PRR 6000 HP EP20 leaves UD with the Penn Texas

The Penn Texas was a named passenger train of the Pennsylvania Railroad that ran from New York City's Pennsylvania Station to St. Louis' Union Station from 1948 to 1970. The train also interchanged cars at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with Washington, D.C., via York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland.

 The train was established December 12, 1948, by renaming the PRR portion of the Texas Eagle. Trains #3-4 superseded The American as the second-ranked train on St. Louis run and carried through cars to the southwest via the St. Louis gateway to the Missouri Pacific and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas lines. Accordingly, this service was the longest distance that an American railroad offered for through sleeper service to the east coast, with exception of trains running from California to New York. Coach passengers heading to Texas would need to change at St. Louis Union Station.

Throughout this period, the Pennsylvania's competitor, the New York Central Railroad operated a competing Southwestern Limited which also offered sleeping cars which would hitch with Texas Eagle trains.

As premium ridership fell with relation to passenger travel on jet airlines, through sleeper service to the MKT were dropped January 5, 1959, and to the MP on June 30, 1961. The Penn Texas would survive the merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad with the New York Central Railroad creating Penn Central. However, declining ridership and the Penn Central's June 1970 filing for bankruptcy reorganization were followed by further cuts. Westbound trips from New York City to St. Louis ended on June 30, 1970 and the eastbound trips from St. Louis had their final run on September 30, 1970. (The New York Central's competing Southwestern Limited had ended its service four years earlier in 1966. The Pennsylvania Railroad's Spirit of St. Louis, another New York-St. Louis train (but which lacked linked cars with the Texas Eagle) continued until 1971, early in the Amtrak era.

Excerpt from Blardone and Tilp's "Pennsylvania Railroad Passenger Car Painting and Lettering"

In early 1944, the PRR made a study of possible through car service between the East and Texas cities and the East and Oklahoma. Both routes were via the St. Louis Gateway and would be the first time regular service was offered without a change of cars in that city.

When transcontinental lines were established in 1946, they all ran via Chicago because the Missouri Pacific, the Katy and the Frisco did not participate due to expected congestion at their St. Louis terminal. But those railroads did agree to handle cars for the Texas and Oklahoma points, and service began July 7, 1946, as per the following plan:

New York to Houston/Galveston -- via Missouri Pacific. Four prewar PRR lightweight 10-roomette, 5-double bedroom cars in the CASCADE series were the first PRR cars to operate on this route. MoPac lightweights with a 14-roomette, 1-drawing room, 2-double bedroom configuration were delivered in mid-1948 and replaced the 10-5's. In 1950, ACF delivered to the PRR eleven EAGLE series 10-6 cars, painted MoPac/Eagle colors. They ran on this route and New York to San Antonio until it was discontinued on June 30, 1961.

New York to San Antonio -- via Missouri Pacific. Four heavyweight 8-section, 5-double bedroom cars were in service until August, 1948, when eleven PRR prewar 10-roomette, 5-double bedroom CASCADE cars entered service, painted MoPac/Eagle colors. These shared the New York to Houston assignments as did their replacements, the ACF PRR 10-6 EAGLE cars delivered in 1950. The route was discontinued June 30, 1961.

New York to El Paso -- via Missouri Pacific/T&P. Service begain with six heavyweight 10-section, 1-drawing room, 2-compartment cars, but graduated to five new MoPac and Texas & Pacific 14-roomette, 4-double bedroom EAGLE cars in 1948. The final trip was on January 25, 1958.

New York to Dallas/Ft. Worth -- via Missouri Pacific. Service started with four PRR prewar COLONIAL series 3-double bedroom, 1-drawing room, bar-lounge cars, but by April, 1948, MP 14-4 EAGLE cars were regulars. The route was discontinued briefly later that year but resumed with PRR CASCADE 10-5 cars. The route was dropped again in April 1949. When New York-El Paso service terminated on January 25, 1958, this route was restored the next day with PRR EAGLE 10-6 equipment. It ran for three and a half years and finally ended on June 30, 1961.

Washington, D.C. to Dallas/Ft. Worth -- via Missouri Pacific/T&P. Between 1946 and 1948, this route ran with heavyweight 8-section, 5-double bedroom equipment, as did the Washington to Galvaston route, which also used 10-section, 1-drawing room, 2-compartment cars. The Washington to Houston service operated from 1948 through July, 1959, at first with PRR CASCADE 10-5 cars and MP's 14-4 EAGLE cars. Later it ran with PRR's own EAGLE sleepers, and MP's 10-6 RIVER Pullmans. At least one PRR car, the 10-6 EAGLE OAK, was regularly assigned here for several years.

Washington, D.C. to Houston -- via Missouri Pacific. See above.

