Rock Island Question

4 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 65 posts
Rock Island Question
Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Sunday, November 12, 2023 10:06 AM

Hi, Question for you Rock Island fans.  January 1980, BK judge orders dissolution and sell-off of what was left of the RI.  GE begins manufacturing its GE C40-8 (Dash 8-40C) 1987 - 1992 before it switched over to the safety cab and upped the HP.  So... what is the story of the Rock Island C40-8 in the cool red and yellow scheme?  It appears that it is owned by a group called Rock Island Rail but I cannot find much about them nor do I understand whether it is a historical society or a regional railroad.  If the latter, did they buy the name and trademark/logo from the BK court?  Anyone care to share?



  • Member since
    July 2016
  • 2,487 posts
Posted by Backshop on Sunday, November 12, 2023 1:18 PM

There probably isn't any trademark as the Iowa Interstate has a Rock Island heritage unit, also.

iowa interstate #513 - Bing images

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,735 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, November 12, 2023 2:07 PM

There probably isn't any trademark as the Iowa Interstate has a Rock Island heritage unit, also.

iowa interstate #513 - Bing images

Which brings up the question - Who owns the RI's 'intellectual property'?

The lines of the former RI have ended up in the hands of multiple carriers.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 6,787 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, November 12, 2023 5:56 PM

My understanding is Iowa Interstate owns the rights to the Rock Island shield herald.  The entity known has Rock Island Rail in Mississippi owns the rights to the Rock herald.  (From articles I've read I think the owner down in MS thinks he owns all the rights, but unless IAIS sold there's-which I doubt, IAIS has had the rights for many years for the "buffalo" shield.)

January 1980 saw the RI corporation ordered to liquidate it's assets.  This was done, with those creditors that still remained to the end receiving 100 cents on the dollar.  After paying off the creditors there was still $400 million in cash and unsold assets remaining.  The corporation was no longer in the railroad business, but reorganized into a holding company, Chicago Pacific Corporation, and was released from bankruptcy in 1984.

As a holding company they purchased companies dealing with consummer goods.  Some of the better known companies were Pennsylvania House Furniture and Hoover vacuum cleaners.  In 1988 they merged with Maytag, because they wanted Hoover and the other appliance companies C-P Corp had acquirered.

I believe it was Maytag that spun off in some fasion the remaining rail assets, including rights to the trademarks, to Miner Enterprises.  The biggest asset that they still hold to my knowledge is trackage from Joliet out to the Bureau area, leased to CSX with parts sublet to IAIS.


  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,690 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 11:48 AM

There are several videos on YouTube re the "new" Rock Island in Mississippi. They've opted for the so-called "Bankruptcy Blue" scheme.

(148) Rock Island Rail: A Legend Reborn! - YouTube

BTW since Rock Island is a place, I would assume any railroad could use it in it's name, but they couldn't use things like corporate logos without buying or working out an agreement with the owner for the rights.


Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy