The MoPac’s fleet of passenger trains are also well remembered. The railroad operated a significant number
of popular trains but perhaps is most renowned for its fleet of Eagles; the Aztec Eagle, Colorado Eagle, Missouri River Eagle, Valley Eagle, Louisiana Eagle, and most famous of all the Texas Eagle. These trains and others reached across all stretches of the system but like most other Class I railroads many had been downgraded or discontinued altogether by the 1960s. Even the MoPac’s famous Texas Eagle
was reduced to a coach-only operation by the very early 1970s, although
Amtrak revived the train and continues to operate it today.
Being that the railroad was always short on cash
the Missouri Pacific was constantly looking for ways to cut costs.
With the advent of diesel power and the efficiencies it provided the MP
was quick to purchase the new motive power and had completely dieselized
by 1953. Likewise, the railroad ended the beautiful blue and gray
passenger livery in the 1960s instead opting for a much simpler solid
blue with white trim although locomotives continued to adorn an
adaptation of the MoPac’s famous eagle. Interestingly for railfans the
railroad purchased a wide variety of early diesel locomotives from Geeps
(EMDs) to the handsome Alco PAs although it would eventually settle on
EMDs for its second-generation diesels.
|A side-profile of MoPac SD40 #3071 as the unit lays over at the yard in Dolton, Illinois on April 3, 1977.|
Due to the railroad’s financial
situation it is not surprising that it would be purchased by another
railroad, which happened in 1982 when the Union Pacific merged the
railroad into its system. Interestingly when the UP purchased the MoPac
the latter was much larger in both terms of route miles and
locomotives. Similarly, for years the MoPac name continued
to flank locomotives albeit in the Armour Yellow and Gray of Union
Pacific, and the MoPac’s corporate identity was not officially dissolved
until as late as 1997.
Please Click Here To Return To The Main Fallen Flags Section
Diesel Locomotive Roster
The American Locomotive Company
|S1||3-4, 9007-9008, 9013-9015||1940-1947||7|
|S2||11-14, 9107-9116, 9128-9132||1941-1949||19|
|RS3||19-20, 24, 62-74, 4501-4526||1951-1955||42|
The Baldwin Locomotive Works
|MoPac B23-7 #4606 zips by a rebuilt Santa Fe GP7u (#2198) as the fireman leans out the window to grab train orders from the station at Alvin, Texas during September of 1980.|
|VO-660||9009-9010, 9012, 9022, 9090-9091, 9206||1940-1941||7|
|VO-1000||9103, 9117-9119, 9150-9155, 9160-9161, 9198-9199||1939-1949||14|
|DS-4-4-1000||9120-9127, 9133-9141, 9148-9149, 9162-9167||1948-1950||25|
Electro-Motive Corporation/Electro-Motive Division
|A MoPac Class MK-63 2-8-2 #1246 is seen here working a freight extra through the yard at Jefferson City, Missouri on June 10, 1933.|
|GP18||400-499, 534-550, 1145-1149, 4801-4829||1960-1963||151|
|F3B||513B-518B, 525B-526B, 553B-556B, 561B-570B||1947-1948||22|
|F7B||587B-596B, 629B-630B, 1500B-1534B||1949-1951||47|
|SD40-2||790-814, 816-839, 3139-3321, 6020-6073||1973-1980||286|
|GP38-2||858-959, 2111-2237, 2290-2334||1972-1981||274|
|SW1200||1100-1166, 1175-1201, 1255-1259, 1263-1279, 1280-1289||1963-1966||126|
|GP7||1110-1130, 4116-4194, 4197-4325||1950-1954||229|
|E7B||7004B, 7010B-7012B, 7014B-7017B||1945-1948||8|
|SW1||9004-9006, 9011, 9200-9205||1939-1941||10|
|U30C||25-29, 960-983, 3329-3334||1968-1973||35|