New York to Dallas/San Antonio -- via Frisco/MKT

New York to Tulsa/Oklahoma City -- via Frisco

In addition, there was a New York to Mexico City line via MoPac's route through San Antonio which started on July 12, 1946 and ended in early 1948. While heavyweight cars were used, none were painted special colors for this service.

"The Sunshine Special" had been Missouri Pacific's premier train between St. Louis and the southwest since its December, 1915 inaugural. It also carried a through sleeping car from St. Louis to Mexico City via Laredo, Texas. The PRR played a substantial part in the through service with MP when it started after World War II because the Pennsy had a better New York to St. Louis route than its competitors, especially its long time rival, the New York Central.

On August 15, 1948, "The Sunshine Special" was renamed "The Texas Eagle" on both the PRR and the MoPac as it was re-equipped with new MP lightweights. The eleven PRR 10-roomette, 6-double bedroom cars which they had ordered for this service were not ready, so PRR had eleven pre-war 10-roomette, 5-double bedroom CASCADE sleepers repainted by Pullman in MP "Eagle" colors. New ACF 10-6 EAGLE sleepers replaced the CASCADES in August and September, 1950. The prewar cars were all returned to Tuscan Red by the spring of 1951.

The Pennsylvania changed the name of its train to "The Penn Texas" on December 12, 1948 and it remained that way until the last through trips on June 30, 1961. The PRR EAGLE cars were repainted and renamed into the RAPIDS series by 1965.

Texas Special HeraldsThe PRR, St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (Frisco), and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT) agreed in 1946 to start operating through cars to Oklahoma and Texas. The route started on July 7, 1946 between New York, Dallas and San Antonio with five heavyweight 8-section, 5-double bedroom cars in the rebuilt CLOVER series.

TexSpecTailsignRednewWhen "The Texas Special" became a streamliner on May 16, 1948, Frisco/MKT 14-roomette, 4-double bedroom cars were assigned to the through service as were two PRR 10-roomette, 5-double bedroom CASCADE sleepers. The PRR cars were painted in shadowline to match the rest of the consist. For a short time in 1949, a separate New York to Dallas 10-5 Pullman was also operated.

During 1950, PRR 10-6's SWATARA RAPIDS and TIOGA RAPIDS replaced the CASCADE's which were shortly thereafter refinished to Tuscan Red. The two RAPIDS cars alternated with the Frisco/MKT 14-4's and were such regulars on the route that they were painted "Texas Special" colors in 1953. A scheme slightly variant from the first was used during another shopping in 1956; its difference was that the shadowlining had been dropped due to high maintenance costs. Last trips were October 25, 1958 and the two PRR cars were returned to Tuscan Red in 1960.

The Routing of the New York to Columbus Car

The Penn Texas includes a car westbound, but not eastbound, that has very unusual routing...

Line Route Trains
6251 New York to Roanoke PRR 1/645  N&W 1
  Roanoke to New York N&W 2  PRR 638
6252 New York to Norfolk PRR 101  RF&P 23  ACL 29  NW 22
6254 Norfolk to Chicago N&W 3  PRR 215
6543 Chicago to Cincinnati PRR 200
6588 Cincinnati to New York PRR 40 Except [illegible]
6588 New York to Columbus PRR 3 Except Sat
DH Columbus to Cincinnati PRR 205
6543 Cincinnati to Chicago PRR 201
6254 Chicago to Norfolk PRR 208  N&W 4
6252 Norfolk to New York NW 21  ACL 20  RF&P 24  PRR 108

 

Eight cars protected this service, as follows:

Car Plan Owner
MACKINAW RAPIDS 4140 Pullman PRR
McDOWELL COUNTY 4140 Pullman N&W
VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE 9523 Budd N&W
HAMPDEN-SIDNEY COLLEGE 9523 Budd N&W
SUSSEX COUNTY 4140 Pullman N&W
SCHUYLKILL RAPIDS 4140 Pullman PRR
SCIOTO RAPIDS 9503 Budd PRR
ALLEGHANY RAPIDS 9008 ACF PRR
MISSISSIPPI RAPIDS 9008 ACF PRR
GREEN RAPIDS 9008 ACF PRR

 

PRR Cars Dedicated to Service to the West

Car Name Pullman Plan Painted MP "Eagle" Re-Painted PRR Tuscan
CASCADE BOWER 4072C 9/48 5/51
CASCADE CLIFF 4072C 10/48 2/51
CASCADE COVE 4072C 9/48 9/50
CASCADE CRAG 4072C 8/48 11/50
CASCADE HOLLOW 4072C 10/48 3/51
CASCADE MANTLE 4072C 7/48 12/50
CASCADE MELODY 4072C 7/48 5/51
CASCADE PEAK 4072C 8/48 12/50
CASCADE PINNACLE 4072C 9/48 1/51
CASCADE POOL 4072C 10/48 10/50
CASCADE SLOPE 4072C 8/48 12/50

