RAILROADS: Wreck of the Rock Island

Oh, the Rock Island Line is a

mighty good road,

If you want to ride it, got to ride it

like you find it,

Buy your ticket at the station on the

Rock Island Line.

Popularized in a folk song made famous by Leadbelly, the once mighty Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific has sold fewer tickets in recent years. In 1974 it lost $23 million, largely as the result of higher payrolls and a 200% increase in fuel costs. It has tried to merge with the prosperous Union Pacific and has borrowed from its own employees. With much justice, it has lambasted the U.S.


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