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Passenger Trains > Lone Star/Texas Eagle service to Houston

Date: 01/23/13 09:03
Lone Star/Texas Eagle service to Houston
Author: shavano


The Lone Star was dropped in 1979 but a connecting car continued to the Texas Eagle until 1982 I believe and then it was revived sometime later and discontinued again. Can anybody provide some clarity on this? I'm doing a school project so I need an official type source.


Date: 01/23/13 09:24
Re: Lone Star/Texas Eagle service to Houston
Author: GenePoon

For the dates of the service, research back copies of the Amtrak National Timetable,
all of which are available at:


Better to do your own research for that than to be lazy and rely on secondary
sources...EVEN ME...where official sources are easily available.

As for how the split/combine worked...the following is from the latter period of the service:

Operationally the Houston section represented a complication for the Eagle at Dallas Union Station
(also called Dallas Union TERMINAL, which it isn't). The junction with the Southern Pacific line
used by the Houston section is EAST of Dallas Union Station. This meant that if the Houston section
bound for Chicago were to simply pull into the Dallas station, it would be pointed the wrong way.
All the seats would be backwards between Dallas and Chicago. So upon reaching the UP's ex-MoPac
line, the Houston section would run PAST the Dallas station on the freight main, turn on the wye
west of the station, and then pull into the station pointed right way round on the first (short)
station track. Usually it would arrive before the main Texas Eagle from San Antonio which would
use the second (through) station track. Once the main Eagle arrived, the Houston section's
coach and coach-cafe were integrated mid-train into the main Eagle consist, and the Houston
section's engine would be added, giving the combined train two units to Chicago.

That was for the eastbound train. Westbound, the combined San Antonio-Houston Eagle would arrive in
Dallas on the second (through) station track. The Houston engine and cars would be split, the Houston section
being assembled on the first (short) station track. The main Eagle would depart for San Antonio first; the Houston
section would follow it out but then turn on the wye, and would return eastbound past the station enroute
to its connection to the Southern Pacific and Houston.

A note: with the current use of the station by local commuter and light rail, this would no longer be possible, as
there is not enough trackage at Dallas Union Station to switch out a Houston section. The process required three
tracks, one for each train and a third to temporarily spot equipment while the switching was underway. When plans
were made for adding local transit to the Dallas station, Amtrak did not demand that its switching capability be
retained. Opportunity lost...

Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/13 09:43 by GenePoon.

Date: 01/23/13 10:15
Re: Lone Star/Texas Eagle service to Houston
Author: hsr_fan

I visited Texas A&M way back in '92 when I was starting to look at colleges, and I remember there was an Amtrak station in College Station back then.

Date: 01/24/13 05:30
Re: Lone Star/Texas Eagle service to Houston
Author: SDP40F600

The Chicago-Houston Lone Star, which operated via Kansas City and Wichita, completed its last trips on October 8, 1979. The Houston section of the Chicago-Laredo Inter-American, which operated via St. Louis and Little Rock, began on October 28, 1979. The Houston section split at Temple, Texas.

The Inter-American was restructured on October 1, 1981. Service ended to Laredo and Houston, and the train was renamed the Eagle. It now operated Chicago-San Antonio with through cars for Los Angeles interchanged to the Sunset Limited.

The Houston section returned on November 14, 1988, at which time Nos. 21/22 were renamed the Texas Eagle. The Houston section, which operated between Dallas and Houston as Nos. 521/522, ended Sept. 10, 1995. Note that this section used Southern Pacific tracks whereas the original Houston section of the Inter-American and the Lone Star before that used Santa Fe tracks to reach Houston.

Date: 01/24/13 05:57
Re: Lone Star/Texas Eagle service to Houston
Author: SDP40F

The platform for the Houston section at Colledge Station is still their.
UP has left it alone so far. I pass it every run I make.


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