Trains.com

A Shorter Eagle

10988 views
66 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October 2015
  • 92 posts
Posted by longhorn1969 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 10:48 PM

JPS1

According to the station agent in Temple, TX, the Texas Eagle will be returning to daily status on June 1st.  He did not say the source of his information, but he seemed pretty certain about it.  

 

I miss the old Temple station employee. Mr. Stephens, I wander how he is doing?

 

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 5,015 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 8:51 PM

Well, I was going to use Amtrak's Texas Eagle for my trip back to Wisconsin in April to do taxes for my sole surviving Parent.    However, first class roundtrip on Delta via Atlanta from LOVE field was cheaper by almost $150.    So Amtrak will have to wait for a real vs working vacation.

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Saturday, February 27, 2021 9:10 AM

According to the station agent in Temple, TX, the Texas Eagle will be returning to daily status on June 1st.  He did not say the source of his information, but he seemed pretty certain about it.  

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 3:04 PM

SD70Dude
........ I'm a bit disappointed that Ted Cruz chose Mexico instead of returning to his home and native land. 

Whenever a crisis strikes, such as what we experienced last week, the best thing the governor could do would be to round up all the politicians, put them on one of the state's airplanes, and fly them to Cancun until it is over. 

All politicians do in a crisis is interfere with those that have the skills to resolve the issue.  And slow down fixing the problem(s). 

The same applies to the President of the United States or any other head of state.  Get out of the way and stay out of the way until the experts that know how to fix the problem(s) signal the all clear. 

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 3,322 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 12:14 PM

We're actually enjoying some warm weather right now, snow's melting outside. 

With that in mind, I'm a bit disappointed that Ted Cruz chose Mexico instead of returning to his home and native land (look it up if you don't remember).  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 15,978 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:52 AM

BaltACD
Canada will pay for it, so they can keep Canadian weather in Canada.

Texas will pay for it so they can keep Canadian weather nearer Canada.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,382 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:23 AM

SD70Dude
 
BaltACD
JPS1
The on-board staff of No. 21, which arrived in San Antonio on Saturday, February 13th, got to experience a lot more of San Antonio than maybe they had expected or wanted.  Thanks to the severe winter storms that swept through Texas, they have been stuck in the Alamo City ever since.  Ah, but good news.  No. 22 is scheduled to resume operations tomorrow morning, February 23rd
 
If a bit a bad weather cancels a train for more than a week, just how critical is it to the nation’s mobility requirements?  If we can do without the Texas Eagle for more than a week, we can do without it period!

If we can do without Texas for more than a week, should we give it back to Mexico? 

Only if Mexico pays for a wall around their new territory!

Canada will pay for it, so they can keep Canadian weather in Canada.

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 4,182 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, February 22, 2021 10:00 PM

JPS1
The on-board staff of No. 21, which arrived in San Antonio on Saturday, February 13th, got to experience a lot more of San Antonio than maybe they had expected or wanted.  Thanks to the severe winter storms that swept through Texas, they have been stuck in the Alamo City ever since.  Ah, but good news.  No. 22 is scheduled to resume operations tomorrow morning, February 23rd
 
If a bit a bad weather cancels a train for more than a week, just how critical is it to the nation’s mobility requirements?  If we can do without the Texas Eagle for more than a week, we can do without it period!
 

LD trains appear to be a relic from 50+ years ago.  They are not transportation for the most part; they're just land cruisers and a vehicle to get congressional support for Amtrak funding. 

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 3,322 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, February 22, 2021 9:34 PM

BaltACD
JPS1
The on-board staff of No. 21, which arrived in San Antonio on Saturday, February 13th, got to experience a lot more of San Antonio than maybe they had expected or wanted.  Thanks to the severe winter storms that swept through Texas, they have been stuck in the Alamo City ever since.  Ah, but good news.  No. 22 is scheduled to resume operations tomorrow morning, February 23rd
 
If a bit a bad weather cancels a train for more than a week, just how critical is it to the nation’s mobility requirements?  If we can do without the Texas Eagle for more than a week, we can do without it period!

If we can do without Texas for more than a week, should we give it back to Mexico?

