Take A Summer Train Trip On The Texas Eagle

Who’s ready for an adventure on the rails?

Texas Railroad
Mint Images/Getty Images.

There’s a particular thrill to train travel. The whirring of the train cars, the landscape speeding past while you relax inside – there’s nothing quite like it. Luckily, there are more than a few train routes threading through the South, connecting states and cities and offering a different mode of transportation to travelers. One of them, the Texas Eagle, is ideal for a journey on the rails. It’s one of the longest Amtrak routes in the country, and it will whisk you through the Lone Star State and all of its singular sights, stopping in some of Texas’s favorite cities and small towns along the way. 

Texas Eagle Route

Amtrak offers the invitation to railway adventure on their website, saying, “Let Amtrak take you deep in the heart of Texas. Hop aboard the Texas Eagle, traveling between Chicago and San Antonio, through major cities from Austin to Dallas.” The route begins in the Windy City and makes stops in Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; and Arkansas. Then it heads into Texas for stops in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio, cities with their own distinct personalities and plenty of sightseeing, shopping, and dining opportunities in each. If you travel in the spring, you might see the Texas Hill Country's famed bluebonnets and other wildflowers blooming across the countryside.

After San Antonio, connecting service through the Sunset Limited continues, eventually stopping in Del Rio and Alpine, Texas, as it curves through the southern part of the state. Leaving Texas, the route zooms into New Mexico and Arizona before ending its journey in Los Angeles, California. Traveling from Chicago to San Antonio takes 32 hours and 25 minutes, while the longer journey from Chicago to Los Angeles takes 65 hours and 20 minutes.

Austin, Texas

Davel5957/Getty Images

Dining On The Texas Eagle

When embarking on a long railway journey, dining options are top of mind. According to Amtrak, “Services on the Texas Eagle include Superliner First Class private rooms and a Dining Car serving fresh complete meals.” Offerings vary depending on where along the route you are, but can include cafe service, room service, “a menu with hot, ready-to-serve choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner” and “a wide selection of wine, beer and spirits plus unlimited soft drinks throughout the journey.”

Dining times are also flexible, meaning you don’t have to worry about reservations when you’re traveling by train and hunger hits. You can find the particular offerings of the route you’re traveling on, as well as sample menus, available on the Amtrak website. Offerings on some sample menus have included baked ziti and meatballs, Atlantic salmon and shrimp, and slow-braised beef short ribs.

Accommodations On The Texas Eagle

Accommodations on the Texas Eagle route vary by train but according to Amtrak can include coach seats (reclining seats with reading lights and outlets), Superliner Roomettes (seats that turn into beds with linens and lounge access), Superliner Bedrooms and Superliner Bedroom Suites (more space than a roomette with in-room showers), family rooms, and accessible bedrooms. More information on each of the accommodation options can be found on the Amtrak website.

Connecting Services On The Texas Eagle

The adventure doesn’t have to end just because the rail route does. If you want to add a few more stops to your trip, the “Amtrak Thruway Service offers connecting transportation to destinations such as Shreveport, LA, Houston and Galveston, TX, from the Texas Eagle and between the Maricopa, AZ, station and Phoenix Metro Center, Phoenix Airport and Tempe from the Sunset Limited,” according to Amtrak. No matter where the journey takes you, on the Texas Eagle, you’re sure to disembark with a story to tell.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles