Growing up in the city of Chicago Illinois many years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing a colorful and very tasteful world of everyday corporate railroad color schemes and advertising images on the southside of Chicago during the 1970's. During this time, the Rock Island's light blue and white 1974 "New Image" color scheme was definitely one of my unfortunately "Short Lived favorites.
After many years of facing numerous financial difficulties, aborted merger take overs by other railroads and several bankruptcies, The Rock Island's board of directors introduced this very spiffy and modern color scheme, with advertising graphics promoting this railroad as "The Rock", to give one the illusion, that the Rock Island was "financially solid as a rock" and looking at a bright future ahead. Unfortunately, this was not the case at all, and the financially troubled Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad ceased operating on March 31st, 1980.
After the end of the Rock Island as we knew it, the railroad, rolling stock and facilities were auctioned off, creating several new regional and short line railroads spun off in the wake of the Rock Islands demise.
During the early to mid 1980's, a number of former locomotives that were still wearing Rock Island colors and markings, could be found leased and working for the Grand Trunk Western, and several other North American railroads.