Only if Mexico pays for a wall around their new territory!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,382 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, February 22, 2021 9:32 PM

JPS1
The on-board staff of No. 21, which arrived in San Antonio on Saturday, February 13th, got to experience a lot more of San Antonio than maybe they had expected or wanted.  Thanks to the severe winter storms that swept through Texas, they have been stuck in the Alamo City ever since.  Ah, but good news.  No. 22 is scheduled to resume operations tomorrow morning, February 23rd
 
If a bit a bad weather cancels a train for more than a week, just how critical is it to the nation’s mobility requirements?  If we can do without the Texas Eagle for more than a week, we can do without it period!

If we can do without Texas for more than a week, should we give it back to Mexico?

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Monday, February 22, 2021 7:49 PM
The on-board staff of No. 21, which arrived in San Antonio on Saturday, February 13th, got to experience a lot more of San Antonio than maybe they had expected or wanted.  Thanks to the severe winter storms that swept through Texas, they have been stuck in the Alamo City ever since.  Ah, but good news.  No. 22 is scheduled to resume operations tomorrow morning, February 23rd. 
 
If a bit a bad weather cancels a train for more than a week, just how critical is it to the nation’s mobility requirements?  If we can do without the Texas Eagle for more than a week, we can do without it period!
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,382 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 19, 2021 3:02 PM

JPS1
What happened to the notion that passenger trains run in all kinds of weather while the airlines are grounded and buses cannot run on icy roads?

You can't have all weather railroad operations without MANPOWER.  21st Century railroads do not have sufficient manpower.  

The carriers acknowledge that fact by curtailing their operations.  

The Dinosaurs can have all weather operation if they are willing to have the additional 100K to 300K body's wages placed on their personal tab for the entire year.

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: The 17th hole at TPC
  • 1,899 posts
Posted by n012944 on Friday, February 19, 2021 1:50 PM

JPS1

What happened to the notion that passenger trains run in all kinds of weather while the airlines are grounded and buses cannot run on icy roads?

 

People have realized that it is stupid to endanger the lives of passengers and crew just to have a macho title.  People have been told to not travel in much of the country due to the weather.  If the roads are too icy for buses, people should not be out to go get on the train.

An "expensive model collector"

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 20,382 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 18, 2021 4:19 PM

SD70Dude
It's not just passenger operators.  You'd be surprised at how much freight gets parked during periods of 'tough weather'.

The railroads simply don't have as much extra manpower or capacity as they did in the past.  You can automate and "schedule" things all you want, but during tough times you still need people to fix frozen switches and signals, not to mention the air brake and locomotive problems that show up in cold weather. 

The passenger operators have obviously decided that they will get less bad publicity from cancelling trains than they would from a few stranded trains full of passengers. 

There has always been one thing that has EVER kept the railroads operating during bad weather.

MANPOWER

21st Century railroad do not possess the level of manpower required to operate in severe Winter conditions.

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 3,322 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:06 PM

It's not just passenger operators.  You'd be surprised at how much freight gets parked during periods of 'tough weather'.

The railroads simply don't have as much extra manpower or capacity as they did in the past.  You can automate and "schedule" things all you want, but during tough times you still need people to fix frozen switches and signals, not to mention the air brake and locomotive problems that show up in cold weather. 

The passenger operators have obviously decided that they will get less bad publicity from cancelling trains than they would from a few stranded trains full of passengers. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 7:55 PM

The last run of No. 21 left Chicago on Friday.  It has been tied up in San Antonio since Saturday due to inclement weather.  Oh well, assuming they are not iced in, the Chicago based on-board staff should have ample opportunity to explore the Alamo City.  The next offering of #22 is for Friday, February 19th.

What happened to the notion that passenger trains run in all kinds of weather while the airlines are grounded and buses cannot run on icy roads?

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 6,788 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 4:38 PM

It might be appropriate to mention on this Thread: "The Shortest Eagle" whch operated from 1941 to 1954 (Fall, I think?) by The Missouri Pacific.

It Ran daily from Memphis to Tallulah, La; via Marianna,Ar, Helena,Ar,Lakeview,Ar. McGehee, Ar,Lake Village Ar. and to Tallulah...West of the Vicksburg, Ms area.  The stop at Helena was interesting, because it required a long back up move to get to the station. Helena was served by a rairoad car ferry from Friar's Pt, Ms[ Connection was with ICRR] to Helena.Ar. 

