Texas Eagle arriving in Austin, en route from Los Angeles to Chicago, 2011.

(Lars Plougmann, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak Texas Eagle service mark.


The Texas Eagle is a long-distance passenger train operated daily by Amtrak on a 1,306-mile (2,102 km) route between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas, with major stops in St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin. Three days per week, the train joins the Sunset Limited in San Antonio and continues to Los Angeles via El Paso and Tucson. The combined 2,728-mile (4,390 km) route is the longest in the United States and the second-longest in the Americas, after the Canadian.

Prior to 1988, the train was known simply as the Eagle.



See also: Texas Eagle (MP train)
Amtrak's Texas Eagle is the direct successor of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and Texas and Pacific Railway train of the same name, which was inaugurated in 1948 and ultimately discontinued in 1971. The route of Amtrak's Texas Eagle is longer (Chicago to San Antonio versus St. Louis to San Antonio), but much of today's route is historically a part of the original Texas Eagle route. St. Louis to Texarkana and Taylor, Texas, to San Antonio travels over former Missouri Pacific Railroad trackage, while the Texarkana to Fort Worth segment traverses the former Texas and Pacific Railway. The T&P merged with MoPac in 1982; in turn MoPac was acquired by Union Pacific in 1986.

The Eagle began on October 2, 1981, as a restructuring of the Inter-American, which had operated a daily schedule from Chicago to Laredo, Texas, via San Antonio since 1973. From 1979 onward, it operated a section to Houston, Texas, which diverged at Temple, Texas. The new Eagle dropped the Houston section, while its southern terminus was cut back from Laredo to San Antonio. The new train carried Superliner equipment, replacing the Amfleet coaches on the Inter-American. In addition, the new train ran on a thrice-weekly schedule with a through car on the Sunset Limited to Los Angeles, although the latter was not announced until the April 1982 timetable.

On November 15, 1988, Amtrak revived a Houston section, this time diverging at Dallas and running over the route of the Southern Pacific's Sunbeam. It was the first time passenger traffic had served that route since 1958. Amtrak had intended to operate the Lone Star over this route back in the 1970s, but dropped the plan in the face of obstruction from the Southern Pacific. With the change, Amtrak revived the name Texas Eagle for the thrice-weekly Chicago-San Antonio/Houston train, while the off-day Chicago–St. Louis train remained the Eagle. This section would be discontinued on September 10, 1995. On April 4, 2013 Amtrak opened a new station in Hope, Arkansas, the hometown of former U.S. president Bill Clinton. Arcadia Valley was added on November 17, 2016, serving Iron County, Missouri.

In August 2023, Amtrak approved construction of a new station in De Soto, Missouri for trains to stop at between St. Louis and Arcadia Valley.


COVID-19 pandemic

As part of Amtrak's response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in greatly depressed ridership, service was reduced to tri-weekly throughout the corridor October 11, 2020. In March 2021, Amtrak announced plans to return the Texas Eagle to its pre-pandemic schedule on May 24, 2021. However, the train began operating on a five days per week schedule in January 2022 due to a resurgence of the virus caused by the Omicron variant and remained so until March 2022.


The Texas Eagle at Joliet Union Station in August of 2014.

(Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Proposed changes

In the August 2009 issue of Trains, Brian Rosenwald, Amtrak's chief of product management, noted that the Sunset Limited might be replaced by an extension of the Texas Eagle to Los Angeles: "We projected the revenue and looked at the logistics, and with a little bit of rescheduling came to the conclusion that we can make this happen with the equipment we have, and the additional revenue the train earns will more than cover the increased operating costs". The move would restore a connection to the Coast Starlight in both directions, and move boarding in Maricopa and Tucson, Arizona, to civilized times. "We are putting a stake in the ground: Triweekly needs to disappear," Rosenwald said. While the route of the Sunset Limited would not be entirely replaced, the performance improvements listed explain what will happen:

  • Conversion to daily Chicago–Los Angeles train
  • Shortening of the schedule by 9 hours
  • San Antonio–New Orleans stub service on a daily basis to connect with this train
  • Use of the Diner-Lounge on the stub service
  • These changes would, in turn, create a through-car change similar to that of the Empire Builder. Such service would originate from Los Angeles and split at San Antonio, and vice versa from New Orleans.


Amtrak Texas Eagle route.

