Rock Island 1957 Timetable

A reader named Bruce Adams sent scans of some of the items in his collection for us, including this timetable for the Rock Island. Like the 1938 timetable, this one has a bright red cover (which, like the 1938 edition, is really on the back cover). The 1957 edition has only 20 pages, as opposed to 36 in 1938, but many of the trains in the two timetables are similar or have been streamlined in the intervening years.

Click image to download a 27.3-MB PDF of this 20-page timetable.

Here are some of the similarities and changes between the two timetables.

  • Trains 1 and 2 were still unnamed in 1957, but they connect Chicago to Des Moines instead of Rock Island to Kansas City;
  • Trains 3 & 4 were the Golden State in 1957, the streamlined version of the Golden State Limited;
  • Trains 5 & 6 and 7 & 8, the Colorado Express to Colorado Springs and Rocky Mountain Limited to Denver, have been replaced by trains 7 & 8, the Rocky Mountain Rocket, which served both Denver and Colorado Springs;
  • Trains 9 & 10, the Corn Belt Rocket, connect Omaha with Chicago;
  • Trains 14 & 15 were the Cherokee, which replaced trains 111 & 112, the Memphis Californian in Memphis-LA service;
  • Former trains 15 & 16, the Short Line Express from Kansas City to Minneapolis, continued but the numbers changed to 16 & 17;
  • Former trains 17 & 18, the Minneapolis-Ft. Worth Mid-Continent Express, were replaced by trains 507 & 508, the Twin Star Rocket (appropriately named because Minnesota is the North Star state and Texas is the Lone Star state);
  • Trains 39 and 40, the Imperial, replaced trains 43-44, the Californian, as the secondary Chicago-Los Angeles train. As the Californian and Memphis-Californian merged/split at Tucumcari, NM, the Imperial and Cherokee did the same;
  • Trains 51 & 52, the Memphis-Amarillo Choctaw Limited, were replaced by trains 51 & 52, the Memphis-Amarillo Choctaw Rockette, the closing “te” indicating a Rail Diesel Car instead of a full-fledged streamliner. At 762 miles, this was the second-longest RDC run in the country–it became the longest after Western Pacific stopped running the Oakland-Salt Lake City Zephyrette in 1960;
  • Trains 61 & 62, the Twin Cities Express to St. Louis, were replaced by trains 561 & 562, the Zephyr Rocket, so-called because the train goes over Burlington tracks at the St. Louis end;
  • Trains 501, 502, 503, & 504, Chicago-Peoria Rockets, became Jet Rockets;
  • Trains 509 & 510, the Kansas City Rocket between Minneapolis and Kansas City, had by 1957 been extended to Ft. Worth, replacing trains 31 & 32, the Kansas City-Ft. Worth Firefly.

Trains 45 & 50, the Chicago-Hot Springs Limited, is gone, as the spas at Hot Springs, Arkansas had lost their cachet. Also gone are a lot of branch line trains: the 1938 timetable had 43 numbered tables compared with just 10 (one of which was a bus) in 1957. Thanks to Bruce for sending in these scans.

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