Rock Island 1957 Condensed Timetable

Rock Island’s 1957 system timetable was a respectable 20 pages long. But the condensed version fits into the equivalent of just four pages. One whole page shows Chicago-Colorado, with five trains a day to Peoria, four to Des Moines, two to Omaha, and one to Denver-Colorado Springs.

Click image to download a 2.7-MB PDF of this timetable.

Chicago-Los Angeles, which only had two trains a day, got two-thirds of a page, with the rest going to an expanded version of the five Chicago-Peoria trains. Memphis-Los Angeles and Minneapolis-Houston get a half page each, and Minneapolis-St. Louis shares a half page with Kansas City-Goodland Kansas. The last train theoretically could provide a connection for people from St. Louis to take the Rocky Mountain Rocket, but it doesn’t–instead, Rock Island left the St. Louis-Kansas City market to Missouri Pacific and the Wabash.


Rock Island 1957 Condensed Timetable — 1 Comment

  1. I can’t imagine a 782 mile, 21 hour trip on an RDC, even if it does have a fanciful name, like “Choctaw Rockette”. I wonder if they ever got in trouble with the Rockefellers for that? The only thing I can imagine that would be worse is a ride on WP Zephyrette, 924 miles and 23 hours. The standard RDC didn’t have reclining seats and, since it’s not mentioned on the timetable. I assume these didn’t either. No food, a single unisex restroom, not even a cup of coffee. That must have been a long trip.

    Did you notice the special invalid service on the daylight trains to and from Minneapolis? The handled one “semi-stretcher case” per train. They didn’t handle critical cases or ones needing an ambulance though. I don’t know what semi-stretcher case. It seems like you’re either on a stretcher or not. If you’re on a stretcher, where did they park you? It looks like the service was for patients going to the two hospitals that later became part of the Mayo Clinic. It was a $2 bus ride from the RI stop in Owatonna to Rochester. The bus was waiting for you at trainside. Seemed like a nice service that’s not duplicated today, even with all the hoohah about ADA compliance.

    Regards, Jim

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