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Arkansas ARP - Texas Eagle Schedule Revision Sep 98


- Arkansas Association of Railroad Passengers -

Texas Eagle Schedule Revision

Effective September 1, 1998

The Texas Eagle schedules for both train #21 and train #22 will be modified effective September 1, 1998, to provide more marketable times at several stations and to provide a longer layover period in San Antonio. This longer layover is desirable because of the continued problems of the Union Pacific Railroad in operating Amtrak trains in a timely fashion.

The advantages of this schedule are several, including much improved (before midnight) arrival times for train #21 in both St. Louis and San Antonio. Train #22 will also offer a later departure from San Antonio, providing that important station with times which can be more readily marketed. Running times between Chicago and St. Louis were reduced slightly by elimination of station stops at Dwight and Carlinville.

Unfortunately, the schedule of train #22 also creates numerous problems, most of which can hopefully be resolved by additional minor schedule adjustments in the near future. The new Eagle schedule breaks the connection between #22 and #301 at St. Louis for passengers traveling to Kansas City, forcing a layover of 7.5 hours. The "near miss" between #22's arrival at 8:07am and #301's departure at 7:30am is ironically reminiscent of the 1970s when the eastbound National Limited departed St. Louis about 45 minutes before the arrival of the northbound Inter-American. Train #22 will also miss connections with the departing Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Southwest Chief at Chicago, necessitating an overnight layover in Chicago (or more likely, a decision to avoid travel by Amtrak).

Finally, the change will place #22 through Little Rock just after midnight. This means that #22 will operate through Little Rock on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday, although passengers will actually need to be at the station on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night and Sunday night. The potential for confusion is great, and the problems are compounded with a less than daily train where passengers cannot be readily reaccommodated on the next night's train.

Moving the San Antonio departure of #22 to 7:00am, and reclaiming only a little of the 3.5 hours of schedule "padding" that has been given to the Union Pacific since 1990 would correct the deficiencies of the new schedule, while maintaining all of the positive aspects of the change.

It is somewhat peculiar that this time change is being rushed into effect on September 1, rather than at the customary timetable change in October. The issue of horrible misconnections between #2 and #22 have been going on for months, due to intolerable Union Pacific operating practices along the route of the Sunset Limited, and this presumably had some impact on the decision to accelerate the schedule change.

The Eagle's last major schedule change took place in October 1997.

                NEW SCHEDULE -- Effective September 1, 1998

      21old     21new         STATIONS       22new      22old 

      630pm     555pm         Chicago         245pm     135pm
      745pm     650pm         Joliet          147pm    1201pm
      910pm     810pm         Bloomington    1215pm    1027am
     1022pm     922pm         Springfield    1104am     910am
     1133pm    1028pm         Alton           949am     748am
     1245am    1140pm        Av St. Louis Lv  900am     659am
      120am    1159pm        Lv St. Louis Av  807am     607am
      510am     403am         Poplar Bluff    354am     154am
      606am     457am         Walnut Ridge    249am    1249am
      832am     727am         Little Rock    1249am    1049pm     
      918am     812am         Malvern        1134pm     934pm
      940am     833am         Arkadelphia    1110pm     910pm
     1107am     958am         Texarkana       956pm     756pm
     1224pm    1113am         Marshall        833pm     633pm
      101pm    1148am         Longview        800pm     600pm
      148pm    1235pm         Mineola         627pm     427pm
      341pm     236pm        Av Dallas    Lv  515pm     315pm     
      401pm     256pm        Lv Dallas    Av  455pm     255pm
      536pm     419pm        Av Ft. Worth Lv  350pm     150pm
      556pm     439pm        Lv Ft. Worth Av  325pm     125pm
      648pm     531pm         Cleburne        221pm    1221pm
      756pm     639pm         McGregor        109pm    1109am
      839pm     722pm         Temple         1240am    1040am
      932pm     815pm         Taylor         1132am     932am
     1026pm     909pm         Austin         1041am     841am
     1108pm     951pm         San Marcos      950am     750am
      122am    1159pm         San Antonio     800am     600am

Prepared for Arkansas Rail by Bill Pollard.

Posted: Monday 24 August 1998.
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