Texas Special List Of Named Cars

Discussion in 'Passenger Cars' started by mountaincreekar, Aug 3, 2023.

  1. List of the named cars of the Texas Special

    Car Name / No. / Railroad / Type / year made

    Rock Hill 250 SLSF Baggage, 30’ Mail 1947
    Alexander Doniphan 650 SLSF 36-seat Diner 1947
    Anson B. Jones 1000 MKT Baggage, 30’ Mail 1947
    Sam Houston 1100 MKT 36-seat Diner 1947
    Edward Burleson 1200 MKT 56-seat divided Coach 1947
    David G. Burnet 1201 MKT 56-seat divided Coach 1947
    J. Pinckney Henderson 1202 MKT 56-seat divided Coach 1947 *1
    J. Pinckney Henderson 1202R MKT 72-seat Coach Pullman Stainless Steel demonstrator 1954
    Garland 1203 MKT 64-seat Divided Coach 1955
    Pryor 1204 MKT 64-seat Divided Coach 1955
    New Braunfels 1205 MKT 64-seat Divided Coach 1955
    McAlester 1206 MKT 64-seat Divided Coach 1955
    Denton 1207 MKT 64-seat Divided Coach 1955
    Olivette 1250 SLSF 56-seat divided Coach 1947
    Pasadena Hills 1251 SLSF 56-seat divided Coach 1947
    Baden 1252 SLSF 56-seat divided Coach 1947
    Picardy Lane 1259 SLSF 64-seat Divided Coach 1955
    Mirabeau B. Lamar 1300 MKT 26-seat Coach, Buffet, 25-seat Lounge 1947
    Temple 1301 MKT 32-seat Coach, Buffet, 27-seat Lounge 1955
    Joseph Pulitzer 1350 SLSF 2 Bedroom, 1 Drawing Room, Buffet, 23-seat Lounge, RE Observation 1947
    Stephen F. Austin 1400 MKT 2 Bedroom, 1 Drawing Room, Buffet, 23-seat Lounge, RE Observation 1947
    Pierre Laclede 1450 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Thomas Hart Benton (politician) 1451 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Henry Shaw 1452 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Francis P. Blair 1453 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Auguste Choteau 1454 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947 *2
    George G. Vest 1455 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Eugene Field 1456 SLSF 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    James W. Fannin 1 500 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Benjamin R. Milam 1501 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    William B. Travis 1502 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    David Crockett 1503 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    James Bowie 1504 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    James B. Bonham 1505 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Amon B. King 1506 MKT 14 Roomette, 4 Bedroom Sleeper 1947
    Sterling Price 1650 SLSF 26-seat Coach, Buffet, 25-seat Lounge 1947

    SLSF 16 cars
    MKT 22 cars

    Passenger cars named for important persons in their state.
    1202R replaced 1202, which had been wrecked in an accident in 1953.
    Choteau was often misspelled as Chouteau.
    Some model train manufacturers put the names "Lonestar" and "Cheri Neil"
    on the side panels of Texas Special cars.

    The third train set was composed of several heavyweight cars, including coach-buffet, diner, and 12-section, 1 drawing-room sleeper.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
  2. mark

    mark Staff Member Staff Member


    Chouteau is the correct spelling. The misspelling is Choteau.

    The Chouteau family were early fur traders in Missouri. The passenger sleeper car is named for Auguste Chouteau (9/7/1749 - 2/24/1829). He was a fur trader, politician and one of the founders of St. Louis.

    Hope this helps.


    mountaincreekar likes this.
  3. We both used the same list. ha ha


    I had "Choteau was often misspelled as Chouteau" on the first posting seen above.

    There are a few other Texas Special car lists out there.

    One of those has more Texas Special cars and it also has the Meteor cars listed on it.

    Thanks Mark.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    First of all, let us remember that the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) provided 10-5 and 10-6 Pullmans and the B&O provided its 14-4 Pullmans.

    Two of the Pennsylvania 10-5 cars received red and silver shadowed-striped Texas Special livery.

