Texas Eagle

Last updated
Texas Eagle
MHL-2005.jpg
Amtrak's westbound Texas Eagle at the
restored Texas and Pacific station
in Marshall, Texas, in October 2005.
Overview
Service type Inter-city rail
Locale Midwest and Southwestern United States (daily)
Western United States (tri-weekly)
Predecessor Inter-American
First serviceOctober 2, 1981 (Eagle)
November 15, 1988 (Texas Eagle)
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Ridership346,000 (FY17) [1]
Route
Start Chicago
End
Distance travelled
  • 1,306 mi (2,102 km) (Chicago–San Antonio)
  • 2,728 mi (4,390 km) (Chicago–Los Angeles)
Average journey time
  • 32 hours 10 minutes (Chicago–San Antonio)
  • 68 hours 45 minutes (Chicago–Los Angeles)
Service frequency
  • Daily (Chicago–San Antonio)
  • Tri-weekly (Chicago–Los Angeles)
Train number(s)
  • 21/22 (Chicago–San Antonio)
  • 321/322 (Chicago–St. Louis)
  • 421/422 (Chicago–Los Angeles)
Technical
Rolling stock Superliners
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Track owner(s) UP, BNSF, and CN

The Texas Eagle is a 1,306-mile (2,102 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the central and western United States. Trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas. Three days a week, the train operates as a section of the Sunset Limited . The westbound Texas Eagle joins with the westbound Sunset Limited in San Antonio and continues to Los Angeles, California; the eastbound Texas Eagle splits in San Antonio for the journey to Chicago. When combined with the Sunset Limited, the Texas Eagle runs for a total of 2,728 miles (4,390 km), the longest route in the Amtrak system. Prior to 1988, the train was known as the Eagle.

Amtrak Intercity rail operator in the United States

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, it is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

Chicago city and county seat of Cook County, Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is also the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the US, with a small portion of the northwest side of the city extending into DuPage County near O'Hare Airport. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third most populous in the nation.

Contents

During fiscal year 2018, the Texas Eagle carried 335,771 passengers, a 2.9% decrease over FY2017. [2] In FY2016, the train had a total revenue of $22,323,171, an 8.5% decrease from FY2015. [3]

Fiscal year 1-year term for government and business financial reporting

A fiscal year is used by government accounting and budget purposes, which varies between countries. It is also used for financial reporting by businesses and other organizations. Laws in many jurisdictions require company financial reports to be prepared and published on an annual basis, but generally, do not require the reporting period to align with the calendar year. Taxation laws generally require accounting records to be maintained and taxes calculated on an annual basis, which usually corresponds to the fiscal year used for government purposes. The calculation of tax on an annual basis is especially relevant for direct taxation, such as income tax. Many annual government fees—such as Council rates, license fees, etc.—are also levied on a fiscal year basis, while others are charged on an anniversary basis.

History

Amtrak's Texas Eagle is the direct successor of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and Texas and Pacific Railway train of the same name, which was inaugurated in 1948 and ultimately discontinued in 1971. The route of Amtrak's Texas Eagle is longer (Chicago to San Antonio versus St. Louis to San Antonio), but much of today's route is historically a part of the original Texas Eagle route. St. Louis to Texarkana and Taylor, Texas, to San Antonio travels over former Missouri Pacific Railroad trackage, while the Texarkana to Fort Worth segment traverses the former Texas and Pacific Railway. The T&P merged with MoPac in 1982; in turn MoPac was acquired by Union Pacific in 1986.

Missouri Pacific Railroad defunct American Class I railroad

The Missouri Pacific Railroad, commonly abbreviated as MoPac and nicknamed The Mop, was one of the first railroads in the United States west of the Mississippi River. MoPac was a Class I railroad growing from dozens of predecessors and mergers, including the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (SLIMS), Texas and Pacific Railway (TP), Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad (C&EI), St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway (SLBM), Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (KO&G), Midland Valley Railroad (MV), San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad (SAU&G), Gulf Coast Lines (GC), International-Great Northern Railroad (IGN), Kansas, Nebraska & Dakota Railroad, New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway (NOTM), Missouri-Illinois Railroad (MI), as well as the small Central Branch Railway, and joint ventures such as the Alton and Southern Railroad (AS).

