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Texas Eagle (21_9001)







A heartland journey from Grain Belt

to Sun Belt

Welcome aboard the Texas Eagle, Amtrak's 1,308-mile Superliner journey between Chicago and San Antonio. As we leave the bustle of Chicago behind us, The Texas Eagle will pass through the fertile farmlands of Abe Lincoln's Illinois. Then we'll cross the mighty Mississippi at St. Louis and continue south through the Missouri Ozarks to Arkansas and Texas. At Marshall, Texas, we swing due west across pine-frosted, lake-dotted east Texas. At Fort Worth, our journey turns south again, through the Texas Hill Country to San Antonio. Another section continues from Dallas to Houston.
This guide was designed to point out many of the scenic features you will encounter along the way, and to give you glimpse of the history behind what you will see.
The 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. If you're traveling northward, just begin at San Antonio, or your point of origin, and read the entries in reverse order. The first time reference tells you how far that point is from the next Amtrak station to the north, and the second time is how far it is from the next Amtrak stop to the south. However, when you're traveling north, 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.
Whichever direction you're traveling,we hope this guide will enrich your enjoyment of the trip-with bits of history and lore to make the varied scenes you'll pass even more memorable souvenirs of your journey.


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 tracks of the Southern Pacific Lines. As we leave the station and cross the Chicago River, look back for views of Chicagos 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 long life home of the Chicago's late major, Richard J. Daley.
We briefly parallel the Stevenson Expressway on your 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. This engineering marvel links the Great Lakes with the Mississippi, and reverse 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 cultural park.
LOCKPORT (40 MIN./15 MIN.) Note the restored buildings on our right as we parallel the old towpath-lined I&M Canal.
JOLIET Named for French explorer Louis Jolliet. The large castle-like native stone building to the left of the station is a high school. South of Joliet, the Des Plaines River 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 left.
PONTIAC This town was named for the Indian chief who was once very powerful region 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 our right.
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 north of Lincoln.
LINCOLN The only city named for Lincoln before his 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 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 stops here daily.
SANGAMON RIVER (21 MIN./9 MIN.) We cross as we approach Springfield.

Near the geographical center of Illinois, Springfield became that state capital in 1837 as the result of a campaign led by Abraham Lincoln, who had recently became a resident. "To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything," he remarked as he left for Washington for the last time. Springfield's reminders of Lincoln are everywhere: the only house he ever owned; the parlor where he was married; the office where he practiced law; and the tomb on the northern edge of town where he/ his wife and three of there children are buried. Just south of Amtrak station is an excellent view of the State Capitol, to the right,
MACOUPIN CREEK (7 MIN./25 MIN.) We cross at Beaver Dam State Park.
ALTON Once a thriving river port, Alton was the scene of the seventh and last of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. Twenty years earlier antislavery, news paper editor Elijah Lovejoy was lynched here by a proslavery mob.
WOOD RIVER (1 MIN./38 MIN.) The Lewis & Clark Expedition camped nearby for a year before beginning their expedition west. To the distant right (but not visible) is Lewis & Clark State Park, marking the point where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi.
MERCHANTS RAILROAD BRIDGE (20 MIN./17 MIN.) Crossing Mississippi River, we have an excellent view of the St. Louis skyline on our left, and of the barge traffic on the river as we leave Illinois and enter Missouri.
EADS BRIDGE (29 MIN./8 MIN.) We pass under the bridge, oldest in St. Louis (completed in 1874). The bridge was designed by James B. Eads, a self-taught engineer. Eads have never designed a bridge before, but he refused to accept the belief that the Mississippi was too wide and swift to be bridged at St. Louis. The bridge's steel spans were the longest that had ever been built at that time.
BUSCH MEMORIAL STADIUM (40 MIN./2 MIN.) On our left is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.

