Amtrak's Route Guide - Train #421 & #422
Welcome aboard the Texas Eagle, Amtrak's 1,308-mile Superliner journey
between Chicago and San Antonio that takes us through the fertile
farmlands of Abe Lincoln's Illinois, across the mighty Mississippi at
St. Louis and through the Missouri Ozarks to Arkansas and Texas.
Chicago * Springfield * St. Louis
Little Rock * Texarkana * Dallas
Fort Worth * Austin * San Antonio
Sunset Limited Route
continues west from San Antonio to Los Angeles
You're traveling on board Amtrak's® Superliner® train -- the
Texas Eagle. On this route, you'll be traveling between
Chicago, the home of the 110-story Sears Tower -- the
world's tallest skyscraper; and San Antonio, the home of the Alamo --
by way of St. Louis, "The Gateway to the West," and the sunbelt states of
Arkansas and Texas.
While on board, you'll be experiencing the utmost in train
travel, along with some of the country's most remarkable and
historical sights: Lincoln, the only city named for the President
before he was elected; Springfield, the state capital and the
town Lincoln loved; St. Louis, gateway to the West; Dallas,
deep in the heart of Texas; state capitals and ghost towns;
riverboats and refineries; longhorn cattle and farm crops.
At San Antonio, the Texas Eagle links with the Sunset
Limited en route to Los Angeles. (The new
Texas Eagle/California Service operates direct through
San Antonio to Los Angeles without linking with the Sunset Limited).
Amtrak and your crew are proud to host you on board. We'll do everything we
can to ensure you enjoy your trip. If you have any questions please don't
hesitate to ask your Attendant or On-Board Service Chief.
The Fun Starts Here!
The Texas Eagle features on-board activities the whole family will enjoy.
Listen for announcements of the specific time and location of activities, and
most of all -- have fun!
Hospitality Hour. Join fellow passengers in the Lounge Car for drinks
and complimentary snacks, and don't forget to ask about regional
Games are usually conducted during the trip. Small prizes will be
awarded. Listen for announcements for time and location.
Meet the Crew That Makes the Magic Happen!
The Conductor is in charge of all crew members and is responsible
for the collection of tickets and the safe operation of the train. The
Chief of On-Board Service" supervises the on-board service crew, and
overseas the quality of service.
Enjoy On-Board Accommodations That Pamper and Please!
Roomy Coach Seats. Your Coach Attendant will see to your
needs. Since your seat is assigned for the length of your journey, please do
not change without first consulting a crew member.
Private Sleeping Compartments. Your Sleeping Car Attendant
will prepare your room for daytime or nighttime use, provide wake-up calls
and bring the morning paper and beverages. Individual speakers bring you
recorded music on Channels 2 or 3, and train announcements on Channels 1 and
2. Simply turn the channel selector near the reading light. First Class
passengers receive additional amenities including complimentary meals in
the Dining Car.
Economy, Family, Special and Deluxe bedrooms are available. Special bedrooms
have a private bathroom and Deluxe have private baths with shower. Sleeping
accommodations may be purchased on board from the Conductor if space is
Dining Car Service. The Dining Car features complete meals in a
comfortable setting. Major credit cards are accepted. Sorry, there is no
smoking in the Dining Car. A crew member will contact you if dinner
reservations are necessary.
Lounge Car Enjoy the scenery from our large picture windows,
and don't forget the sandwiches, snacks and beverages available for purchase
at the Cafe Bar. You can also purchase souvenir playing cards, post cards and
blankets. Lounge Car hours are generally from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. Smoking
is permitted only in designated areas of the Lounge Car.
Scenic Photo Tips
SCENIC SPOTS: Your train passes many beautiful and interesting
sights. The "camera" symbol on your Route Guide Map marks the best spots,
so have your camera ready!
OUTSIDE SHOTS: Medium-speed films (ASA 64 or higher) are recommended
for shooting scenery through the train windows. If your shutter speed is
adjustable and light conditions permit, set it at a higher speed (1/125 or
1/250 sec.) for the clearest results. Hold your lens close to the window to
eliminate glare and reflections.
INSIDE SHOTS: Flash is recommended. To avoid glare and reflections,
do not point the flash directly at the windows.
The Texas Eagle
A heartland journey from Grain Belt to Sun Belt.
