When the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company (”Rock Island”) went into bankruptcy for
the third and final time in 1975, it operated over 7,000 miles of track in 14 states. After reorganization
efforts were deemed unsuccessful, the bankruptcy went into a liquidation phase in 1980, which resulted in
selling off the Rock Island assets. The major assets of the Rock Island were its railroad right of way
corridors (“corridor/s”) over which it conducted its railroad operations
In 1857, the steamboat Effie Afton ran into the Rock Island's Mississippi River Bridge. The steamboat was overcome by a fire, which also destroyed a span of the bridge. This accident caused a series of court cases. In one of the cases, Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer at the time, represented Rock Island. Lincoln argued that not only was the steamboat at fault in striking the bridge but that bridges across navigable rivers were to the advantage of the country.
The Rock Island stretched across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.