• Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad LLC - Rock Island Rail

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by Shortline614
I'm surprised that nobody has made a thread on this company yet, so here we go I guess.

The Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad LLC (also known as Rock Island Rail), is the modern incarnation of the original CRI&P. The new Rock Island was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Hernando, Mississippi. The new Rock Island currently owns two shortlines both running on former Illinois Central trackage. The Mississippi Delta Railroad, and the Great River Railroad. Both are located in the State of Mississippi.

From their website:
The Mississippi Delta Railroad, MSDR, based in Sumner, MS, operates a total of 85 miles of track in Northwest MS from a connection with the Canadian National Railway at Swan Lake MS. The MSDR has two expansive yards located in Clarksdale MS as well as numerous sidings and auxiliary tracks for car storage. The MSDR's principal commodities include Scrap, Paper, Polystyrene, PVC, Fertilizer, Cotton, Grains, and other Agricultural Products.
The Great River Railroad serves the Bolivar County Port at Rosedale MS. Currently, Rock Island Rail is working with the Bolivar County Port Commission to restore rail service to the port. The Great River Railroad operates approximately 37 miles of track in Bolivar and Washington Counties in Mississippi. Great River Railroad interchanges with the Columbus & Greenville Railway at Metcalfe MS
The railroad currently rosters GP38-2s, GP-15s, GP-30s, and a C40-8. Two of the GP38-2s (#4310 "The American Railfan" and #4373 "George W. Lamore") and a GP-15 (#1106 "John W. Whitten III ) are painted up in the "Reborn Blue" paint scheme. The #1106 also has small "Gulf & Ship Island Railroad" logos, hinting at future ventures perhaps? The GP-30 and C40-8 are currently unpainted. The railroad also rosters two cabeese, one from Norfolk Southern and another from the Meridian & Bigbee. The ex-M&B caboose has recently been painted in "Reborn Blue."

The CRI&P also sells merchandise on its website, which includes hats, clothes, models, calenders, etc.

The CRI&P was featured in the October 2020 issue of Trains Magazine. In the article CEO Robert Riley said that the railroad has reinvested back into the MSDR through fixing track, cutting back vegetation, and replacing the railroads locomotive fleet. He also stated that the company is experiencing steady growth in services offered, customer base, and revenue. The article states that before the CR&IP acquired the MSDR, it had about 1,000 carloads per year, but now has 6,500 carloads per year.

Website: https://rockislandrail.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RockIslandRail/

*Infomation accurate as of 2/13/2021.
  by eolesen
Seems like false advertising for a railroad that goes to neither Chicago, Rock Island or the Pacific....

If anything is a modern incarnation it's the Iowa Interstate. This MS operator looks like a name carpetbagger.

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  by GeorgeR
The article states that before the CR&IP acquired the MSDR, it had about 1,000 carloads per year, but now has 6,500 carloads per year.
When Gulf & Ohio's Mississippi Delta Railroad started in 1986, it moved about 6000 revenue carloads per year. In the late 1990s, this dwindled down from 3273 revenue cars in 1997 to 591 in 1999, which prompted Gulf & Ohio to seek abandonment - as quoted in https://www.stb.gov/Decisions/readingro ... ht=0,33716

The new Rock Island appears to move a lot more cars on the MSDR than the previous operator, C&J Railroad, did in the last years. However, it does not look like they are moving 6500 revenue carloads per year, considering that they are currently not operating daily (yet?). I guess the number refers to something other than actual revenue loads - it surely includes storage cars, and maybe also some internal movements (moving stored cars).