This guide is written from north to south, noting how many
minutes past the previous Amtrak station you can expect to see
a particular sight, and whether you should look to your right or
left. The first time reference tells you how far that point is from
the next Amtrak station to the north, and the second time, how
far it is to the next Amtrak stop to the south. If you're traveling
northward, just begin at San Antonio or your point of origin and
read the entries in reverse order. Remember to look left when
we've indicated to look right, and right when we've indicated
to look left.
Note that all AMTRAK STATIONS are in capital letters to set them
apart from towns and regions through which the Texas Eagle
travels but makes no stop. Use this guide along with an Amtrak timetable
to determine station times. All times in this guide are approximate.
* Chicago *
"Here is a tall bold slugger
set vivid against the soft little
cities," Carl Sandburg wrote of
Chicago. And to this day, Chicago
stands tall among American cities,
especially in the importance of its
modern architecture. Rebuilding
from the devastating Great Chicago
Fire of 1871, Chicago was the birthplace
of the steel-frame skyscraper,
and now claims the world's tallest --
the 110-story, 1,454-ft. Sears
Tower -- just two blocks from
Union Station. We'll travel between
Chicago and St. Louis via the tracks
of the Illinois Central and Southern
Pacific Lines. As we leave the
station and cross the Chicago River,
look back for views of Chicago's
skyline. The Chicago River was
largely responsible for Chicago's
early settlement, following the
discovery by French explorers Louis
Jolliet and Pere Jacques Marquette
in 1673 that the river's arms
reached nearly to the drainage basin
of the Mississippi River System,
forming a natural route for early
trappers and traders.
Bridgeport (15 Min./25 Min.)
This heavily industrialized section
of Chicago was settled by Irish
immigrants who built the Illinois
and Michigan (I&M) Canal between
1836 and 1848. Bridgeport was the
lifelong home of Chicago's late
mayor, Richard J. Daley. We briefly
parallel the Stevenson Expressway
on our right.
Willow Springs (31 Min./17 Min.)
In abrupt contrast to the city, numerous
deer can often be spotted in
the heavily-wooded forest preserve
to our left.
Lambert (33 Min./15 Min.) We
cross the Calumet Sag Channel,
which connects Lake Michigan with
the Chicago Sanitary and Ship
Canal. The Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal is an engineering marvel
that links the Great Lakes with
the Mississippi, and reverses the
direction of the Chicago River
making it flow out of, rather than
into, Lake Michigan. Our route from
here to Joliet is through the Illinois
and Michigan Canal National
Corridor -- a 120-mile long urban
Lockport (40 Min./6 Min.) Note the
restored buildings on our right as
we parallel the old towpath-lined
I&M Canal. The Joilet Correctional
Center (42 Min./4 Min.) is on our
JOLIET Named for French explorer
Louis Joliet. The large scale castle-like
native stone building to the left of
the station is a high school. South
of Joliet, we take the Southern
Pacific Lines, passing the Des
Plained River which is to our right,
paralleled by the I&M Canal. We
pass between the Des Plaines
Conservation Area on our right and
a large U.S. Army arsenal on our
Kankakee River (16 Min./37 Min.)
This tributary of the Illinois River
was followed by French explorer
La Salle in his 1682 voyage claiming
the Mississippi watershed in the
name of his king, Louis XIV.
Braidwood (21 Min./32 Min.)
Just north of town, we pass a golf
course on our left that was created
from a reclaimed strip mine. The
towers of Consolidated Edison's
Braidwood Nuclear Power Plant
are also visible.
Dwight (33 Min./20 Min.)
(Note: As of 1997, Dwight is now an Amtrak station stop).
The small white Pioneer Gothic Church
here was attended by Edward,
Prince of Wales, while visiting
nearby Blackstone in 1860 to hunt
grouse (praire chickens). Just
beyond this station is a clocktopped,
one-story brick bank, one
of only three banks ever designed
by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the only
one still standing. We then cross the
Vermillion River as we approach
our next stop.
PONTIAC This town was named
for the Indian chief who was once
very powerful in this region.
Normal (25 Min./5 Min.) Named
for the teacher's college, Illinois
Normal School, which has become
Illinois State University. The
20,000 student campus is on
Lincoln's "Last Speech" was
delivered here, and the Licoln
family figured prominently in the
success of Bloomington resident
George M. Pullman. Pullman's
"Pioneer," the most luxurious
sleeping car then devised, was too
wide to operate on most railroads.
