Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Rock Island Line.

A Rock Island Line Streamlined Locomotive.
Saved from 
Illustration: PINTEREST

"Rock Island Line".
Sung by Lonnie Donegan.
Available on YouTube at

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

"Rock Island Line" is an American folk music song. Ostensibly about The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, it appeared as a Spiritual as early as 1929. The first recorded performance of "Rock Island Line" was by inmates of The Arkansas Cummins State Farm Prison in 1934.

Many artists subsequently recorded it, including popular renditions by Lead Belly and Lonnie Donegan.

The verses tell a humorous story about a Train Operator who smuggled pig iron through a Toll Gate, by claiming all he had on board was livestock. The song's chorus includes:

"The Rock Island Line is a mighty good roadThe Rock Island Line is the road to rideThe Rock Island Line is a mighty good roadIf you want to ride you gotta ride it like you find itGet your ticket at the station for the Rock Island Line."

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI AND PRR) was a Class I Railroad in The United States. It was also known as The Rock Island Line, or, in its final years, The Rock.

At the end of 1970, it operated 7,183 miles of Railroad on 10,669 miles of Track; that year it reported 20,557 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 118 million passenger-miles. (Those totals may or may not include the former Burlington-Rock Island Railroad).

The Rock Island Line Locomotive Number 627.
Date: Circa 1880.
Photographer: William Edward Hook.
Publisher: Utah State Historical Society.
(Wikimedia Commons)


  1. It's a very fine line, in fact it's the road to ride.

  2. Are we to understand that you and The Memsahib have travelled on The Rock Island Line ?

    The Beatles had "a ticket to ride", didn't they, John ?

    Good to hear from you.


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