The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 357
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Notes and Documents
passengers and crew who actually rode the "Texas Eagle" for its last
In the year 1936, the writer moved from New Jersey, where he had
been born and brought up, to Dallas. Since that year, he has actively,
continuously and enthusiastically observed and attempted to preserve
facets of the continuing scene of the railroad of the state of Texas at
work. While 1936 may not seem like much of a historical vantage
point from which to start, it covers all but two or three of the major
technological revolutions characterizing the development of the mod-
ern railroad system. It would include, for example, the introduction
and widespread usage of centralized train control, whereby one man
seated at a console can remotely control the switches and signal indi-
cations and thereby the movement of trains over a thousand or more
miles of track, though, to be sure, the automatic block signal was
perfected in Victorian England. It would include the rolling-stock
revolution, comprehending the introduction of light-weight, air-con-
ditioned, high-speed passenger trains and of such freight train items
as all-steel rolling stock, the auto-rack car, the covered hopper car and
the piggy-back trailer flat car, though it does not include the introduc-
tion of the first all-steel passenger car (1907). The three decades since
1936 have likewise seen the construction of the largest steam locomo-
tives ever built (one of which, Union Pacific no. 4018, reposes in Fair
Park at Dallas), as they have the diesel revolution and the passage of
the steam locomotive (the last steam locomotive in daily revenue-
producing service in the state of Texas, Union Terminal Co. no. 7,
a switcher, also reposes at Fair Park at Dallas). The last thirty-three
years have been interesting ones, seen from the viewpoint of a hard-
ened train watcher.
The major Texas railroads, and certainly all of the minor ones, have
gone about the business of adapting to technical change in interesting
and differing manners. The two dominant railroads in the state have
been the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific lines. Both have radically
changed character since 1936, the Southern Pacific perhaps the most.
In 1936 the Southern Pacific was the only coast-to-coast transportation
system in the United States, by virtue of its ownership of the Morgan
Line of steamships, then providing freight and passenger service to
New York, from the end of its "Sunset Line" at New Orleans, and
additional freight service to Gulf Coast points. It also had a thick
network of branch lines in North and East Texas, and on its more
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/393/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.