The Delta Eagle utilized a EMD[ ID: was as AA6 model] a 1 of a kind power built in 1940, it resembled the original 'shovel nose' E style.      Had 1 engine, a baggage compartment, and a small aux power unit. the train was an RPO  with a small food service area, and seating, and the second car was a coach. During its period of operation,[ the passengers rode in segregayed accomodations.]  IT sometimes ran with additional cars, as needed, and plower as required.

The Helena line had been part of the service provided by the Missouri&North Arkansas RR before it went 'out' in the late 1940's.  For information[M&NARR] see linked @ https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/missouri-and-north-arkansas-railroad-5103/

REF to link @ https://www.condrenrails.com/MRP/MemphisUnionStation/MP-Memphis-Pass-Pixs.htm

 

 


 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, January 3, 2021 10:06 AM

Yesterday was a special treat for those of us that watch Number 21, the southbound Texas Eagle.  It had two North Coast Limited cars sandwiched between the locomotive and the transition sleeper.  

Both were dome cars.  One of them had coach seats near the rear of the car and lounge seats near the front, along with the dome seats.  The other was a sleeper.  The cars looked like they had just been outshopped.  They were beautiful.

This is the first time that I have seen private cars behind an Amtrak locomotive in regular service.  I suspect they were placed there so that any passengers that wanted to do so could go to the dining car.  Or maybe the operator had contracted with Amtrak to bring meals to the riders.  

I saw just two persons on the cars.  They may have been the owners or employees.  I was not able to determine where the cars had been picked up or where they were going.  

If I remember correctly, the cars had a small decal:  WERN followed by a number.  Anyone recognize them?

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 6,788 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, December 26, 2020 1:08 PM

To the question [from: Lthonia Operator] about Yemassee, So. Carolina.....

Last time I was there [Spring of 1961]:

   Heading to Parris Island Recruit Training,Sigh   We were marched to the Recruit Training Receiving ( buses were not running, right then) from the RR Station... About the only people waiting for a train out, were traveling FROM Parris Island; they were riding on tickets provded by USMC....Oops

 

 


 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 1,100 posts
Posted by Sunnyland on Friday, December 25, 2020 7:28 PM

About food, friends and I were on CZ May of '19 taking the train into CO and picking up rental car to drive to Utah for 150 Golden Spike event.  We had a "real" diner, one friend got his fav signature steak, other friend got her chicken and I got my grilled salmon.  We had same meals on return trip. When I rode Builder, Starlight and SW Chief in early 2000's, it was great meals too.  But when I rode CONO for the first time in 2016, it was not what I expected. Dinner upon boarding, was chicken, a salad or deli sandwich. I chose the deli and salami and cheese were good but other meats were fatty so I pushed them aside. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, etc, and dinner on return was pasta probably microwaved, so they had already downgraded. I remember reading about their regional meals with red beans and rice, etc. but that was no longer served.  Same meals in 2018, have not been able to get back with Bonnet Carre spillway open for weeks and busing, and this year virus, so have not had the new "improved" meals yet. At least I will get a free drink,  but some do not sound too bad.  Nothing can compare with the way the diner was in the days I rode with parents and friends, linen tablecloths, real china with RR logo, silverware and glasses, and even a guy would brush off the breadcrumbs into a little dustpan. Anyone was welcome, as we always traveled coach and maybe Pullman got seated before us if they were waiting, but same food. I have heard airlines no longer serve real meals, maybe some snacks, I do not about overseas, have not known anybody who has gone TWA did a first class job with food, have not flown since 2003 and no reason to do so. That was on American  who had just taken over TWA returning from San Fran, with my friend, I had taken Builder and Starlight out to meet her, left 5 days earlier. And I remember watching movies in the Sightseer Lounge on the trains, they were first class movies same as theaters were showing, 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 1,100 posts
Posted by Sunnyland on Friday, December 25, 2020 7:15 PM