 

Car Name ACF Plan Painted MP "Eagle" Re-Painted PRR Tuscan Re-Named
EAGLE BEAM 9008 8/50 2/65 LIGONIER RAPIDS
EAGLE BLUFF 9008 8/50 10/62 LOYALHANNA RAPIDS
EAGLE CHARM 9008 8/50 2/65 PERKIOMEN RAPIDS
EAGLE CHIEF 9008 8/50 1/64 PARK RAPIDS
EAGLE COVE 9008 8/50 4/64 LOYALSOCK RAPIDS
EAGLE EYE 9008 8/50 6/64 DAYTON RAPIDS
EAGLE GRAND 9008 9/50 12/64 WISSAHICKON RAPIDS
EAGLE HEAD 9008 9/50 3/63 DELAWARE RAPIDS
EAGLE OAK 9008 9/50 4/64 BRANDYWINE RAPIDS
EAGLE PARK 9008 9/50 7/65 HUNTINGDON RAPIDS
EAGLE PASS 9008 9/50 8/64 LYCOMING RAPIDS

 

Car Name Pullman Plan Painted "Texas Special" Re-Painted PRR Tuscan
CASCADE MEADOW 4072C 1/48 12/50
CASCADE RANGE 4072C 1/48 7/50
SWATARA RAPIDS 4140 ?/53 5/60
TIOGA RAPIDS 4140 5/53 10/60

 

Prescribed Consists

Due to the length of the train's route, three complete train sets were required to protect service.

1952 Consist and Protection
September 28, 1952 "Makeup of Trains - New York Division - #3"
PennTexas 52 3 makeup PennTexas 52 4 makeup
PennTexas 52 3 cars PennTexas 52 cars

 

1953 Consist and Protection
April 26, 1953 "Makeup of Trains - New York Division - #4"
PennTexas 53 3 makeup PennTexas 53 4 makeup
PennTexas 53 3 cars  

 

1954 Consist and Protection
September 26, 1954 "Makeup of Trains - New York Division - #7"

PennTexas 54 3 makeup
PennTexas 54 4 makeup
PennTexas 54 3 cars  

 

 

  

Actual Consists from C.T. 220 Reports 

#3 -- November 28, 1954  #4 -- March 7, 1955 #4 -- August 17, 1957
4845 - GG-1*  4862 - GG-1* 4900 - GG-1*
5107 - PB70F  4219 - Baggage (MP) 6589 - BM70M
4306 - P70K  5112 - PB70F 6116 - B [unknown]
3614 - P70D  4217 - P70GS 4257 - P70K
4077 - P85B  4138 - P85B 4117 - P85B
4144 - P85B  7301 - PLC85 4019 - P85
7300 - PLC85  4520 - D85A 4023 - P85
4520 - D85A  ELM FALLS 7300 - PLC85
ELM FALLS  TIFFIN INN 4594 - D85C
ANDERSON INN  CASCADE CLIFF 4595 - D85D
CASCADE BRIM  SWATARA RAPIDS COLONIAL STATESMAN
BENJAMIN R. MILAM (MKT)  IMPERIAL RIDGE TIOGA RAPIDS
EAGLE BAY  EAGLE BUTTE (MP) EAGLE LAND (MP)
CANYON RIVER  EAGLE CHIEF (MP) EAGLE CHARM
EAGLE OAK   EAGLE GRAND
VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE (N&W)   4336 - P70GS
90 [business car?]    
* The presence of a GG-1 for power indicates the C.T.220 was completed east of Harrisburg so the consist would not include cars to/from Washington.

 

#3 -- August 28, 1958  #3 -- April 14, 1959  
4895 - GG-1*  4934 - GG-1*  
6509 - BM70NB  6578 - BM70M  
6112 - B [unknown]  6117 - B [unknown]  
1134 - POC85A  4354 - P70GS  
4261 - P70K  4276 - P70K  
4394 - P70G  7300 - PLC85  
4380 - P70G  4616 - D85C  
4390 - P70G  4617 - D85D  
4165 - P85B  ASPEN FALLS  
4524 - D85A  WHEELING RAPIDS  
PINE FALLS  EAGLE BROOK (MP)  
TIOGA RAPIDS  EAGLE PASS  
EAGLE LIGHT (MP)  CANYON RIVER (MP)  
EAGLE PASS  EAGLE GRAND  
EAGLE PARK  MISSISSIPPI RAPIDS  
EAGLE HEAD  RANDOLPH MACON COLLEGE (N&W)  
MACKINAW RAPIDS    
WILKES-BARRE INN    
CASCADE POOL    
* The presence of a GG-1 for power indicates the C.T.220 was completed east of Harrisburg so the consist would not include cars to/from Washington.