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News and Notes

APRIL 19, 2017

It's springtime in Illinois, and I've already started "plowing" the RTR files for feature articles for Volume 12 Nos. 1&2. There have been some unusual photos on the Rock Island facebook sites, AND some killer modeling going on, so don't be bashful... drop us a line with an idea and see if we bite! Kinda sounds like fishin'...


VOL. 11 NOS. 3 and 4
APRIL 5, 2017

Hay gang! We got our tester copy of RTR in the mail this morning, so most everyone ought to have one in their hands by now. We've been filling Hobby Shop orders all week. Got to "M" for Michigan today, so hopefully by the end of next week RTR V11 Nos. 3 and 4 will be at your favorite shop.

Keep those cards and letters coming, we like to hear from our readers. You could send an article or photos if you are so inclined. Surprise us with a Mail Box Bonus! 

Steve & Tanya

DECEMBER 18, 2014

We can’t help but notice how many fellas dilly-dally when it comes time to renew their RTR subscription. For the last ten years we have opened the mail, entered the subscription, gritted our teeth, and sent out the current magazine via first class mail. These days, it just costs too much.

The 80 page magazines are too heavy to send out first class mail at the discounted subscription price. So, subscriptions will start with the next issue mailed from the printer. If you miss an issue or two and then renew, your make-up copies will be sold as Back Issues at $22 each postpaid.

Time to renew your subscription? Call us and get it done BEFORE a magazine GOES TO THE PRINTER! After the magazine ships to the printer your window of opportunity closes.

If you don't know when your expiration date is--ask us and we'll look it up. So drop a dime, call (815) 538-3060 (10am-7pm Chicago time) and get your subscription renewed! You can use your Visa or MasterCard

April 15, 2013

DUE TO POSTAGE INCREASES, we have been forced to increase the cost of shipping magazines out-of-country. Please note price increases for Remember the Rock international subscriptions. Please contact us directly for all other international orders. It is regretful, that we've been forced to do this, but necessary to cover those costs. -- Customer Support

Latest Products

Private Varnish, Volume 37 #1 - 149 (May 2017)

PV News and Photos

Membership News

Travel Planner: Check out


Montana, La Cuesta, Silver Solarium, Silver Lariat, Cyrus K. Holliday

MONTANA PV CIRCLE TRIP  by Arlene Post and Tim Tennant. 
The Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad offered the touring experience on the Montana to a new group of travelers. Day trippers mixed seamlessly with overnight guests who enjoyed near-exclusive use of the car from the evening through late morning the next day. Careful planning and an enthusiastic response from past and new customers made this possible. Highlights of the trip: 
5,720 miles were traveled, 10 days on the road, 48 day trippers, 11 overnight travelers, 31 stations where passengers got on and off, 175 meals served and Limitless Lifetime Memories

N&W 611 TRIPS  by Alex Mayes 
The first springtime steam special would be reason enough to head to the tracks, but add a consist of vintage rail cars to the mix and you have a very special occasion. Photographers, train chasers and daisy pickers were as plentiful as robins on a wet lawn during the N&W 611's latest outing. Alex recounts the April 8-9, 2017 weekend of the 3 trips that originated at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

Also on this 2-page spread is a shot of a J-class locomotive in action back in the late 40s running alongside the New River at Bluff City, Virginia.


39th ANNUAL CONVENTION, Part 1. AAPRCO's City of Spokane departed Denver, heading for the mountains on a cloudy day September 2016. Despite the gloomy weather, spirits were high and there were plenty of fans track side to record the action. Join us for the first segment of the trip of which mileage included the rails through Wind River Canyon and Sheep River Canyon - two of the most beautiful and interesting geological formations in the West. Stunning photography and in-depth captions describe the scenic vistas and stop at Casper, Wyoming. 
SIDEBAR 1: Casper Army Airbase  by Steve Esposito. Historical photographs accompany the fascinating history of this WWII base of heavy bomber training operations. 
SIDEBAR 2: Wheels in Motion  by Taylor Johnson. The behind-the-scene story of what happens when things go wrong and how AAPRCO's special train operating team makes them right.


