5.10.04

SPEEDING THINGS UP. Amtrak's Texas Eagle is able to make up time and offer generally good timekeeping south of St. Louis because, compared to 1960, the trains have slower scheduled running times and more allowance for freight interference. Here is a comparison of the northbound schedules, with pm time shown in bold. (southbound schedules are much changed in 40 years.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1960~~~~ 2004
________________MP-GM&O__Amtrak
Lv. San Antonio....................2.30......... 8.00
Lv. Austin.............................3.59.........10.31
Lv. Longview........................9.30.........7.05
Lv. Texarkana......................11.15..........9.13
Lv. Little Rock......................2.00...........12.59
Arr. St. Louis........................8.25.............8.09
Lv. St. Louis.........................8.58.............8.45
Lv. Springfield....................10.46...........10.41
Lv. Joliet..............................1.19..........1.20
Arr. Chicago.......................2.08..........2.25

The train routes are different between Austin and Longview today. On the other hand, that 30 minute connection in St. Louis was sufficient time for the switcher to pick the Chicago sleeping car off the Missouri Pacific train and tack it on the Gulf Mobile and Ohio train. Coach passengers made a transfer on foot. Today all passengers ride through, using a smaller St. Louis station (something Missouri Pacific management contemplated in the 1960s.)


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