The Rock Island in Aggregate by Thomas A. Stoery
Stoery, an ex-CRI&P Traffic Department management employee, writes of the Rock's attempt at unit train operation. To "be specific," the service continues today on the Union Pacific between Richards Spur and Yukon, Oklahoma, but back in the day, the Rock Island's management was ahead of its time on the unit train concept. Tom tells the whole story from his perspective as part of the team that got it off the ground. We turned up some cool photos, including one that you'll love at the conclusion of the article!
Radio Equipped by Jerry Dagenais
From the Rock Island radio shop, Jerry tells his story, and gives a primer lesson about railroad radio communication. We dug deep for photos of old radios on the Rock. I wanted to find one I've seen in our files with J.D. Farrington looking on at a young man operating a radio set, but it eluded me. Anybody remember seeing that one?
"The Case of the Missing Depot." The Grand Avenue depot, also known as the Rocket Depot, has always been one of the lesser known stations in Des Moines, Iowa. Bill and Bob Riebe provide details for two super rare photos from the Stephen Eudy collection. Includes timetable notes by Bill Pollard and John Nelson.
"Water Cranes" is a look at tender-filling equipment including photos and diagrams from the Eudy Collection.
"A Look Back at Silvis" Steve Hile found a view of Silvis Yard taken about the time Haley's Comet flew overhead on eBay. Art Director Tanya Anderson enlarged it to the point where it takes two 2-page spreads to see the whole photo. What detail! Steve's comments, and additional artwork and photos would be fascinating reading enough, but Editor Phil found two additional pieces of the puzzle that make this a photo essay to remember. An original map and a photo, that you'll have to see to believe!
On The Job with Bob Barcus, Part Three as Edited by Philip A. Weibler
Bob's stories are legendary and his Railroad Man's choice of words brings to life what many a trackside fan could only imagine. Publisher Steve Esposito did the interview some years ago, and Editor Phil's skill with his red pencil makes it sound like you're in the kitchen with Bob and Sylvia! Lots of photos from Bob's collection and our archives. Includes some gems from the Paul Hunnell collection.
ROCK ISLAND MODELER: Realistic Covered Hopper Weathering by Robert Massey
Modelers will enjoy Bob's article on weathering covered hoppers in sand-service; he's got the knack alright! Publisher Steve took some photos of Bob's excellent Kadee two-bay models the last time they were at Marion Brasher's Valley Roundhouse in Spring Valley, Illinois. Under the trainshop is Marion's Illinois Division layout, which provided a nice background for Bob's exquisitely weathered hoppers. Bob lays out the tricks of the trade for you to try at your own work bench. It ain't Rocket Science sez Bob!
The Casket and the Trainee by Bruce Butler
Management trainees were a Rock Island staple. Bruce relates a humorous story regarding his first case as a Personal Injury Claims Adjuster in the mid 60s.
Rock island Modeler: Kitbashing an SW1200 by Eric Miller
RTR author Eric Miller describes his SW1200 kitbash with a nice article and photos. We tied on some prototype photos, and let him tell the story of his adventure in Proto-Lance modeling. It took Publisher Steve a while to latch on to the concept, but he believes that Eric is on to something here. You can model the present day, and the Rock Island if you like; all it takes is a bit of imagination! His kitbash takes a Athearn chassis and a Proto shell and makes a splendid model of the 923. Add "Came Out Of" Bankruptcy Blue and you've got a wrap! Eric's sharp model photography gets his idea across.
All the letters to the Editor that's fit to print.