Notes and Documents
Texas Railroads: The End of an Era
EVERETT L. DEGOLYER, JR.
HE ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DRIVING OF THE GOLDEN
SSpike, commemorated at Promontory, Utah, and at various other
major cities on the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, has
come and gone. Ponderous illustrated histories have been published
both this year and during the several years prior to the event. Obscure
personalities connected with the building of the Overland Route have
been biographically retrieved. The earliest locomotives of the first two
transcontinentals have been carefully enumerated, along with the roll-
ing stock. The surviving graphic and photographic records of the
building and early operations of these lines have been ransacked and
published. Truly, the great event of May i o, 1869, has been celebrated
in bibliographical profusion that seems more than its due.
Within a month of the Golden Spike ceremony, another event took
place, at Dallas, Fort Worth, and other important Northeast Texas
cities, that received no celebration and surprisingly little coverage by
press and by television. On May 31, 1969, passenger train no. a22, the
"Texas Eagle," left the Dallas Texas Union Terminal at 5: 11 P.M., and
its departure made Dallas the largest city in the United States, if not
in the world, where it is impossible to catch a passenger train. No
officials of either the Texas &c Pacific nor of owner Missouri Pacific
made the trip, and no publicity was given out concerning this run,
which ended a 97-year epoch in the history of Dallas.
This writer was present at Dallas Union Terminal to witness and
photograph the last run and satisfactorily managed to embalm this
disheartening occasion, as he had previously done on the occasions of
the last runs of the Santa Fe, Katy, Frisco, Burlington-Rock Island,
and Fort Worth & Denver. Needless to state, the affair touched off a
great amount of reminiscence among the party at the station-most of
whom were railroad fans and who probably exceeded in numbers the
*Mr. Everett L. DeGolyer, Jr., is an authority on railroads and is the author of The
Track Going Back and The Age of Steam Exhibit at the State Fair of Texas.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/. Accessed March 11, 2014.