The St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt) Railway's "Lone Star" train No. 1, southbound, headed by Engine No 677, a Mountain type 4-8-2 locomotive,

at the Dallas Union Terminal Station, June 1951. It has completed the run from Memphis, Tennessee. Before removal of the dining car sometime in the

thirties, it was known as the "Lone Star Limited" and was one of the finest passenger trains operating in the Southwest.

Plummer, Roger S. ["The Lone Star Limited" at the Dallas Union Terminal]photographJune 1951; ( July 23, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.


Lone Star drumhead.


The Lone Star Limited, later known as the Lone Star, was a passenger train operated by St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt) between Memphis, and Dallas, with through connections via Cotton Belt parent, Southern Pacific, for San Antonio, El Paso, and ultimately Los Angeles. There were also through cars operating between Memphis, Lewisville and Shreveport. At various times during the train's operation, connecting services were also provided from Brinkley to St. Louis.

In the 1936-1938 period there were two Lone Stars, the Memphis train and the St. Louis train.

The St. Louis to Dallas trains No. 5 and No. 6 became the Morning Star.

The Lone Star Limited, trains No. 11, southbound, and train No. 12, northbound, were discontinued in the early 1930s and were replaced by the Lone Star, trains No. 1 and No. 2.

The train was discontinued on November 1, 1952, as a part of extensive passenger train restructuring by St. Louis Southwestern. It was said to be the last steam-powered train to use Memphis Union Station.

The Lone Star was replaced by trains number 107 and 108 which connected with the Cotton Belt mainline at Mount Pleasant, Texas.


"Cotton Belt No. 2 The Lone Star operated from Dallas to Commerce, Mt. Pleasant, Texarkana, Pine Bluff and turned at Brinkley for Rock Island trackage rights to Memphis. The train in the photo, has completed its run as No. 1. It is headed south for servicing and turning. The northbound counterpart No. 2 would leave DUT in the late afternoon. This OGR page below is from January 1941 shows the routing and towns served." (continued below)

SSW schedule from January 1941.

(Official Guide to Railways, Courtesy Ed Cooper)


A side note regarding the photo at the top above: "Cotton Belt No. 1 was not one of the finest passenger trains operated in the Southwest. It made its last run on November 1, 1952 and was replaced by train No. 107. Memphis service was completely dropped on that day. Note the train is steam powered in 1951 and the only streamlined car is one of the Osgood-Bradley air conditioned coaches on the tail." - Ed Cooper

Lone Star Limited Route.

(Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0; via Wikimedia Commons)


Lone Star Limited Overview

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Southwestern United States/Southeastern United States
First service: 1928
Last service: November 1, 1952
Former operator: St. Louis Southwestern Railway
Route Termini: Memphis, Tennessee / Dallas, Texas
Distance traveled: 481.4 miles (774.7 km)
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: Southwestbound: 1, Northeastbound: 2
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining seat coaches
Sleeping arrangements: Sections and drawing room
Catering facilities: Dining car
Observation facilities: Observation car


The Lone Star's Schedule, 1938.

(St. Louis-Southwestern Railway, Courtesy Ed Cooper)