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Ray Dunbar's Trip to Springfield on Amtrak's Texas Eagle

From : Ray Dunbar
Date : Sun, 12 Nov 2000 21:21:47 -0600
Subject : {A-A} Back from Springfield, Il.


I will be posting notes about my trip up to Springfield in the next few days. My wife and I are history fans as wells rail advocates.

Springfield, was rather cold for this Texan, but I found the people very friendly and stayed at a nice B&B there. We were served a nice Midwestern breakfast which I enjoyed.

Eagle northbound - 15 minutes late into Springfield, Friday Eagle southbound - 1 hr 15 late into Gilmer, Tx or Eagle transfer, today. Bus ride back to the Longview station was in heavy rain. Light crowd on the Houston bus. The lady in front of me on the bus was headed for Galveston, Tx. She started her trip is Wisc. Now that is a long way to travel for sure.

The two sleepers on today's Eagle were packed . The service was good and food was tasty in the diner.

Glad to be home, but very pleased to add another state capitol visit to my growing lists of state capitol visits. I have made all the Tx. Eagle capitol cities now so its time to look at other trains for more state capitol visits. One thing I did notice at the Illinois state capitol was Amtrak literature in their capitol information bins. Good work by those in Illinois to get this done.

Ray Dunbar

This is post # 2 on my trip up to Springfield, Il.

Northbound arrival into St. Louis Friday morning was 30 minutes early. Rail America tour group joined the Eagle there. The group numbered 45 and I visited with the tour Director. The group had been to Branson. They had a good trip, most of the group were older folks. I thanked them for going on the Eagle.

I had a long talk with the veteran Amtrak agent in Springfield, Il. Nice guy, he knew several Texas Amtrak agents that I also know. He said business was good and wished he could get another - "4th Chicago- St. Louis train." He likes the Tx. Eagle fine, but did say timekeeping was very spotty. The night I left we had Eagle riders going south to Texarkana, - sleeper. My wife and I Longview- Gilmer} - sleeper, and coach passengers to Walnut Ridge, Ark., Ft. Worth and Tucson. From my brief tour of the Eagle cars going home, it appears many from Arizona and Calif. ride the Eagle through cars. No space at all in the sleepers. Sleeper space is very tight on the Eagle these days.

Local taxi service was good at the Springfield station. No need to call, cabs were in the lot looking for passengers to pick up. This is not the way things are in San Antonio, Tx. Late train arrival makes a difference, I guess in the Alamo city.

As I think of more trip notes, I will post them. Some will be on the city of Springfield itself, and the great trolley driver we had take us all over the city for a tour.

Ray Dunbar
Longview, TX

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