Founded in 1764 on a site chosen for a fur trading post by Pierre Laclede Liguest, St. Louis was name for the canonized crusader Louis IX. Transfer of the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. was made here in 1804, the same year Lewis & Clark launched their famous trek westward. By 1817, the first steam boat arrived, and with it a nearly endless steam of pioneers heading for the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails. St. Louis Forest Park was the site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which introduced the world to ice cream cones and hot dogs. Across from the Amtrak station, an old warehouse on the right has been transformed into a whimsical Beaux Arts facade through the technique of trompe l'oeil (fool the eye) painting - evidence of the civic spirit that is revitalizing downtown St. Louis. As we leave the station, the old Union Station is on our right. The station has been gloriously restored as an elegant hotel and urban shopping mall. From here to Fort Worth, we travel over the former Missouri Pacific portion of the Union Pacific Railroad.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER (33 MIN./200 MIN.) The shipyard of St. Louis ship is on our left. Barges and towboats are built here for use on the Mississippi, which will be visible on the left for most of the next twenty miles.
PEVELY (60 MIN./150 MIN.) We leave the Mississippi. Plentiful driftwood among the trees to our left remains from numerous floods.
ARKANSAS RIVER (80 MIN./1 MIN.) As we cross the river, the State Capitol dome and Little Rock skyline are visible on our left. The bluffs along the river signal our entry into hillier, pine-forested terrain.


Called "La Petite Roche" by early French Explorers, Little Rock became the territorial capital in 1821. Sometimes called the "City of Roses," Little Rock has survived the notoriety it achieved in the early days of school desegregation to become known as a city of warm hospitality. Just west of the station, the State Capitol building is again seen on the left.
ARKADELPHIA , once an important steamboat landing, is the home of Ouachita Baptist College. Four miles west of here are the archaeologically significant Caddo Indian mounds.
PRESCOTT (30 MIN./50 MIN.) Eight to ten miles west is the Indian Trail of Tears, followed by Indians of the East and South when forced to relocate to Oklahoma reservations.
HOMAN (65 MIN./13 MIN.) We begin to see pecan groves, evidence we are now definitely in the south. Just east of Texarkana, the razorback hog on the city water tower honors the high school football team. From here south, virtually every town's water tower gives testimony to its team loyalty.


When we stop, if you are in front of the train, you're in Texas. If you're in the back you're still in Arkansas. The state line bisects the center of the platform. "Twice As Nice" declares the city that has two of nearly everything: two mayors, two police departments, etc.-but a single Federal Post Office straddling the state line.
SULPER RIVER (25 MIN./74 MIN.) After we cross, the International Paper Company is on our left. The reservoir that supplies the mill is on both sides of us.
LONGVIEW, where 4 1/2 million barrels of Schlitz and Stroh's beer are brewed each year, was the site, in 1931, of one of the world's great oil field discoveries.
BIG SANDY (42 MIN./120 MIN.) Ambassador College, founded by radio preachers Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong, is on our right. White fenced truck-framing fields surrounding the college make it nearly selfstufficient.
GRAND SALINE (80 MIN./80 MIN.) Takes its name from the 700-ft. deep salt mine on our left.

Founded as a trading post in 1841, culture took an early hold in Dallas with the 1855 founding of a cooperative, utopain colony of Belgain, French and Swiss artists, musicians, writers and scientists. The railroads made Dallas an important transportation hub, and an oil boom in the 30's brought wealth that is still much in evidence. The view of the skyline from the train is excellent, with the InterFirst Building, at 71 stories, the tallest. Mobil's Pegasus (flying red horse) tops the modest building that was Dallas' highest in 1948. The black, chisel-shaped glass tower is corporate headquarters of Ling-Tempco-Vought, builder of air craft and missiles. To the left of the station, the 540-ft. tower of the Hyatt Regency is familiar to us from TV's Dallas. The buildings mirrored surface reflects a fascinating abstraction of the train and skyline. Next to the Hyatt Regency is Reunion Arena, home of sporting events and concerts. If you are traveling to Houston, your section of the train is detached in Dallas. See the Dallas-Houston section of this guide.
GRAND PRAIRIE (15 MIN./40 MIN.) The Dallas Naval Air Station and the Ling-Tempco-Vought aerospace plant are on the left.
ARLINGTON (24 MIN./33 MIN.) The vast Six Flags Over Texas amusement complex is on the right.
HANDLEY (44 MIN./20 MIN.) To the left is manmade Lake Arlington, municipal water supply and hydroelectricity source. Lee Harvey Oswald is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, to our right.

