Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas

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For nearly 80 years, the Rock Island was a major railroad in Arkansas providing passenger and freight services. A decline in rail travel after World War II and an increase in trucks hauling freight over government-subsidized interstates were among factors that left the railroad struggling. Efforts to merge with other railroads were stalled for years by federal regulators. The Rock Island filed for bankruptcy in 1975 and attempted a reorganization, but creditors wanted the assets liquidated, with a judge shutting it down in 1980. Most of the tracks that traversed the state were taken up, but a few relics, like the Little Rock passenger station and the Arkansas River bridge, remain as monuments to this once great railroad.
ISBN: 9781467125383
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Arkansas
Series: Images of Rail
Images: 188
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Michael E. Hibblen, author of Rock Island Railroad in Arkansas, was struck by the 1980 shutdown of his favorite railroad, even though he was only eight years old. By high school, he began researching the Rock Island, recording what would be the first of many interviews over the years with former employees to document their stories and learn more about the Arkansas operations. For decades, he has worked as a journalist for radio stations around the country, as well as CBS Radio News, the Miami Herald newspaper, and NPR station KUAR-FM 89.1, which is part of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
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