    Secondly, any 1949 peak, if there indeed was one, did not cause the two railroads repaint heavyweight cars into the Texas Special scheme. The Texas Special had schedule issues right out of the gate. The turn around time at San Antonio was insufficient to service the power, turn the train, clean the train, and resupply the train.

    Initially the power was removed at Waco for servicing, and the two E7As (EA7) were replaced with one of the beautiful Katy Pacifics. To ease the time constraints at San Antonio, the Katy and the Frisco built a third train set from extant heavyweight equipment. The lightweight equipment was mingled with the heavyweight cars, so that all three sets were a mix of both the old and the new.

    Likewise at St Louis, through-Pullman connections were tight, and they were often missed. Katy deferred track maintenance caught up with the train during the mid 1950s, and The Texas Special consistently ran hours late. The TRRA Summer 2009 Issue 69 has a picture of the 12-hours-late Texas Special at Muskogee on May 25, 1957.

    With regard to the notion of a 14 car or 20 car train set, we also need to remember that during its trip cars were added and cars were removed from the consist. For example, the Alexander Doniphan ran between St Louis and Springfield.

    At Dallas a Kansas City to San Antonio chair car was added from The Katy Flyer. There were St. Louis to Dallas and St. Louis to Ft Worth 14-4 Pullmans. The Sam Houston ran between Muskogee and San Antonio.

    Then as the fifties progressed, the train handled more head-end stuff. There were lots of variables with regard to the consist. It just depended on where and when.

    I cannot find any reference in which Chouteau has but one “u”.

    And last of all, the purchase of the of the three, lightweight train sets by the Frisco, and the single, light-weight train set by the Katy are arguably the worst investments made by either railroad.

    During the latter part of 1945 and during 1946, optimism abounded as the Frisco worked to leave receivership. During 1945, the court authorized the Frisco’s request to purchase “three complete streamlined trains of the most modern design”. Contracts totaling $4,409,000 were let, and delivery was expected to occur during the latter part of 1946.

    The court authorized this spending to “improve the efficiency and economy of operations and to meet competition”, so declared the 1945 Annual Report. The Frisco had not changed its 1936 strategy with regard to dealing with declining passenger volumes. That is to say, the Frisco management intended to battle the automobile, bus, truck, and airplane with new equipment and diesel motive power.

    The Katy spent 2,029,811 for its single train set. In light of the post-war demand for equipment the 1946 delivery was overly optimistic. The E7As (EA7) arrived during 1947, and Pullman did not complete its orders until 1948.

    During 1946, which was the first full year of peace-time operations, Frisco management noted declining revenues, “particularly passenger revenues”. Passenger revenues declined a hefty 40.3% from 1945 to 1946. “The downward trend in passenger revenues prevailed throughout the year”.

    Were there second thoughts in the board room with regard to the orders placed with Pullman and EMD?

    There would be no post-war passenger boom for the Frisco. During the post-war 1940s, Frisco passenger train discontinuance notices were aimed primarily at local, mainline service, such as trains Nos 5 -6 between Afton and Springfield, Nos 509-510 between Tulsa and Ada, Nos 223-224 between Memphis and Amory, and Nos 101-102 between Memphis and Birmingham. The exception, being The Bluebonnet, which was discontinued effective 4/30/1948.

    Frisco passenger volume achieved its zenith during 1920, when it carried 15,555,903 people. Not surprisingly, 1920 was also the year that passenger miles reached an historical high of 857,610,336 passenger miles.

    By 1957, passenger volume had fallen to 606,289 passengers, which is below the nadir achieved during depths of the Great Depression. In the 1955 Annual Report, for the first time the Frisco management used the term, "Policy to remove unprofitable passenger trains”.

    To be sure, in the past, the Frisco had discontinued unprofitable passenger trains, but now for all who would take notice, Frisco passenger trains operated on borrowed time. In spite of the warning signs, both roads purchased additional cars during 1955.

    Then there are the costs related to the railroads’ ignorance of the true logistics related to the Texas Special’s operation. I have been unable to find those costs in the the Annual Reports.

    But what did the conversion of heavyweight cars do to the balance sheet?

