
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Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: 30 years ago today... the end of The Rock...

Post by TB Diamond »

Was at Limon, CO the final few days. All seemed normal so far as morale and train operations went, at least in that area. A massive blizzard shut down operations through Limon the afternoon of 27 March, 1980. I photographed the last eastbound that afternoon and, as it developed, the last RI train to ever depart Limon. Remaining traffic that would have passed through Limon after the 27th was combined in UP trains and routed over that railroad.

Many RI people came over to the BN after 31 March 1980 and continued their railroading career. They were a great group.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe

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Re: 30 years ago today... the end of The Rock...

Post by mxdata »

I remember an event a little earlier, when the Rock got some bail out money before the final collapse. Some of the workers were picketing the railroad and a Chicago TV station filmed some interviews. A female employee commented "They got their money, now we want our share".

I wonder what portion of "zero" she got.

"We Repair No Locomotive Before Its Time"

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Re: 30 years ago today... the end of The Rock...

Post by 56-57 »

One has to wonder what was going through the clerks' minds when they called a strike at that point.. The situation went from 'not good, but possibly hopeful' to 'SUNK' real quick...
telephone, telegraph, and tell a railroader

-S.E. Miller

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