Roger Verbeeren Jr., sent us a batch of great photos shot during a typical day from repairing door locks to testing air brakes. It's all in a day's work. Cars include: Silver Pasco, and the Birch Grove

Ray and Scott Clauss describe their use of high-tech steam boilers with existing steam heating systems on older rail cars in an in-depth look at their extremely clever way of blending the old and the new. Required reading for anybody considering rebuilding/upgrading a car.

Bob Willetts's crew has been keeping busy at their Spencer, North Carolina location at historic Spencer Shops. Bob's notes for last quarter's work orders are illustrated with a nice selection of color photos taken both in-process and of finished work. Cars include: Crescent Harbor, Moultrie, NS Research Car No. 33, Arvonia, Homestead Pass, Warrior's Rest, Powhatan Arrow, Moonlight Dome, and the Silver Lariat.

Price: 8.50 
Shipping included

Remember the Rock, Volume 11, Nos 3-4
March 28, 2017: They've been mailed out to our subscribers.

Here's what's inside...

The Blizzard and the Golden State by John Matrow. First time RTR author Matrow burnt some serious midnight oil developing the entire story of the snowbound Rocket. Back in 1957 after years of drought the Blizzard of '57 took the Midwest by storm. Fierce winds and heavy snow stalled railroad and auto traffic under multiple feet of snow. John starts the story in balmy southern California and moves east aboard the Golden State as it speeds right into the eye of the storm. Drawing from published accounts in the newspapers, the RI's archives, and interviews, John's story is the most complete account of this heroic episode in Rock Island history attempted yet. Photographic coverage is rich with views never seen before, taken on site and from the air. Maps, photography, and a compelling story make this a must read for any Rock Island historian or fan. First-person accounts from passengers on the train are the icing on the cake. Associate Editor Pete Hedgpeth offers his account of the storm that came between him and a home cooked birthday supper. This is one article not to be missed.

CLASSIC ROCK: Stephen Eudy's Postcard Mysteries RTR Contributing Archivist Stephen Eudy plowed his collection for some postcards to share. Submitted for your consideration are a grouping of views from Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska with comprehensive captions researched by the Editors and Publisher.

Calling-on Plainsman by Mike Armstrong First time RTR author Armstrong recounts the actions of the agent at Nevada, Iowa, that had him thinking years later as he worked on the railroad himself. Learn about the intricacies of train order signaling in his article "Calling-ON Order for the Plainsman."

Mike illustrates his story with his own prototype photos, and model photography shot on his layout. Timetables and excerpts from the Uniform Code of Operating Rules add the depth required to clarify just what he witnessed as a kid years prior.

CLASSIC ROCK: Dan Tracy's Come on Kid... Follow Me Returning RTR author Tracy tells a great story illustrated by his own photography of a day that started off on the platform at Joliet and ended up with views of UD tower taken from a catbird seat. "Come on, kid...Follow me!" is a first hand account of something that doesn't happen too often. A good story with pictures!

The Uniform: Put Your Hat on, son by Philip A. Weibler RTR Editor Weibler offers his take on what railroaders wear if they are not in train service. Phil started out on the Rock Island after college and a stretch in the Army back in 1962. In the days when there was a certain dress code that was strictly adhered to. "The Uniform" is Phil's remembrance of just how a fella dressed for work indoors and outside. J. Pete shares a photo from his collection shot at another wreck in Jennings, Kansas with a good story about dressing for the job at hand, Rock Island style.

CLASSIC ROCK: Larry Green's Pueblo (Colorado) Revisited You remember Dennis Opferman's article about the Rock's ambitions south of Colorado Springs from the last issue of RTR?

