Inter-American (train)

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

Switching the Inter-American (9194240886).jpg
The Laredo and Houston sections assembling in Temple in the early 1980s.
Service typeInter-city rail
LocaleMidwestern United States
PredecessorTexas Eagle (MP train)
First serviceJanuary 27, 1973
Last serviceOctober 1, 1981
SuccessorTexas Eagle
Former operator(s)Amtrak
StartChicago, Illinois
EndLaredo, Texas
Houston, Texas
Distance travelled
  • 1,452 mi (2,337 km) (Chicago–Laredo)
  • 1,333 mi (2,145 km) (Chicago–Houston)
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)
  • 21, 22 (Chicago–Laredo)
  • 23, 24 (Temple–Houston)
On-board services
Sleeping arrangementsRoomettes and bedrooms
Catering facilitiesCafe-lounge
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s)Illinois Central Gulf
Missouri Pacific Railroad
MKT Railroad
ATSF Railway


The Inter-American was established on January 27, 1973, with thrice-weekly service between Laredo and 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.[1]:60

In March 1974, the train was extended from Fort Worth to St. Louis via Dallas, following the route of the former Missouri Pacific Texas Eagle. From St. Louis, passengers could connect to Chicago.

In October 1976, Amtrak extended the Inter-American to Chicago. It operated daily between Chicago and St. Louis, but continued as thrice-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 Chicago-Houston Lone Star (formerly the Texas Chief). The merged train retained the Inter-American name, changed from thrice-weekly to daily, and added a Houston section which split in Temple.[1]:61

On October 1, 1981, Amtrak, once again forced to make service cuts, truncated the Inter-American to San Antonio and eliminated the Houston section.[3] The new service was named the Eagle, and still runs today as the Texas Eagle.[4]:114

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b 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, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)

External linksEdit