Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railroad Co.
Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railroad Co.

Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railroad Co.

"Go West Young Man," 1886
In 1854, this company completed a rail link between Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois; in 1856, it became the first railroad to bridge the Mississippi River. In 1866, the rail absorbed the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Co. By the end of the nineteenth century, the railroad owned nearly 3,000 miles of track, most of it in the Midwest. In Chicago, the line's passenger service operated out of the LaSalle Street station. Too rapid expansion during the first decade of the twentieth century pushed the company into bankruptcy in 1914; it went bankrupt again in 1933. By the beginning of the 1960s, it operated over about 7,500 miles of track, had about $200 million in annual revenues, and employed nearly 16,000 people nationwide. The company failed again in 1975, leading to unsuccessful attempts to sell the railroad. Following a strike by its clerks in 1979, the Interstate Commerce Commission ordered the Kansas City Terminal Line to provide temporary “directed service.” In early 1980, the bankruptcy court ordered the liqui dation of the railroad. The few remaining assets when the company dissolved in 1984 were transferred to the Chicago Pacific Corp., a holding company since purchased by Maytag.