The Cotton Belt's Morning Star departing Dallas in 1948. This is train No. 6, eastbound, headed by Engine No. 677,

a Mountain type 4-8-2 locomotive, enroute to Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Roger S. Plummer.

( accessed November 10, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.

Cotton Belt Route herald.

Advertising blotter for the Morning Star in June 1941.

(St. Louis Southwestern Railway AKA Cotton Belt Route, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Morning Star was a passenger train operated by St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt) between St. Louis and Dallas, designated as train numbers 5 (southbound) and 6 (northbound). From 1941 to 1950, the Morning Star also carried through cars from Memphis to Dallas, connecting with the main train at Brinkley, Arkansas. The Memphis connection for the Morning Star was added to permit Cotton Belt passenger trains to readily connect with the new Tennessean which had been inaugurated by Southern Railway in 1941. The Morning Star was replaced by unnamed train numbers 7 and 8 in November 1952, as a part of extensive passenger train restructuring by St. Louis Southwestern. The No. 7 and No. 8 trains continued to the mid-1950s along the St. Louis - Dallas route, with coach and sleeping car service; however, food concession cars were eliminated.


Morning Star Overview

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: discontinued
Locale: Southwestern United States
First service: 1941
Last service: c.1950
Former operator: St. Louis Southwestern Railway
Route Termini: St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee / Dallas, Texas
Service frequency: Daily
Train number: 5 (southwest-bound), 6 (northeast-bound)
On-board services
Seating arrangements: coach
Sleeping arrangements: Sections, compartments and drawing room between St. Louis and Pine Bluff, Ark. (1950)
Catering facilities: dining car (Jonesboro, Ark. - Dallas)