Pacific Railroad (reporting mark MP), commonly
abbreviated MoPac, with nickname of The Mop, was one of the first
railroads in the United States west of the
Mississippi River. MoPac
Class I railroad
Class I railroad growing from dozens of predecessors and
mergers, including the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway
Texas and Pacific Railway (TP), Chicago and Eastern Illinois
St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway
St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway (SLBM),
Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (KO&G), Midland Valley Railroad
San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad (SAU&G), Gulf Coast
International-Great Northern Railroad
International-Great Northern Railroad (IGN), New Orleans,
Texas and Mexico Railway (NOTM), Missouri-
Illinois Railroad (MI), as
well as the small
Central Branch Railway
Central Branch Railway (an early predecessor of MP
Kansas and south central Nebraska), and joint ventures such as the
Alton and Southern Railroad
Alton and Southern Railroad (AS).
In 1967, the railroad operated 9,041 miles of road and 13,318 miles of
track, not including DK&S, NO&LC, T&P and its
subsidiaries, C&EI and Missouri-Illinois.
On January 8, 1980, the
Union Pacific Corporation, parent company of
Union Pacific Railroad, agreed to buy the
Railroad. Lawsuits filed by competing railroads delayed approval of
the merger until September 13, 1982. After the Supreme Court denied a
trial to the Southern Pacific, the merger took effect on December 22,
1982. However, due to outstanding bonds of the
Missouri Pacific, the
merger with the Union
Pacific Railroad by the Union Pacific
Corporation became official only on January 1, 1997.
2 Passenger train service
3 Equipment colors and painting
4 Honorary tribute
6 External links
On July 4, 1851, at St. Louis, ground was broken on the Pacific
Railroad, the earlier predecessor of the
Missouri Pacific Railroad.
The first section of track was completed in 1852; in 1865, it was the
first railroad in
Kansas City, after construction was interrupted by
the American Civil War. In 1872, the
Pacific Railroad was reorganized
Missouri Pacific Railway by new investors after a railroad debt
crisis. Because of corporate ties extending back to the Pacific
Missouri Pacific at one time advertised itself as being The
First Railroad West of the Mississippi.
Missouri Pacific was under the control of successful but
controversial New York financier
Jay Gould until his death in 1892.
Gould developed a system extending through Colorado, Nebraska,
Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. His son George Gould inherited control
upon his father's death. The younger Gould lost control of the company
after it declared bankruptcy in 1915. In 1917 the line was merged
St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway
St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (SLIMS) and
reorganized as the
Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Missouri Pacific later
acquired or gained a controlling interest in other lines in Texas,
including the Gulf Coast Lines, International-Great Northern Railroad,
Texas and Pacific Railway.
MoPac declared bankruptcy again in 1933, during the Great Depression,
and entered into trusteeship. The company was reorganized and the
trusteeship ended in 1956.
By the 1980s the system would own 11,469 miles of rail line over 11
states bounded by Chicago to the east, Pueblo, Colorado, in the west,
north to Omaha, south to the
U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, and
southeast along the Gulf seaports of
Louisiana and Texas. MoPac
operated a fleet of more than 1,500 diesel locomotives, almost all
purchased within the previous 10 years. Under the leadership of
Downing B. Jenks, who became president and chief executive in 1961 the
company became a pioneer in the early days of computer-guided rail
technology. It was a major hauler of grain, TOFC (Trailer on Flat
Car), coal, ore, autos and dry goods. At the time of their mega-merger
in 1982 the MoPac owned newer locomotives, more locomotives and
operated more track than partner
Union Pacific Railroad.
On December 22, 1982 the
Missouri Pacific was purchased by the Union
Pacific Corporation and they combined the
Missouri Pacific, the
Pacific Railroad and of course their
Union Pacific Railroad
into one large railroad system and labeled it "Pacific Rail Systems,"
Union Pacific Corporation, but all three railroads
maintained their own corporate and commercial identity. On December 1,
Texas and the Galveston,
Henderson were merged into the
Missouri Pacific after acquisition by
Union Pacific Corporation
Union Pacific Corporation in 1988.
By 1994 all motive power of the
Missouri Pacific was repainted and on
January 1, 1997, the
Missouri Pacific was officially merged into the
Pacific Railroad by the
Union Pacific Corporation. UP continued
to use the MoPac headquarters building at 210 N. 13th St. in downtown
St. Louis for its customer service center until February 15, 2005. The
former MoPac building has undergone rehab as apartments and is now
known as Park Pacific.
