These were the days of "Deferred Maintenance" on the railroads, meaning that things were only fixed when they absolutely had to be fixed, in order to maximize the bottom line for investors. Many US railroads were having financial difficulties, if not heading directly toward bankruptcy, as was the Rock Island, seen here. CRIP had only eight years to go before it failed, and was one of the factors leading to deregulation of the entire industry when that happened. The train above would have had five men operating it; the engineer, fireman and brakeman at the head end, and the conductor and a brakeman in the caboose. After 1980, railroads were able to eliminate the fireman position (not needed on diesels, anyway), and eventually cabooses were replaced by a device known as a FRED, which could set the train brakes from the last car by the engineer up front. Much has changed in this photo. The tracks on the left are gone, replaced by a parking garage; the main tracks are much improved for speed and the tan, peaked-roof building at center top is a fancy barbeque (BBQ) restaurant.