Texas and Pacific Railway

The Texas and Pacific Railway Company was created by federal charter in 1871 with the purpose of building a southern transcontinental railroad between Marshall, Texas, and San Diego, California.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. It is the state's oldest municipality, having celebrated its 300th anniversary on May 1, 2018.

The Eagle began on October 2, 1981, as a restructuring of the Inter-American , which had operated a daily schedule from Chicago to Laredo, Texas, via San Antonio with a section to Houston, Texas, which diverged at Temple, Texas. The new Eagle dropped the Houston section, while its southern terminus was cut back from Laredo to San Antonio. The new train carried Superliner equipment, replacing the Amfleet coaches on the Inter-American. In addition, the new train ran on a thrice-weekly schedule with a through car on the Sunset Limited to Los Angeles, although the latter was not announced until the April 1982 timetable. [4] [5] [6] [7]

<i>Inter-American</i> (train)

The Inter-American was a passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago, Illinois to Laredo, Texas. Its route changed over time and was eventually replaced by the Eagle.

Laredo, Texas City in Texas, United States

Laredo is a city in and the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Laredo has the distinction of flying seven flags. Founded in 1755, Laredo grew from a village to the capital of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande to the largest inland port on the Mexico–United States border. Laredo's economy is based on international trade with Mexico. Many major transportation companies have a facility in Laredo. The city is on the southern end of I-35 which makes it close to the manufacturers in northern Mexico. It has four international bridges and one railway bridge.

Houston Largest city in Texas

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.

On November 15, 1988, Amtrak revived a Houston section, this time diverging at Dallas and running over the tracks of the Southern Pacific. It was the first time passenger traffic had served that route since 1958. Amtrak had intended to operate the Lone Star over this route back in the 1970s, but dropped the plan in the face of obstruction from the Southern Pacific. [8] [9] With the change, Amtrak revived the name Texas Eagle for the thrice-weekly Chicago-San Antonio/Houston train, while the off-day Chicago–St. Louis train remained the Eagle. This section would be discontinued on September 10, 1995. [10] On April 4, 2013 Amtrak opened a new station in Hope, Arkansas, the hometown of former U.S. president Bill Clinton. [11] Arcadia Valley was added on November 17, 2016 serving Iron County, Missouri. [12]

Southern Pacific Transportation Company United States Class I railroad (1865–1996)

The Southern Pacific was an American Class I railroad network that existed from 1865 to 1996 and operated in the Western United States. The system was operated by various companies under the names Southern Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Company and Southern Pacific Transportation Company.

Hope station (Arkansas) train station in Hope, Arkansas

Hope is a passenger rail station in Hope, Arkansas. The station is located on Amtrak's Texas Eagle line. Trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas, and continue to Los Angeles, California, 2,728 miles (4,390 km) total, three days a week.

Bill Clinton 42nd president of the United States

William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his presidency, he served as governor of Arkansas and as attorney general of Arkansas (1977–1979). A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was known as a New Democrat, and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. He is the husband of former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives. The impeachment was based on accusations that Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice for the purpose of concealing his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year-old White House intern. He was acquitted by the Senate and completed his term in office. Clinton is notable as one of only two U.S. presidents to have been impeached.

Proposed changes

In the August 2009 issue of Trains, Brian Rosenwald, Amtrak's chief of product management, noted that the Sunset Limited might be replaced by an extension of the Texas Eagle to Los Angeles: "We projected the revenue and looked at the logistics, and with a little bit of rescheduling came to the conclusion that we can make this happen with the equipment we have, and the additional revenue the train earns will more than cover the increased operating costs". The move would restore a connection to the Coast Starlight in both directions, and move boarding in Maricopa and Tucson, Arizona, to civilized times. "We are putting a stake in the ground: Triweekly needs to disappear," Rosenwald said. [13] While the route of the Sunset Limited would not be entirely replaced, the performance improvements listed explain what will happen:

<i>Trains</i> (magazine) Magazine dedicated to trains and railroads

Trains is a monthly magazine about trains and railroads aimed at railroad enthusiasts and railroad industry employees. It is among the 11 magazines published by Kalmbach Media, based in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The magazine primarily covers railroad happenings in the United States and Canada, but has some articles on railroading elsewhere.

