Rockford Area Railroads (Images of Rail)

October 31, 2020
Rockford Area Railroads (Images of Rail)

Railroads were key to Rockford's rise as a thrivingmanufacturing and commercial center. With an area population ofover 200,000 residents and a reputation for manufactured goods,Rockford had a critical need for railroads into the bust years ofthe 1970s. Eventually four railroads rose to prominence inRockford, all of them Class 1 carriers: the Chicago and NorthWestern; Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy; the Chicago, Milwaukee,St. Pau,l and Pacific (the Milwaukee Road); and Illinois Central.For nearly a century, these four roads—all of them esteemedMidwestern railroads—carried the bulk of freight and passengersarriving and departing Rockford, Davis Junction, and Loves Park byrail. Two other smaller railways, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Garyand the Rockford and Interurban, also played a part in Rockford'srailroad history and are spotlighted in this volume.Author and Rockford native Mike Schafer is a transportationhistorian and photographer who has spent most of his life observingand documenting the North American railroad scene. Assisting in thepreparation of this book is Brian Landis, a Machesney Park residentand longtime aficionado of Rockford region railroading. Togetherthey present a fascinating pictorial history of Rockford's days asa railroading center for northern Illinois.