Jan 29, 2023
Ottawa IL in the summer of 1963, when the Golden State and the Rocky Mountain Rocket were temporarily combined between Chicago and Rock Island.
Two fine GM products, the F-unit and that '57 Chevy!
...or is that an E-unit?
It almost has to be an E unit with those number boards.
A family in our neighborhood had a '57 Chevy just like that one, in the late fifties, except theirs had white walls.
Rock Island 643 is indeed an EMD E8, formerly Ex EMD Demo #952. It was the first E8A ever built.
Whoa, cool! Was it saved, somehow?
Sadly, No. Privately owned survivors E8A #652 and its companion, E6A #630, have been sold to a museum in Iowa, to be centered around the Rock Island.
Very nice. I recently picked up a copy of Colorado Rail Annual No. 17, and it has a nice account of the history of the CO/KS arm of Rock Island. Amazing history of flood damage in that region, too, throughout its (short) life.
Hopefully the museum gets them running under their own power again. I never saw either unit in service, nor in their subsequent museum home in Kansas. Interesting story on #630... I am convinced that particular E6 was saved only because it wound up in Chicago commuter service late in its life with the Rock Island. It lasted longer than a lot of its brethren. A number of interesting paint schemes on that particular locomotive too, if you look at its history.
1976 at Bureau. The Bureau depot is painted red with yellow trim. Larry Anglund photo.
Another shot showing the Bureau depot. This time having been repainted in the "New" blue as of 1978. The Quad City Rocket consisting of two cars is heading east. Larry Anglund photo.
Looks like one of the Geeps they acquired via Precision National.
It was originally Wabash 471, and CNW 4153 after RI 4491.
For the past 15 years, or so, it's been working at a grain elevator in Fremont NE.
So fresh and clean! I wonder how many still serve today?