The Diesel Shop

Serving The Railfan Community since 1994

Three weeks after this 14 March 1980 photo at Blue Island, Illinois, these hi-horsepower Rock GEs would be working for other railroads (Bill Johnson photo)

One of railfandom's most popular railroads unceremoniously joined the ranks of Fallen Flags at midnight on 31 March 1980. The 135-year-old Rock Island, which was known as much for its eclectic locomotive roster as it was for an early red/white/black "rocket" attire, began to dieselize in 1937. During the forty-plus years that followed, the 7000-mile railroad sampled diesel power from all five major locomotive builders, plus a few from the catalogs of Davenport, Lima and Whitcomb. Although the granger road was defunct, some of its diesel locomotives went to work temporarily for other owners in mainline and short line service. In contrast, many of the Rock's principal rail lines continued to carry tonnage long after the railroad's demise. Part 1 presented here focuses on those lines.

Also this month, photographer Bill Kalkman dips into his extensive image collection to give us an interesting perspective of EMD's highly popular SD45 freight hauler in action. You can view his series of photographs by using the following link.

Profiled Next Month:
  • Rock Island Rails (Part2)
  • Fairbanks-Morse's Last Stand
Please remember to stay safe when trackside!

Ready Track: New Listings / Major Updates

** Table of Contents **
  • Class One
  • Regional
  • Short Line
  • Industrials
  • Passenger
  • Fallen Flag
  • Leasing Companies
  • Features
  • Celebrity Locomotives
  • Remember When
  • Yesterday's Hotspots
  • Critter Notebook
  • Trackside Photos
  • Builder Data
  • Alco Notebook
  • Baldwin Notebook
  • EMD Notebook
  • Fairbanks Notebook
  • GE Notebook
  • Catenary
  • RR Document Archives
  • Blank
    Extra Board
  • U.S. Military & Government Locos
  • Museums
  • Tourist / Excursion Lines
  • Beyond North American Shores
  • General Reference Information
  • Superintendent's Desk

  • Blank
    THE DIESEL SHOP: Home to First & Second Generation Locomotives and Motive Power Rosters
    E-mail Address