<i>Coast Starlight</i> Amtrak rail route along the west coast of the United States

The Coast Starlight is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on the West Coast of the United States. It runs from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, California, via the San Francisco Bay Area. The train was the first to offer direct service between the two cities. Its name is a combination of two Southern Pacific (SP) trains, the Coast Daylight and the Starlight. The train has operated continuously since Amtrak's formation in 1971. Unique among Amtrak's long-distance trains, the Coast Starlight previously featured a Hi-Level lounge for sleeping car passengers — the "Pacific Parlour Car" — until it was discontinued in February 2018.

These changes would, in turn, create a through-car change similar to that of the Empire Builder . Such service would originate from Los Angeles and split at San Antonio, and vice versa from New Orleans. [14]

Route description

As of November 2013, [15] train 21 departs Chicago 1:45 pm, running between Chicago and its first station stop in Joliet, parallel to the Illinois and Michigan Canal, along first the Canadian National's Freeport Subdivision and then Joliet Subdivision, which is also used by Metra's Heritage Corridor and Amtrak's Lincoln Service . From Joliet, the train travels along Union Pacific rails, often parallel to Interstate 55, making station stops in Pontiac, Bloomington–Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville (a flag stop), and Alton before crossing the Mississippi River to make its stop at St. Louis' Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, scheduled for 7:21 pm. After St. Louis, the train skirts the Ozark Mountains, stopping in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, before crossing the state line into Arkansas. In Arkansas, the train stops in Walnut Ridge, the state capital of Little Rock, and the stations at Malvern, Arkadelphia, Hope, and Texarkana, on the Arkansas–Texas border. Continuing into Texas, the train makes station stops in Marshall, Longview, Mineola, Dallas and Fort Worth, which has connections to Oklahoma City via Amtrak's Heartland Flyer , and from there the train travels on BNSF trackage. The train continues on, making stops in Cleburne, McGregor, Temple (where the train resumes traveling on the Union Pacific), Taylor, the state capital of Austin, and San Marcos, with a scheduled arrival into San Antonio at 9:55 pm and a connection to the Sunset Limited on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, to Los Angeles at 2:45 am. The northbound Texas Eagle leaves San Antonio at 7 am (splitting from the eastbound Sunset Limited on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays) and arrives at Chicago at 1:45 pm the next day.

Amtrak Texas Eagle.png
Amtrak Texas Eagle (interactive map)

Consist

The normally assigned consist on the Texas Eagle includes:

On a thrice-weekly basis, a coach and sleeping car operate from Chicago through San Antonio to Los Angeles (as Train #421/422), in conjunction with the Sunset Limited. [16]

Notes

  1. "Amtrak FY17 Ridership" (PDF). Amtrak. 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  2. https://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/FY18-Ridership-Fact-Sheet-1.pdf
  3. http://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Amtrak-FY16-Ridership-and-Revenue-Fact-Sheet-4_17_17-mm-edits.pdf
  4. "Amtrak To Eliminate Unprofitable Routes". Toledo Blade . August 26, 1981. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  5. Amtrak (October 25, 1981). "National Train Timetables" . Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  6. Versaggi, Joe M. (January 17, 1982). "No headline". New York Times . Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  7. Amtrak (April 25, 1982). "National Train Timetables" . Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  8. Smith, Griffin (August 1974). "Waiting For The Train". Texas Monthly. 2 (8): 79–83, 89–99.; 83, 89.
  9. Reifenberg, Anne (September 29, 1988). "Amtrak Will Link Dallas, Houston". Dallas Morning News . Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  10. June 6, Bob Johnston |; 2017. "Getting the most from the 'Texas Eagle' detour | Trains Magazine". TrainsMag.com. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  11. "Amtrak Texas Eagle Adds Stop in Hope, Ark" (PDF). Amtrak. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  12. Jenkins, Kevin R. (November 19, 2016). "Arcadia Valley welcomes Amtrak". Daily Journal. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  13. Johnson, Bob (August 2009). "Amtrak's Southwest Expansion". Trains . p. 20.
  14. "Sunset Limited Marketing Meeting". RailPAC. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  15. "Texas Eagle and Heartland Flyer effective November 3rd, 2013" (PDF). Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  16. Amtrak National Consist Book, May 1, 2008

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References