Inter-American (train)


The Laredo and Houston sections assembling in Temple in the early 1980s.
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Discontinued
Locale Midwestern United States
First service January 27, 1973
Last service October 1, 1981
Successor Texas Eagle
Former operator(s) Amtrak
Start Chicago, Illinois
Stops 27
End Laredo, Texas
Houston, Texas
Distance travelled
  • 1,452 mi (2,337 km) (Chicago-Laredo)
  • 1,333 mi (2,145 km) (Chicago-Houston)
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s)
  • 21-22 (Chicago-Laredo)
  • 23-23 (Temple-Houston)
On-board services
Sleeping arrangements Roomettes and bedrooms
Catering facilities Cafe-lounge
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) ICG, MP, MKT, ATSF

The Inter-American was a passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago, Illinois to Laredo, Texas. Its route changed over time and was eventually replaced by the Eagle.


Upon its inauguration in January 27, 1973, the Inter-American connected Laredo with Fort Worth. At Fort Worth, travelers could connect with the Texas Chief, but doing so required an overnight layover. At Laredo, it was possible to cross the border to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and connect with Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México ("N de M") trains to points in Mexico. The train operated three times a week.[1]:60

In March 1974, the train was extended to St. Louis, following the route of the former Missouri Pacific Texas Eagle. From St. Louis passengers could connect to Chicago, and the extension finally added service to Dallas itself. In October 1976 Amtrak extended the Inter-American all the way north to Chicago. This train operated daily between Chicago and St. Louis and tri-weekly between St. Louis and Laredo. On October 31, 1978, a St. Louis-Chicago Inter-American became the last train to serve Union Station in St. Louis.[2] In October 1979 budget cuts forced Amtrak to combine the Inter-American with the Lone Star (formerly the Texas Chief). The new train, still called the Inter-American, operated daily between Chicago and Laredo, with a section to Houston, Texas which split at Temple, Texas.[1]:61

On October 1, 1981 Amtrak, forced to make service cuts, truncated the Inter-American to San Antonio, Texas and eliminated the through cars to Houston.[3] The new service was named the Eagle, and is a forerunner of the current Texas Eagle.[4]:114

See also


  1. 1 2 Goldberg, Bruce (1981). Amtrak: The First Decade. Silver Spring, MD: Alan Books.
  2. "Historic Station At End Of Line". Toledo Blade. November 1, 1978. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  3. "Amtrak alters routes, cut services to meet budget". New York Times. August 21, 1981. p. A17.
  4. Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34705-X. OCLC 61499942.

External links

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