No longer the brawling "Cow Town" it once was, Fort Worth is still considered "the most Texan of Texas Cities." In the early 1870s, not content to watch longhorns thunder through on cattle drivers to Kansas railheads, Fort Worth decided to become a railhead. In 1873, after the railroad backers went bankrupt,a determined group of citizens formed the Tarrant County Construction Co. to finish the 26-mile track that would link Fort Worth with that Texas & Pacific Railroad. In 1876, the Texas & Pacific state land grant was to expire. The railroad had to reach Fort Worth before the legislature adjourned or it was doomed. The residents of Fort Worth banded together and worked around-the-clock. Just as time was running out, the City Council reportedly moved the city limits a few miles east to meet the tracks. On July 19, 1876, the residents celebrated as the first train pulled into town establishing Fort Worth as a shipping point. Here, our train stops at the Beaux Arts design Santa Fe Station. We leave the Union Pacific's tracks for those of the Santa Fe Railway.
MERIDIAN (30 MIN./30 MIN.) Watch for herds of Angora goats, valued for their mohair.
MOODY (10 MIN./23 MIN.) Stately Victorian homes contrast sharply with its 2,200-ft. TV antenna.
LITTLE RIVER (20 MIN./35 MIN.) Cross just past the town of the same name.
TAYLOR Flat, rich corpland signals we're once again on the prairie.
CAMP MABRY (36 MIN./8 MIN.) This U.S. Army camp is on our right.

Before it was a state capital, Austin (than named Waterloo) was the national capital of the Republic of Texas. Texas University at Austin, the state's largest with nearly 50,000 students, is here. Built on hill overlooking the Colorado River Valley, Austin is a handsome, cultured city, illuminated at night with mercury vapor lights on 165-ft. towers installed in 1895.
COLORADO RIVER (2 MIN./35 MIN.) As we near the bridge, the omate dome of the pink granite Texas State Capitol building is on our left, among Austin's skyscrapers.
NEW BRAUNFELS (25 MIN./67 MIN.) The water tower on our right boasts of the towns German heritage: "In New Braunfels. . . Is Das Legen Schon!" (In New Braunfels, life is beautiful!) The town was founded in 1845 by Prince Carl von Solms-Braunfels, Commissioner-General for the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. We cross the clear blue Guadaloupe River here.
SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (55 MIN./37 MIN.) On our right. We then cross the middle of Almos Park Golf Course (50/40). Trinity University is visible on our distant left. As we circle to the south of San Antonio, the tallest building on the skyline is the InterFirst Building. Still standing tall is the green-roofed Tower Life Building, San Antonio's oldest skyscraper.

Ringed by Spanish missions, San Antonio's Alamo was the site of a bloody battle that became,e the rallying cry in Texas' war for independence from Mexico. Spanish colonial architectural touches grace much of San Antonio, especially along the beautiful Paseo del Rio (River Walk) that follows the winding river through the heart of downtown. Amtrak's Texas Eagle ends its journey here, while through-cars from the Texas Eagle connect with Amtrak's Sunset Limited as it heads west to El Paso, Phoenix and Los Angeles. West of San Antonio, ask your car attendant for a Sunset Limited Route Guide.

The Houston section of the Texas Eagle separates from the rest of the train here and proceeds to Houston via the Southern Pacific Lines
ENNIS (80 MIN./20 MIN.) The influence of Czech settlers in this area is evident today. Each May, Ennis hosts that National Polka Festival.
CORSICANA When the city drilled for new water supplies in 1884, they were disappointed. But that was shortlived for the oil they discovered instead made Corsicana the home of Texas' oil industry. That well was followed in 1897 by the first oil refinery in Texas. Both Texaco and Mobil Oil companies can trace their roots here. This is also an agricultural center for cotton and beef cattle. Corsicana has more than its share of nuts-the Navarro Pecan Co. shells 35 million pounds a year.
BLUEBONNET COUNTRY The gentle Texas countryside along this route is world famous for its wildflowers, including the vast fields of Bluebonnets-state flower of Texas. The region glows in the spring when the wildflowers bloom to a riot of colors carpeting the hillsides-and trackside! We continue through farming and ranching areas. Town names like Angus, Mexia and Groesbeck reveal the multi-cultural origins of the earliest settlers.
HOUSTON Founded the same year as the republic of Texas, Houston was named for the Republic's first elected president, Sam Houston. Steamboats sailing up Buffalo Bayou gave way to ocean going freighters on the Houston ship Channel, making a major seaport and Texas largest city. Today, Houston looks to space travel as home of NASA's LBJ Space Center. The first word spoken by man from the Moon was "Houston Houston is also served by Amtrak's sunset Limited, or Superliner train between New Orleans, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

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