'Texas Eagle' to detour through central Texas May 24 to June 21

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DALLAS — Amtrak’s Texas Eagle will use an alternative route in both directions between Longview and Taylor, Texas, from May 24 through June 21 to allow for extensive Union Pacific track work between Longview and Dallas.

Passengers bound for destinations between those points will be transported on chartered motorcoaches (southbound from Longview; northbound from Austin). Not only will the detour bypassing Dallas-Fort Worth offer a chance to ride over trackage that does not often host passenger trains, but it will also offer a faster schedule than the normal route.

On those dates, southbound train 21 will depart all stations between Chicago and Longview one hour later than scheduled, but will resume the normal schedule at Taylor. Northbound train 22 will operate at the normal schedule from San Antonio, Texas, to Taylor, but will run one hour earlier from Longview to Chicago.

Starting with the May 23 departure from Chicago, after Longview, train 21 will leave the normal ex-Texas & Pacific route at Big Sandy, Texas, and take the former Cotton Belt southwest to Tyler, then the former Southern Pacific west-southwest to Corsicana, then the former Texas & New Orleans south to Hearne, Texas, then the former Missouri Pacific west to Taylor to rejoin the normal route. Northbound, starting with the May 24 departure from San Antonio, after Taylor, train 22 will use the former Missouri Pacific direct to Longview via Hearne, Buffalo, Palestine and Jacksonville. Both routes are now entirely owned by Union Pacific.

In addition, the Texas Eagle is scheduled to detour between Chicago and St. Louis in both directions between May 16 and May 23 (May 24 for train 22) over the UP-owned former Chicago & Eastern Illinois via Pana and Villa Grove, Ill., to allow for state-sponsored track upgrades between Springfield and Alton, Ill., (which will also lead to bus substitution of many Lincoln Service trains between Springfield and St. Louis). So passengers traveling between Chicago and Austin, leaving Chicago train 21 of May 23 or leaving San Antonio or Austin on Train 22 that day, may experience both detours.

Amtrak notified passengers with existing reservations on either train on the affected dates of the detour and the associated schedule change (and bus substitution, if applicable) via email or recorded telephone message, but has yet to post a public advisory on its website. “This detour will provide the opportunity for some unusual mileage for rare mileage fans,” Amtrak’s email to ticketed passengers said.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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