First time RTR author Larry Green shared a beautiful map of Pueblo, Colorado found in a collection out west. This map unrolls out large enough to cover a big dining room table. Larry took great pains to have it scanned so the readers of RTR could see just what facilities the Rock Island shared with the D&RG, Missouri Pacific and Santa Fe. Larry's story includes a description of how Rock Island crews switched the yard, as well as zoomed in version of the map with appropriate keys for all of the yard locations illustrated. This was a big place with a lot of action in the 1900s.

Valley Junction, Iowa by Stephen Eudy OK you're from Iowa, and you know all about the Rock Island? Well gang, I'm gonna bait the hook with Valley Junction, a major town on the Rock Island until 1937. Betcha you never saw it, let alone photographed it. Well, the railroad built a large shop complex there in the 1890s and kept the place hoppin' until new shops were built at Short Line Junction in the late thirties. Eudy has been collecting photos, paper, and postcards on this town for years. He's authored a comprehensive article on the life and times of the railroad town that became West Des Moines. Rare streetcar photography, and postcards, all carefully photo edited by RTR's Art Director Tanya Anderson, ensures that you see all the detail in these amazing views during 40 years of keeping the shops open at VJ. Lots of steam, and smoke in this article gang!

Ready to Run Review: Athearn's HO Scale Bi-Level Auto Rack Car by Robert Massey. Massey takes a close up look at Athern's HO-Scale Bi-Level auto racks. We include a RI Diagram Sheet and some killer photography from our Basement Archivist Paul Hunnell's collection. If you like old pick-ups you must see this one. Bob's review includes a comprehensive history and his take on this finely detailed model.

Me and Big Bird by Richard R. Gill. So what happened at the 302.6 marker along the Illinois Division in 1960 that Senior Editor Gill witnessed and nary a railfan pal believed? Was it the phantom connection to the Golden State? Holy Car Knockers, Batdispatcher it happened and Dick got his mitts on the paperwork to prove it. So take a gander at what happened in Grinnell, along with a Mark Robinson original cartoon depicting the event on page 56.

Out of Limon by Richard R. Gill. Dennis Opferman's article Qualifying on the Rocket" inspired Dick Gill to dig out his photos and notes from his own Limon adventure in 1966. He's included the story of an old family friend who was a Rock Island conductor. Within the pages of this photo essay is the story of Lucius "Lute" Dugan, and how his job aboard the Rocky Mountain Rocket impacted family life and ultimately where they lived. Lots of cool snaps of the motive power swap out that went on every day at Limon.

The Rock Island Modeler: RI boxcars Nos. 147750-148549 by Ross Dando. We all know of the Ship Rocket Freight scheme that boxcars wore in the late fifties and sixties, emblazoned on the sides with that cool Rocket Freight speed lettering. Diesel locomotives wore the RF logo too. But did you know that inside a series of those boxcars were loads of Chevrolet V-8s and six cylinder engines? During the research phase of RTR author Dando's article we found that the cars Ross were modeling in Proto:48 were used in t captive service to Chevy's Flint (Michigan) engine assembly plant. The motors might have gone into Mother's Impala grocery getter, or dad's 2-door Nova, or maybe even Junior's new Corvette. Ross takes a brass model and creates a vision of weathered loveliness that just jumps out of the photos. This fine scale model is seriously easy on the eyes. His weathering techniques are carefully detailed and ready for a nice slow read so you can undertake this nice piece of business in your own shop. Don't read 'em and weep, gang. Read this and learn how!!

CLASSIC ROCK: Mark Kimball's Road Trip Adventures. So what do you get when a young man falls in love with trains and a camera? Photos, lots of them. Mark Kimball was smitten in high school, and did he ever take pictures! Lincoln, Omaha, Topeka, Council Bluffs and Kansas City were just a few of the places he and his pals hit during their "Road Trip Adventures" in the mid sixties. Marks slides captured everything from brandy new U Boats to E-6s. Associate Editor Bill Pollard figured out what Mark saw in the viewfinder; see if you agree with his educated guesses.

Rocket RPO The issue finishes up with four-pages of mail in the RPO department and some choice photography on the rear cover... 80 pages of Rock Island reading pleasure.

Price: 22.00 
Shipping included

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