Revenue Freight Ton-Miles (Millions)
Doniphan Kensett & Searcy
New Orleans & Lower Coast
Asherton & Gulf
San Antonio Southern
Sugar Land Ry
In this table "MP" includes New Orleans
Texas & Mexico and all its
subsidiary railroads (Beaumont Sour Lake & Western, I-GN,
StLB&M, etc.) that officially merged into MP in 1956. Ton-miles
for C&EI in 1970 presumably don't include the L&N portion.
By that same definition MP operated 10431 route-miles at the end of
1929, after A&G, SAS and Sugar Land had come under NOT&M;
NO&LC operated 60 and DK&S (not subsidiary until 1931)
operated 6. At the end of 1960 MP operated 9362 route-miles, NO&LC
and DK&S were the same, and M-I operated 172 miles.
Revenue Freight Traffic (Millions of Net Ton-Miles)
KO&G/KO&G of TX
Cisco & Northeastern
Pecos Valley Southern
Texas Short Line
150 (merged Apr 1970)
"T&P" includes its subsidiary roads (A&S, D&PS, T-NM
etc.); operated route-miles totalled 2259 at the end of 1929 (after
C&NE, PVS and TSL had become subsidiaries) and 2033 at the end of
Passenger train service
The Scenic Limited leaving St. Louis.
Colorado Eagle, waiting to depart St. Louis 's
Union Station on April 17, 1963
In the early years of the 20th century, most
Missouri Pacific and St.
Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern passenger trains were designated by
number only, with little emphasis on premier name trains. This changed
in May, 1915, with the inauguration of the Scenic Limited between St.
Kansas City, and Pueblo, Colorado. Between Pueblo and Salt Lake
City, the Scenic Limited operated through the
Royal Gorge over the
tracks of the
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. From
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City to
San Francisco, the Scenic Limited operated over the Western Pacific
Railroad. A second premier train, the
Sunshine Special began operating
on December 5, 1915, between St. Louis, Little Rock, Austin and San
Antonio. Another named train, the
Rainbow Special was placed in
service in July 1921 between
Kansas City and Little Rock. The Sunshine
Special soon eclipsed the other trains in travel volume, becoming the
signature train of the
Missouri Pacific Railroad. An advertising
slogan in 1933 proclaimed: "It's 70-degrees in the Sunshine when it's
100-degrees in the shade," referring to the fact that the Sunshine
Special was one of the first air-conditioned trains in the southwest.
When new streamlined trains were delivered, the Scenic Limited and
Rainbow Special names faded, but the
Sunshine Special had sufficient
name recognition to co-exist along with the new streamliners into the
In the streamliner era, the
Missouri Pacific's premier passenger
trains were collectively known as the Eagles. A variety of Eagle
trains were operated, with the first such train inaugurated in 1940.
Eagle routes included the
Missouri River Eagle (St. Louis to Kansas
City and Omaha), the Delta Eagle (
Memphis, Tennessee to Tallulah,
Colorado Eagle (St. Louis to Pueblo and Denver), the
Texas Eagle (St. Louis to Texas), and the Valley Eagle (
Corpus Christi and Brownsville, Texas).
MOPAC newspaper ad for travel to a livestock show, 1922.
Other notable trains the MoPac operated included:
the Houstonian (between New Orleans and Houston);
Missourian (between St. Louis and
Houston and New Orleans);
Ozarker (between St. Louis and Little Rock);
Houston and Brownsville);
Southerner (service from
Kansas City and St. Louis to New Orleans, via
Southern Scenic (between
Kansas City and Memphis);
Sunflower (between St. Louis and Wichita); and
the Texan (between St. Louis and Fort Worth).
Missouri Pacific gained a reputation for aggressively discontinuing
passenger trains after the mid-1960s, and when the National Railroad
Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) assumed passenger train operations on
May 1, 1971, the St. Louis to
Kansas City route was the only Missouri
Pacific route to be included as part of Amtrak's basic system. On
March 13, 1974,
Amtrak restored passenger train service over segments
Texas and Pacific's original
Texas Eagle route
between St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and
Equipment colors and painting
Missouri Pacific 'Screaming Eagle' Herald first introduced in 1969.
