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Jack began his career with the Rock Island Railroad in 1960 and was employed with them for 20 years.: John "Jack" Tremain

John "Jack" Tremain
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Rock Island Railroad

John “Jack” Tremain

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroadsonce were prominent Class I railroads in the Midwestern United States, commonly known as the "Rock Island." In 1854 when the line connected just east of the Mississippi River area to Chicago and the East Coast, the event was marked by a large promotional voyage called the Grand Excursion. In 1856, the line crossed the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi, connecting farms in Iowa and beyond to Chicago. Jack began his railroad career with the Rock Island Railroad in 1960. The Rock Island offered commuter and freight service and the railroad was popularized in the song “Rock Island Line.” Jack was employed with the Rock Island for 20 years. His career with the Rock Island ended on the day they ceased operation.

Jack did not walk away from his love of the railroad, he went on to work for other railroads including the Great Western Railroad in Colorado, Eureka Southern Railroad in California, Pinsly Railroad in Massachusetts and South Carolina, where he served as Manager of Operations, and Nevada Northern Railroad of Nevada and California where he served as General Manager. His last three years were in Sacramento as an instructor for engineers and conductors.

Jack officially retired from the railroad in 2003 after a career spanning 43 years. Jack is a tireless supporter of the railroad both past and present. His wealth of knowledge brings to life his own experiences during his 43 year career.

Jack served on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Transportation Museum and the Advisory Committee.He has been a strong supporter of the Iowa Transportation Museum, donating items from his personal collection of railroad memorabilia and speaking at special public programs presented by the museum.

Jack and his wife Terry live in Conrad, Iowa. Jack enjoys his life time collection of railroad information, displaying them in a replica train depot in his backyard. Jack’s humble pride in his railroad career was whole heartedly expressed in an email Jack received from his son when he shared with his family his recognition by the Heroes Program. 

And I quote, “Well done Pops!This honor couldn’t have been presented to a more deserving person due to the love and passion you have displayed towards railroading and to those you have bestowed your craft upon. I envy you as I only dream of having a job that I love going to every day.Your Proud Son,Bill

With great honor we recognize Jack Tremain as a Hero of Industry and Technology for his never ending support of the Iowa Transportation Museum and his willingness to share his knowledge of railroad history and his career with others. 

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