Few Amtrak trains are named after a state they serve. Two notable exceptions are the California Zephyr and the Texas Eagle.
Both honor the state hosting the western terminus of each route. Both names date back to the era when freight railroads offered their own passenger trains.
The Texas Eagle was a flagship train of the Missouri Pacific, operating between St. Louis and various points in Texas. It had sections for Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth and El Paso.
The Official Guide of the Railways of June 1962 showed that the El Paso section carried numbers 21/22, which are the same numbers that the Amtrak rendition of the Eagle uses today.
Aside from numbers, the MoPac Eagle and the Amtrak Eagle have some other similarities. Both carried through sleepers between St. Louis and Los Angeles, although in Amtrak’s case those cars originate in Chicago.
Amtrak’s Texas Eagle more or less follows the original route of its MoPac predecessor between St. Louis and San Antonio, with a few deviations in Texas.
The westbound Texas Eagle is shown above on March 15, 2005, in Fort Worth, where it connects with Amtrak’s Oklahoma City-Fort Worth Heartland Flyer.
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