General use of this herald spanned from 1974 to 1984 (1983 for general
equipment, 1984 for documents)
In the early days of steam, the MP generally used gold lettering on
its steam locomotives. This was further broken down by using two
different lettering styles: Block for the numbers and Roman for the
lettering (including subsidiary markings and classifications). Once
Lewis W. Baldwin became president of the
Missouri Pacific in April
1923, the color of the lettering changed to aluminum.
Missouri Pacific was known for its "Eagle" color scheme designed
by Raymond Loewy. It consisted of dark cerulean, icterine yellow, and
isabelline gray. These colors were mostly applied to passenger
locomotives, passenger cars, merchandise boxcars and first-generation
freight locomotives starting on October 22, 1939, and ending on April
EMD SD70ACe locomotive, painted in MoPac livery.
Texas & Pacific was acquired by the
Missouri Pacific, the
railroad discontinued its swamp holly orange and black for the Eagle
colors (except icterine yellow) in its new order of GP18's 1145-1149
in May 1960: a traditional practice of railroads using the parent
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s a handful of railroads began to paint
their locomotives one or two simple colors without excessive striping,
lettering, etc. due to financial troubles. However, under the Downing
B. Jenks presidency, the Eagle Scheme was discontinued because Mr.
Jenks did not want to spend money on a fancy paint scheme, though his
railroad was not having financial problems. Effective April 28, 1961,
all locomotives (new or to be repainted) were to receive an
alternative version of dark cerulean, from which the term "Jenks Blue"
is derived (also sometimes called "Dark Eagle Blue").
Union Pacific merger taking effect on December 22, 1982, the
Missouri Pacific sought to keep its Jenks Blue scheme. However, a
study in late 1983 indicated the expense of all three railroads paint
schemes were too costly.
Union Pacific then allowed the Missouri
Pacific & Western Pacific railroads to create a new scheme. The
first new scheme attempt by the
Missouri Pacific was a 'simple
logo-simple scheme' design. Originally planned for the locomotive to
be completely painted armour yellow (including trucks, frame, and fuel
tank) with the application of the
Missouri Pacific 20-inch lettering
along the carbody and a buzzsaw logo on the nose and air equipment
doors. The plan was then revised to now have a black frame, trucks,
and fuel tank. The final revision introduced the unit to be repainted
in a standard
Union Pacific scheme with 'MISSOURI PACIFIC' instead of
'UNION PACIFIC' lettering along the carbody.
Missouri Pacific Pullman Rio Usumacinta at the Wichita Falls
Once the test scheme was completed, the lettering was deemed
unsatisfactory due to the word 'MISSOURI' being too large to fit on
smaller four-axle carbodies. Effective May 14, 1984, the Union Pacific
scheme was to be used, but in substitution of the
Union Pacific 'Jinx'
typeface, a renovated version of lettering was used. Using the type
style seen on
Missouri Pacific reporting marks and locomotive numbers,
'North Little Rock' lettering was used, as it fit the large and small
carbodies decently. On January 1, 1986, the scheme was discontinued
after the consolidation of the
Missouri Pacific & Union Pacific
operating departments. To this day, the paint scheme remains
controversial among management, employees and rail fans.
On July 30, 2005, UP unveiled a brand new
EMD SD70ACe locomotive,
Union Pacific 1982, with
Missouri Pacific paint and logos, as part of
a new heritage program.
^ a b
Union Pacific Railroad. "UP: Chronological History." Accessed
Trainweb/Screaming Eagles. "About
Missouri Pacific: A Brief Overview."
Goen, Steve Allen (1997).
Texas & Pacific Color Pictorial, Four
Ways West Publications, La Mirada, CA. ISBN 1-885614-17-9
Stout, Greg (1995). Route of the Eagles,
Missouri Pacific in the
Streamlined Era, White River Productions, Bucklin, MO.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Missouri Pacific Historical Society
Union Pacific Diesel Locomotive Paint Schemes
Brief history of the
Handbook of Texas:
Missouri Pacific System
Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of
Oklahoma and Indian
Class I railroads of North America
CP- D&H, SOO
Railroads in italics meet the revenue specifications for Class I
status, but are not technically Class I railroads due to being
passenger-only railroads with no