(jkan997, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)




As of July 2022, the southbound Texas Eagle (train 21) departs Chicago 1:45 pm, running between Chicago and its first station stop in Joliet, parallel to the Illinois and Michigan Canal, along first the Canadian National's Freeport Subdivision and then Joliet Subdivision, which is also used by Metra's Heritage Corridor and Amtrak's Lincoln Service. From Joliet, the train travels along Union Pacific rails, often parallel to Interstate 55, making station stops in Pontiac, Bloomington–Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville (a flag stop), and Alton before crossing the Mississippi River to make its stop at St. Louis' Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, scheduled for 7:13 pm. After St. Louis, the train skirts the Ozark Mountains, stopping in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, before crossing the state line into Arkansas. In Arkansas, the train stops in Walnut Ridge, the state capital of Little Rock, and the stations at Malvern, Arkadelphia, Hope, and Texarkana, on the Arkansas–Texas border.

Continuing into Texas, the train makes station stops in Marshall, Longview (bus connection with Houston), Mineola, Dallas and Fort Worth, which has connections to Oklahoma City via Amtrak's Heartland Flyer, and from there the train travels on BNSF trackage. The train continues on, making stops in Cleburne, McGregor, Temple (where the train resumes traveling on the Union Pacific), Taylor, the state capital of Austin, and San Marcos, with a scheduled arrival into San Antonio at 9:55 pm (the next day). A sleeping car and a coach (designated internally as train 421) are conveyed to the Sunset Limited on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, departing San Antonio at 2:45 am.

The northbound Texas Eagle (train 22) leaves San Antonio at 7 am, splitting from the eastbound Sunset Limited (train 422) on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The train arrives in Chicago at 1:44 pm the next day.


Amtrak P42DC No. 69 leading Texas Eagle No. 421 in Dallas Union Station.

(WriterArtistCoder, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The normally assigned consist on the Texas Eagle includes:

  • GE Genesis locomotive
  • Superliner Sleeper
  • Superliner Diner-Lounge (Cross Country Café)
  • Superliner Coach
  • Superliner Coach

The train once featured a Superliner Sightseer Lounge. That car has been removed since October 2020. The decision concerning whether or not it will return remains in question.

Three times a week, one coach and one sleeping car from the Texas Eagle are connected to the Sunset Limited and travel between San Antonio and Los Angeles as train Nos. 421/422.

Additionally, to provide extra capacity, an additional Superliner coach operates between Chicago and St. Louis as train Nos. 321/322.



During fiscal year 2019, the Texas Eagle carried 321,694 passengers, a 4.2% decrease from 2018. In FY2016, the train had a total revenue of $22,323,171, an 8.5% decrease from FY2015.

For more extensive Ridership facts and figures click HERE.



Service type: Inter-city rail, higher-speed rail
Locale: Midwest and Southwestern United States (daily)
Predecessor: Inter-American
First service: October 2, 1981
Current operator: Amtrak
Annual ridership: 253,491 (FY22) Increase 67.4%
Route: Termini Chicago, Illinois / San Antonio, Texas or Los Angeles, California
Stops: 43
Distance traveled: 1,306 miles (2,102 km) (to San Antonio)
Distance traveled: 2,728 miles (4,390 km) (to Los Angeles)
Average journey time: 30 3⁄4 hours (San Antonio to Chicago)
Average journey time: 32 1⁄4 hours (Chicago to San Antonio)
Average journey time: 61 3⁄4 hours (Los Angeles to Chicago)
Average journey time: 65 3⁄4 hours (Chicago to Los Angeles)
Service frequency: Daily, tri-weekly to Los Angeles
Train numbers: 21 (southbound), 22 (northbound) (to San Antonio)
Train numbers: 321, 322 (to St. Louis)
Train numbers: 421, 422 (to Los Angeles)
On-board services
Classes: Coach Class, Sleeper Service
Disabled access: Train lower level, all stations
Sleeping arrangements: Roomette (2 beds), Bedroom (2 beds), Bedroom Suite (4 beds), Accessible Bedroom (2 beds), Family Bedroom (4 beds)
Catering facilities: Dining car (San Antonio-Los Angeles only), Café
Observation facilities: Sightseer lounge car (San Antonio-Los Angeles only)
Baggage facilities: Overhead racks, checked baggage available at selected stations
Rolling stock: GE Genesis locomotive, Superliner passenger cars
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed: 55 mph (89 km/h) (avg.); 100 mph (161 km/h) (top)
Track owners: UP, BNSF, CN