When President Lincoln was
assassinated, Pullman offered the
free use of this car to Mrs. Lincoln
for the presidential funeral train. She
accepted, and the railroads made
the alterations necessary for its use.
The way was paved for Pullman's
name to become synonymous with
railroad sleeping cars.
Funks Grove (10 Min./26 Min.)
Illinois' only stand of virgin timber
was donated to the state by the
Eugene Funk (Funk Seeds) family.
In late winter, the maple are studded
with sap-collecting buckets.
Kickapoo Creek (30 Min./6 Min.)
We cross this creek north of Lincoln.
LINCOLN The only city named
for Lincoln before this election as
President. A statue of a watermelon
slice to the train's left at the south
end of the Lincoln depot, commemorates
Abraham Lincoln's christening
of the town at this spot, using
the juice of a watermelon taken
from a nearby cart. As a youth,
Lincoln lived 30 miles west of
here at New Salem. It was there
that he unsuccessfully courted
Ann Rutledge. The Amtrak train
of that name stops here daily.
Rail Splitter State Park (2 Min./30 Min.)
on our left, marks a route
followed by Lincoln during his days
as a circuit riding attorney.
Sangamon River (21 Min./9 Min.)
We cross the river as we approach
Springfield. The Illinois State
Fairground (28 Min./1 Min.)
is seen on our right.
* Springfield *
SPRINGFIELD Near the geographical
Macoupin Creek (7 Min./25 Min.)
Wood River (1 Min./38 Min.)
Cahokia Diversion Canal (10 Min./30 Min.)
Granite City (15 Min./27 Min.)
Merchants Railroad Bridge (20 Min./17 Min.)
Eads Bridge (29 Min./8 Min.)
The Gateway Arch (36 Min./2 Min.)
Busch Memorial Stadium (40 Min./2 Min.)
* St. Louis *
(6 Min./3:40 Min.) The Anheuser-Busch
Jefferson Barracks (38 Min./2:50 Min.)
Pevely (60 Min./2:30 Min.)
Big River (1:45 Min./1:45 Min.)
Mark Twain National Forest (2:00 Min./1:30 Min.)
During the night, the train stops
at POPLAR BLUFF in southern
Missouri, and at WALNUT RIDGE
and NEWPORT in Arkansas.
* Little Rock *
Prescott (30 Min./50 Min.)
Hope (42 Min./36 Min.)
Red River Valley (55 Min./23 Min.)
Homan (1:05 Min./13 Min.)
* Texarkana *
Sulphur River (25 Min./1:14 Min.)
Jefferson (1:15 Min./21 Min.)
"Pumps" Refinery (19 Min./2:27 Min.)
Grand Saline (1:20 Min./1:20 Min.)
* Dallas *
Deeley Plaza (1 Min./55 Min.)
Trinity River (3 Min./52 Min.)
Grand Praire (15 Min./40 Min.)
Arlington (24 Min./33 Min.)
Masonic Home (20 Min./30 Min.)
Handley (44 Min./20 Min.)
* Fort Woth *
Cow Pasture Bank (8 Min./60 Min.)
Balcones Fault (14 Min./45 Min.)
Brazos River (16 Min./40 Min.)
Meridian (30 Min./30 Min.)
Bosque River (35 Min./25 Min.)
Clifton (40 Min./20 Min.)
Between Valley Mills and
Manhattan (50 Min./10 Min.)
watch for a small herd of buffalo
on the ranch to the left.
Middle Bosque River (55 Min./5 Min.)
Moody (10 Min./23 Min.)
Little River (20 Min./35 Min.)
San Gabriel River (42 Min./12 Min.)
Round Rock (20 Min./20 Min.)
North of Austin, our tracks are briefly
bracketed by the MoPac Expressway
(30 Min./1 Min.) named for
the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which
provided the right of way.
Camp Mabry (36 Min./8 Min.)
* Austin *
Colorado River (2 Min./35 Min.)
Aquarina Springs (38 Min./2 Min.)
The tower on our right (2 Min./
New Braunfels (25 Min./1:07 Min.)
San Antonio International Airport
(55 Min./37 Min.) On our right.
We cross the middle of Almos
Park Golf Course.
* San Antonio *
Click Here for the Route Guide of the
Amtrak Sunset Limited if you will be
continuing west on that train.