The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad's history is one of big booms and bigger busts. When it became the first railroad to reach and then cross the Mississippi River in 1856, it emerged as a leading American railroad company. But after aggressive expansion and a subsequent change in management, the company struggled and eventually declared bankruptcy in 1915. What followed was a cycle of resurrections and bankruptcies; a grueling, ten-year, ultimately unsuccessful battle to merge with the Union Pacific; and the Rock Island's final liquidation in 1981. But today, long after its glory days and eventual demise, the “Mighty Fine Road” has left behind a living legacy of major and feeder lines throughout the country. In his latest work, railroad historian H. Roger Grant offers an accessible, gorgeously illustrated, and comprehensive history of this iconic American railroad.