Shawnee Shops by Dean Schirf
Did you know that the Choctaw Route’s principal shops were in Shawnee, Oklahoma? Though they were gone by the 1940s, the large facility dated back to the 1800s. RTR author Schirf traces the origins and chronicles the history of the shops from start to finish.
Many vintage photographs and postcards, including overhead views and maps. This is one Rock Island subject that has never been in print with this degree of detail and photographic restoration.
Notable Shawnee historian, Johnny Kneisel, picked two gems from his collection for our readers
Like modern American steam locomotives? We’ve got some interesting photos of a CO&G 4-4-0 that ran from 1901 through the 30s including an awesome color cover from the turn of the century.
Growing Up in Wyoming, Illinois, on the Rock Island & Peoria by Mike Stahl
Our coverage of the RI&P continues with Mike’s heartwarming look at growing up in small-town Illinois. His dad’s business depended on the railroad to receive inbound freight, so his father’s familiarity with the railroad was passed on to young Mike. His stories about growing up alongside the RI&P paint a picture of life in northwestern Illinois that is long gone.
Requiem for a Railroad by Norman Carlson
Speaking of long gone, though the Rock Island ceased operations in 1980, it’s a subject that is still talked about by our readers. A group of professional railroaders, and enthusiasts known as the Sandhouse Gang, enjoyed a presentation at Northwestern University’s Transportation Center on October 6, 2011. Professor Greg Schneider from Kansas State has been working on a book on the subject of the railroad’s demise. Norm Carlson’s synopsis of the meeting should whet your appetite for the book which should be published late in 2013.
CLASSIC ROCK: Don Ball
Killer photos from Ball's collection
ROCK ISLAND MODELER: Modeling the AB6 by David Street
RTR author Street highlights his construction techniques during a HO-scale kitbash extraordinaire. Lots of model photography, prototype photos and a RI diagram sheet.
Editor Philip Weibler pens a brief history of the two ugly ducklings and their changes in careers in a sidebar to the article From the Mountains to the Suburbs.
All the letters to the Editor that's fit to print.