Into the rail station at Peoria, Ill. last week slithered the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad's answer to the annual $700 million deficit of U.S. passenger trains: the Jet Rocket, a light, low train modeled after the Spanish Talgo. Built by ACF Industries, Inc., it is the first of the new lightweight trains to be owned by a U.S. railroad. It begins regular Chicago-Peoria passenger runs this week.

The Jet Rocket has enough economic advantages over standard trains to make Rock Island hopeful of turning a profit on passenger operations. The four-car train, with a General Motors diesel...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!