The Rock Island 'Rocket'
sweeps westbound around the big curve past the Union Pacific
depot in Lawrence, KS. The train features the pioneer streamliner diesel
electric design on its Electro-Motive TA locomotive. The colorful
red and maroon paint scheme was among the first of a rainbow
of colorful liveries as competing railroads vied for the public's
attention. Rock Island, formally known as the Chicago Rock Island
and Pacific, soon adopted the slogan, "Route of the Rockets." The
depot, built in 1888-89, was restored in 1996 and is now owned
by the City of Lawrence and operated by the Lawrence Parks Recreation
Department as a community Center. Rock Island had trackage rights
over Union Pacific between Kansas City and Topeka.
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