Have read all the comments and very interesting.  I usually sit in lounge car when I am traveling with friends, but when I take a roomette, I usually just stay there, except I will take walks thru the train at times. I have never been south of St. Louis on Eagle, except with local AAR railfan group riding the first southbound to stop at Arcadia, which was a new stop for them. But Eagle is late many times coming into St. Louis, a lot of freights mostly UP from what I hear messes up their schedule.  When I going to Chi to catch City of New Orleans later in day, I take the 6:40 am train north and many times I will get Eagle passengers on with me, because they have announced it is 2-3 hours late and people can switch if they choose, one time we were so crowded, conductors had to get people to not sprawl over 2 seats and break up family groups.  One time there was a shootout in the train at Dallas station a few years, heard about that on our local news. PD was following a suspicious man and woman in station recognized as known drug dealers, when the cops boarded the train, the guy started shooting, people were running and jumping off the train, cops did kill the guy and arrest her. Car had to be cut out as crime scene and people moved to other cars. I think it was really late that day. And one time I was riding from Springfield, IL with friends, we had went up to see new Lincoln Museum and my cousin had never rode a train. A terrible storm hit in Springfield late in afternoon and we ran back to station, as sky was green. Eagle was about an hour late arriving, but it had cleared up and sun was out. We did OK to Alton, IL and had to stop, Signals out, derailment up ahead,  buses finally came to take the crew off, and I went out to talk to Amtrak rep about us, they said as long as we were only going to St. Louis we could ride along, so we did.  I did call Julie the next day and train was 20 hours late, But neither incidents were their fault. My cousin said her first train ride would be her last, but she did go with me another time to Hermann with a group to visit wineries. 

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 1,100 posts
Posted by Sunnyland on Friday, December 25, 2020 6:51 PM

I think the conductor should have waited too, it was not that long, only a couple of minutes, he had to see him waving and running before they pulled out but the guy was a fool for jumping and hanging on the train.Some can be jerks, Dad ran into one on New York Central, he said when Dad handed him the pass, "you people and your damn passes".  Dad told him "we are part of the same industry and one of the perks of my job. Even if you don't want to use yours or don't like it, I do want to use mine."  The guy never said another word.  Conductors do take cash fares, before Covid, but not now. That is why they still carry the punch, I found out a couple of years ago from a conductor on River Runner. So I have been carrying a notebook the last couple of years on trips and get them to punch on page and they  sign in with name and train #, the first guy started that so all have  followed. When I was on Saluki last year, conductor had ace of spades punch and then he joked I jinxed him as a man and kid got on with cash fares and he had to use the punch, he had only been conductor a couple of months and it was his first time to use the punch.  Mom used to help her father sort his paperwork, tickets, cash, passes, lots of work, but not now with just scan ticket or phone. Mom did say passes required more paperwork, so probably whey the NYC conductor did not like Dad using a pass, but it was part of the job and wrong to complain about having to do it.  

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 1,100 posts
Posted by Sunnyland on Friday, December 25, 2020 6:40 PM

that was wild, he is lucky he did not fall off or get arrested.  The train did stop but I guess they would not let him on so he hopped down and walked away.  I never stray far from train but he looked like he was not on it, did not see him get off, just walking from the front.  About how the conductor would report delay, a friend is retired BNSF engineer and tell the story of being dive bombed by a private plane going over a bridge in upper IL.  He pulled up at the last minute and friend wondered how he would tell dispatch he hit a plane.  Parents and I were in Buffalo returning home from Niagara Falls for hours, one of the "perks" of a pass.  We watched people running for their trains down a incline, one guy with his fishing pole made it, but a family did not.  Mom said we had better not miss it after waiting so long We had lunch in the cafe and came back for dinner, the server said "still here" and Dad said "pass" and she knew what he meant. 

  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Monday, December 21, 2020 11:19 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
 JPS1 As a sign of the changed times, the engineer, conductor and assistant conductor were women.  No. 22 arrived at Taylor 10 minutes early and departed one minute early by my watch.  

Not that big a deal.  I'm familiar with female conductors and collectors on Metra and NICTD and female engineers on BNSF operating Metra trains. 

True!  But this is the first time that I saw an all female crew.  I have known one of the conductors for several years, and I have seen the female engineer in Fort Worth twice.   

