CRIP 649 in 1969, the last year of the Rock Island's Des Moines Rocket passenger train service.
(Photo: Michael Wieskamp, via


Rock Island herald.


The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Des Moines Rocket was a lightweight, streamlined diesel-electric passenger train built by the Budd Company and served the Chicago to Des Moines market. It was one of six trains that were the first streamlined equipment purchased by the Rock Island, as well as being one of the Rock Island's first diesel-powered passenger trains. The original streamlined Des Moines Rocket had four cars.

The stainless steel train was powered by an Electro-Motive Corporation model TA locomotive. Unlike many other early streamlined trains of this period, the locomotive was not permanently attached to the train.

The train was articulated except for the observation car.

Later, as the Rock Island streamlined more trains on more routes, it's list of "Rocket" trains grew.


Des Moines Rocket Route Map (See blue dots). Click to enlarge.

(Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


The Des Moines Rocket, Chicago, Illinois to Des Moines, Iowa

Articulated 4 car set:
32 seat Baggage-dinette-coach No. 401 Norman Judd
60 seat coach No. 307 Grenville Dodge
76 seat coach No. 301 Henry Farnum
32 seat, 1 drawing room, parlor, buffet, observation car No. 451 L M Allen