    What was management thinking?

    Who knows. Both railroads would have benefitted more from new rail than they got from their post-war passenger car investment. The money spent on this dead end should have been used for track maintenance. Both railroads had a physical plant that was well worn by war-time traffic.

    Between 1946 and 1953, the Frisco experienced four major derailments, which were caused by rail defects. These derailments documented by the ICC’s historical digital records report multiple injuries and at least one death in each of the accidents.

    February 6, 1947 - Broken Angle Bar, 90 lbs, 1940; 50 mph;
    February 7, 1947 - Broken Rail, 110 lbs, 1930; 70 mph;
    May 30, 1947 - Broken Rail, 110 lbs, 1929; 70 mph
    October 24, 1953 - Broken Rail, 110 lbs 1931;

    The chart details the disappearance of the Frisco passenger train.

    Cum_train_miles Discontinued.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
  5. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Speaking of bad investments, the Frisco's fleet of E7A (EA7) and E8A units were not the best either.

    The company could have purchased FP7As instead, and even painted them in the red and gold livery, as I suspect any number of modelers have done, which could have been readily reassigned to freight service after the bloom was off the passenger-service rose.

    Which, in the Frisco's case occurred in the very early 1960s.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter


    I could not agree more.

    Several years ago I compiled a list of EMD dual service options. Tractive effort values are Starting Tractive Effort numbers. For mainline service, I really like a FP7/F7B/FP7 consist in a red and gold livery. However, GP7’s are likely the most pragmatic, but least esthetic option. The costs are approximate.


    Map depicts the Frisco passenger routes, which were dieselized, and their speed limits.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
  7. Sleeper-Observation Car 1350 (Texas Special) at Springfield, Missouri on December 13, 1964 named Arthur B. Johnson.

    I do not know why there was another type of car, with a number something like 1250 and was also named for Arthur B. Johnson.

    I am guessing that one car was swapped for another at the same time and they were still honoring Arthur B. Johnson.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
  8. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

  9. Karl,

    WOW! That is a great presentation about the Texas Special' operations.

    That is what the forum was trying to achieve.

    I am sure that folks will return to it as a reference to plan for more Texas Special research.

    Thanks so much!

    I had an operations category work in progress.

    I am not sure when it will be finished.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Arthur Johnson was a very well known Frisco employee, who took thousands of railroad photographs.

    The cars were named for Stephen F Austin and Joseph Pulitzer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    I cannot imagine 55 MPH on some of the portions of the Fort Smith Subdivision that I have run trains on. Lancaster Curve for example. What a ride that must have been. Wheeeeee!

    For what it is worth Mike Condren told me of riding with an engineer, forgot his name, on the Meteor. That evening the northbound was powered by one or two E units. That particular trip, the old head set Mike, a driving teenager at the time, in the seat to run the train and it was going 60+ MPH when he sat down!

    It was one of many lifetime moments for Mike that he experienced through his love of railroading.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024
  13. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    To be sure these are subdivision maximums, which were taken from late 1940s era Employee Time Tables (ETTs).

    As you note, there are lots of restrictive curves, and so in some places it is difficult to get close to the maximum. I took a closer look at the Willow Springs Subdivision, which is 136,8 miles long.

    Even though tangent track comprises approximately 74.3 miles or 54.3% of the total mileage on the Willow Springs Subdivision, the two longest tangents on the subdivision are 2.54 miles and 2.43 miles and are located near MP C221-C224. The average tangent is but .31 miles long.

    So, there was not much space for acceleration and breaking between curves. It would take some real skill to keep the train at the speed limit. It is a safe bet that passenger trains on the Willow Springs Subdivision spent most of their trip running in the 55-65 mph range.

    The Willow Springs Subdivision also challenged passenger train operation with its rugged topography.

    In the attached chart, the curve speed restrictions are represented as a percentage of the whole subdivision, and as a percentage of the total curve restriction mileage. The real speedway of the Frisco was in the Arkansas delta between Black Rock and Marion.

    I have numerous apocryphal tales about the difficulty one had when pacing the passenger trains

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2024

Share This Page