|A MoPac Class P-73 4-6-2, #6423, appears to be pulling its train out of Memphis, Tennessee on June 6, 1940.|
Steam Locomotive Roster
|6, 12, 2208, 2502, 8510, 8552, 8562, 8601, E (Various)||American||4-4-0|
|801, 851, C (Various)||Consolidation||2-8-0|
|1699, M (Various), MK (Various)||Mikado||2-8-2|
|6000, 6001, P (Various)||Pacific||4-6-2|
|MT (Various)||Santa Fe||2-10-2|
|One of the MoPac's largest steam locomotive designs was its fleet of 4-8-4 Northerns, rebuilt from its 2-8-4 Berkshires during the early 1940s. Seen here is #2204 sitting at the shop track in Jefferson City, Missouri on July 25, 1950.|
Texas & Pacific Steam Locomotive Roster
|A-2 Through A-4||American||4-4-0|
|B-1 Through B-8||Switcher||0-6-0/T|
|D-1 Through D-11-S||Ten-Wheeler||4-6-0|
|2100/26S-63||Northern (Rebuilt from its fleet of Bekshires.)||4-8-4|
Notable Passenger Trains
Aztec Eagle: (San Antonio - Mexico City)
Houstonian: (New Orleans - Houston)
Louisiana Sunshine Special: (Little Rock - Lake Charles)
Missouri River Eagle: (St. Louis - Omaha)
Missourian: (St. Louis - Kansas City/Wichita)
Orleanean: (Houston - New Orleans)
Ozarker: (St. Louis - Little Rock)
|A southbound MoPac local freight led by GP9 #1746 is about to pass through the signals at Bay City, Texas during March of 1978.|
Pioneer: (Houston - Brownsville)
Rainbow Special: (Kansas City - Little Rock)
Royal Gorge: (Kansas City - Pueblo)
Southerner: (St. Louis - El Paso/San Antonio/New Orleans)
Southern Scenic: (Kansas City - Memphis)
Sunflower: (St. Louis - Kansas City/Wichita)
Sunshine Special: (St. Louis - Hot Springs/San Antonio)
Texan: (St. Louis - Fort Worth)
Valley Eagle: (Houston - Brownsville)
|GP15-1 #1700 works alone doing switching work at Pine Bluff, Arkansas on September 23, 1983. The railroad found this model very useful, owning more than 100 examples of the just over 300 built altogether by EMD.|
Although the MP was just one of several railroads
to eventually be merged into Union Pacific its legacy will certainly
forever be remembered. Along with Amtrak continuing to operate its Texas Eagle,
the Union Pacific recently paid homage to several of its predecessors,
including the MoPac, by painting one of its new EMD SD70ACe locomotives
into a version of the railroad’s famous blue and gray passenger livery
complete with an eagle adorning the locomotive’s nose. The unit debuted
during the summer of 2005 and it received a number recognizing the
Missouri Pacific’s final year of independence, 1982.
Related Reading You May Enjoy
Burlington, "Way Of The Zephyrs"
Rio Grande, "Main Line Thru The Rockies"
Colorado & Southern
WP, "Feather River Route"
C&NW, "Route Of The '400'"
Rock Island, "Route Of The Rockets"
GN, "Route Of The Empire Builder"
NP, "Main Street Of The Northwest"
GB&W, "The Green Bay Route"
IC, "The Main Line Of Mid-America"
IT, "The Road Of Personalized Services"
IHB, "Connects With All Chicago Railroads"
CMStP&P, "Route Of The Hiawathas"
Monon, "The Hoosier Line"
Nickel Plate, "High Speed Service"
"Ship Soo To And Through The Upper Midwest"
St. Louis Southwestern
M&StL, "The Peoria Gateway"
The Missabe Road
CGW, "The Corn Belt Route"
DW&P, "Delivered With Pride"
KCS, "Route Of The Southern Belle"
Wabash, "Follow The Flag"
Santa Fe..."All The Way!"
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway
EP&SW, "The Southwestern Route"
SP, "Route Of The Daylights"
UP, "We Will Deliver"