Route of the Eagles
The streamlined era on the Missouri Pacific Lines (including subsidiary Texas & Pacific) lasted 31 years, beginning with the delivery of the first Eagletrainset in 1940 and ending on Amtrak conveyance day in May 1971. During the period, MP-T&P sponsored an extensive fleet of Eagle Blue and Mist Gray. streamliners that came from just about every major car and locomotive builder, and embraced a diverse array of rolling stock.
Diversity was also a hallmark of the MoPac passenger routes. From its St. Louis base, the railroad dispatched the colorful Eagle fleet to destinations as far flung as Omaha, Denver, Wichita, New Orleans, Memphis, and Texas. Through its network of through and connecting services, the Eagles flew even further afield, to California, New York, Chicago, Washington and even Mexico City.
By the late 1950s the Eagles were beset by relentless competition, as America's leisure travelers showed increasing preference for the convenience of the station wagon and the Interstate Highway, and the business traveler opted for the time savings offered by the airlines. Inevitably the timetable grew slimmer, as the Delta Eagle, Valley Eagle, Colorado Eagle, and Aztec Eagle made their final runs into history.
By the late 1960s the end-game was well underway. Vocal advocacy groups managed to convince a willing Congress that something needed to be done to "save" the passenger train, and so in 1970 a public corporation called Railpax (later Amtrak) was formed. The new carrier opened for business on May 1 ,1971, ending forever private passenger train operations on the Missouri Pacific and Texas & Pacific railroads. Little remains today of the once-proud Eagle fleet except the precious photos and memories contained in these pages. Join us for a trip back to the glory years of Missouri Pacific's streamlined era. It's a ride you'll never forget.
Chapter 1: The Missouri Pacific Railroad
Chapter 2: Mr. Baldwin's Baby - The Missouri River Eagle
Chapter 3: War Born Elegance - The Colorado Eagle
Chapter 4: Almost an Eagle - The Sunflower
Chapter 5: Eagles in Color
Chapter 6: The Eagle's Nest - St. Louis Union Station
Chapter 7: Kansas City Southeast - The Southern Scenic, Southerner, and Rainbow Special
Chapter 8: Little Eagles - The Delta and Valley Eagles
Chapter 9: The Chicago & Eastern Illinois
Chapter 10: Headin' South - The Texas Eagle
Chapter 11: Diesel Passenger Power Roster
Chapter 12: Steamlined Passenger Car Roster