One of the San Antonio based conductors that I have known for years told me that some of the guys in Fort Worth ragged a bit on the lady engineer when she first came on board.  Apparently she put them in their place in no short order. 

 

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,356 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, December 21, 2020 9:59 AM

JPS1
 
As a sign of the changed times, the engineer, conductor and assistant conductor were women.  No. 22 arrived at Taylor 10 minutes early and departed one minute early by my watch. 
 

Not that big a deal.  I'm familiar with female conductors and collectors on Metra and NICTD and female engineers on BNSF operating Metra trains.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    December 2018
  • 803 posts
Posted by JPS1 on Sunday, December 20, 2020 11:53 AM
Number 22 this morning was being pulled by P42 number 22.  I wonder how often that happens?  It had a transition sleeper, the through sleeper from LAX, dining/lounge car, and two coaches, one of which is the through coach off of No. 2. 
 
As a sign of the changed times, the engineer, conductor and assistant conductor were women.  No. 22 arrived at Taylor 10 minutes early and departed one minute early by my watch. 
  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 5,015 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, December 17, 2020 9:26 PM

Gramp
When I took the Eagle from Chicago to Dallas in October six years ago, it was a very smooth ride all the way, and within 20 minutes of being on time both ways.  The only problems were an Amtrak conductor with anger management issues on the Little Rock segment and a baby getting changed in coach. Whooooey!  Had everyone in the whole car gasping for air.

Almost everytime I ride it, it is on time but I choose days in which the UP is largely asleep with most of its employees at home for the holidays.   I made the mistake once of riding it  in mid-summer during a traffic surge.    4 hours late into Dallas Southbound.

  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 577 posts
Posted by Gramp on Thursday, December 17, 2020 6:13 PM

When I took the Eagle from Chicago to Dallas in October six years ago, it was a very smooth ride all the way, and within 20 minutes of being on time both ways.  The only problems were an Amtrak conductor with anger management issues on the Little Rock segment and a baby getting changed in coach. Whooooey!  Had everyone in the whole car gasping for air.  

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • 50 posts
Posted by JEFFREY PLETCHER on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 8:24 PM

To return to the topics of scenery and ride quality on Amtrak's "Texas Eagle" -- the line between St. Louis and Poplar Bluff is a roller coaster because it traverses the Ozark foothhills, which at least partially accounts for the rough ride. As such it offers scenery, but the "Eagle" traverses this segment at night. I've ridden it when the northbound train was hours late, and gotten some good views and photos looking out the rear door. I was delighted, as this is one of my favorite stretches of railroad, being the route of MoP's original "Texas Eagle," one of my favorites.

Just south of St. Louis, the tracks run on a bluff above the Mississippi River for a few miles. However, due to scheduling, this segment is covered in darkness, except maybe close to the summer solstice.

The Mississippi River crossing at St. Louis is worth viewing, too. The northbound schedule covers this in daylight, southbound in daylight probably only late spring, summer, and early fall, assuming on-time.

 

 
CMStPnP
TC cannot incorporate that via their existing line as it is too far East, you have to look at a map of Texas to understand that Austin is a lot more West then North of Houston.    So for TC to build Dallas-Austin-Houston would have introduced a major dog leg to their line and slowed the Dallas to Houston Time.     Either that or build a whole new Houston to Austin line seperately.

 

Clearly the latter. The Dallas-Houston line (via, kinda-sorta, College Station) is a 'done' routing that goes nowhere near Austin, or anything else in the I-35 corridor either.  A TC 'capital' line might make sense as a second service, perhaps run as an elbow extension from Houston using the same high-speed stock but NOT having Austin as a midpoint.

 

The nifty thing about Austin is that you have relatively short travel up and down the 125mph rebuilt corridor from the DFW area down the I-35 corridor to 'all those cities too close for true effective HSR'.  Likewise either from Houston west, or Austin east/southeast, on what starts as regional rail and might grow ultimately into interurban-grade connection of communities between those cities, again that the rocket train could not serve.

I believe that even "connecting" via Houston the high-speed time from Dallas to Austin will be competitively short, but the HST/PRIIA service from Dallas to Austin offers more inexpensive travel as well as more connections... and perhaps a better route with fewer complications for the Amtrak LD service.

 

[/quote]

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy