Texas Eagle (MP train)

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Texas Eagle
Texas and Pacific Railway ticket.JPG
A Texas and Pacific EMD E7 leads an Eagle in this 1950s postcard.
Overview
First service August 15, 1948
Last service April 30, 1971
Former operator(s) Missouri Pacific Railroad
Texas and Pacific Railway

The Texas Eagle was a streamlined passenger train operated by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the Texas and Pacific Railway between St. Louis, Missouri and multiple destinations in the state of Texas. It operated from 1948 to 1971. The Texas Eagle was one of many trains discontinued when Amtrak began operations in 1971, although Amtrak would revive service over the Missouri Pacific with the Inter-American in 1974. This train was renamed the Eagle in 1981 and finally the Texas Eagle in 1988.

History[edit]

The Texas Eagle began on August 15, 1948, with the renaming of the Sunshine Special.[1]:119 For thirteen years, the Texas Eagle operated as two separate sections, leaving St. Louis in the late afternoon, one following behind the other at an approximately 10 minute interval. At Longview, the routes diverged. The west Texas section continued to Dallas and El Paso, while the south Texas section operated to Austin and San Antonio, where a connection was made to the Aztec Eagle for Laredo, Texas and Mexico City. In 1952, dome cars were added to the train. After 1961, the Texas Eagle was consolidated as a single, very long train, between St. Louis and Longview, Texas, where the train was split into several sections, each serving different Texas cities. The west Texas section (the West Texas Eagle) of the Texas Eagle continued from Longview to Dallas, Fort Worth, and El Paso; the south Texas section (South Texas Eagle) served Palestine, Austin, San Antonio, and Laredo, with a through Pullman continuing to Mexico City. A third section of the Texas Eagle split from the main train at Palestine, providing service to Houston.[2]

From its inception in 1948 the Texas Eagle carried through sleepers from the Pennsylvania Railroad's Penn Texas, providing a one-seat ride from Washington, D.C. and New York City to Texas. Through sleeper service ended on June 30, 1961, but it was still possible to make a connection between the two trains.[3]:134–135

The western section ended May 31, 1969, leaving a San Antonio-St. Louis service.[2] The Missouri Pacific discontinued the remaining Texas intrastate segment of the Texas Eagle on September 22, 1970. The Missouri Pacific bypassed the Interstate Commerce Commission by arguing (to the Texas Railroad Commission) that the "Texas Eagle" was not an interstate train but rather three intrastate trains: one which ran San Antonio-Texarkana, another which ran from Texarkana to the Missouri border, and a third which ran from the Missouri border to St. Louis. The Texas Railroad Commission accepted this argument and permitted the Missouri Pacific to end the Texas portion of the Texas Eagle.[4] The Texas Railroad Commission ruling was handed down less than a month before President Nixon signed Railpax legislation which placed a moratorium on passenger train discontinuances in anticipation of the start-up of Amtrak. The St. Louis-Texarkana truncation of the Texas Eagle continued running until the advent of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, when it was discontinued.[2]

Sample consist[edit]

The December 1952 edition of the Official Guide of the Railways listed the following for a southbound Texas Eagle:[5]

Type Seating Route Notes
No. 1 : St. Louis—Fort Worth—El Paso
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 1 drawing room, 2 double bedrooms St. Louis—Fort Worth
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms New York—El Paso Conveyed New York—St. Louis by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms Washington—Fort Worth Conveyed Washington—St. Louis by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms Memphis—Fort Worth Conveyed Memphis—Little Rock by No. 201
Sleeper Roomettes and bedrooms Dallas—Los Angeles Conveyed El Paso—Los Angeles by the Southern Pacific Railroad
Lounge 5 bedrooms St. Louis—Fort Worth
Diner St. Louis—Fort Worth
Coach St. Louis—El Paso
Coach St. Louis—Fort Worth Planetarium dome
Coach Memphis—Fort Worth Conveyed Memphis—Little Rock by No. 201
Type Seating Route Notes
No. 21 : St. Louis—Palestine—Houston/San Antonio
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 1 drawing room, 2 double bedrooms St. Louis—Galveston
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms Memphis—Houston Conveyed Memphis—Little Rock by No. 201
Sleeper 10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms Washington—Houston Conveyed Washington—St. Louis by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Sleeper 10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms New York—Houston Conveyed New York—St. Louis by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Sleeper 10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms New York—San Antonio Conveyed New York—St. Louis by the Pennsylvania Railroad
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms St. Louis—San Antonio
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms St. Louis—San Antonio
Diner lounge St. Louis—Houston
Diner lounge St. Louis—San Antonio
Coach St. Louis—Houston
Coach St. Louis—Corpus Christi Conveyed Houston—Odem by No. 11; Odem—Corpus Christi by No. 205
Coach St. Louis—San Antonio Planetarium dome
Coach St. Louis—San Antonio
Coach St. Louis—San Antonio
Coach St. Louis—San Antonio
Coach Houston—Galveston
Type Seating Route Notes
No. 201 : Memphis—Little Rock
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms Memphis—Fort Worth Conveyed Little Rock—Fort Worth by No. 1
Sleeper 14 roomettes, 4 double bedrooms Memphis—Houston Conveyed Little Rock—Houston by No. 21
Coach Memphis—Little Rock
Coach Memphis—Fort Worth Conveyed Little Rock—Fort Worth by No. 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sanders, Craig (2003). Limiteds, locals, and expresses in Indiana, 1838-1971. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34216-3. OCLC 50598164. 
  2. ^ a b c Schafer, Mike (2000). More Classic American Railroads. Osceola, WI: MBI. pp. 87–88. ISBN 076030758X. OCLC 44089438. 
  3. ^ Welsh, Joe (2006). Pennsylvania Railroad's Broadway Limited. Saint Paul, MN: Voyageur Press. ISBN 9780760323021. OCLC 65425926. 
  4. ^ Smith, Griffin (August 1974). "Waiting For The Train". Texas Monthly 2 (8): 79–83, 89–99. ; 91.
  5. ^ "The Texas Eagle - December 1952". Streamliner Schedules. Retrieved 2010-08-07.