No. 10268 Electro-Motive E-6 ABA Diesel Locomotive, heading up the "Missouri River Eagle" Streamlined Passenger Train
Missouri Pacific Railroad (MoPac)
In March, 1940, the mid-states carrier Missouri Pacific Railroad introduced a dramatic new streamliner, styled by noted industrial designed Raymond Loewy. MoPac called the new train the “Eagle,” and ran it along the Missouri River 478 miles between St. Louis and Omaha through Kansas City on a daylight schedule. American Car & Foundry built the two lightweight 6-car all-coach “Eagle” consists. Power was supplied by Electro-Motive 2000 horsepower E-3A diesel locomotives, with the train colorfully clad in blue and gray with yellow trim. Each “Eagle” trainset featured two coaches with reclining seats, an attractive diner/bar/lounge car, and a 26-seat parlor/observation car, along with two mail/baggage cars. Traditional heavyweight coaches were added as needed, with the “Eagles’” growing popularity.
The “Eagle’s” early success inspired many copies, prompting a name change for the original “Eagle” in 1941 to the “Missouri River Eagle” to distinguish it from the “Delta Eagle” (1941) (Memphis-Tallulah, Louisiana), “Colorado Eagle” (1942) (St. Louis-Denver), “Texas Eagles” (1948) (twin trains linking St. Louis with several Texas cities), “Louisiana Eagle” (1948) (New Orleans-Fort Worth), and “Valley Eagle” (1948) (Houston-Brownsville, Texas).
New ACF and Budd-built coaches and Pullman-Standard sleepers were added to the fleet in 1948 (the Colorado, Texas, and Louisiana “Eagles” were long-distance sleeper-equipped trains), and in 1952 the “Missouri River Eagle” achieved “domeliner” status when Missouri Pacific purchased five Pullman-Standard dome coaches (Missouri Pacific called them “Planetarium Domes”). Two dome cars were assigned to the “Missouri River Eagle” (one for each trainset) and the rest were added to the “Texas Eagles.” By the mid-1940s 2000 horsepower per unit Electro-Motive E-6 ABA diesels were being used as power.
As was the case nationally with rail travel, ridership declined significantly in the 1960s, and “Eagle” service was reduced. The “Valley Eagle” was gone by 1962, and other “Eagles” followed. By the time Amtrak took over MoPac passenger operations in 1971, there were no “Eagle” trains in service. Belatedly, Amtrak revived the “Eagle” name in the late 1980s with the Chicago-San Antonio “Texas Eagle,” a fine coach and sleeper train with full-service Dining Car and a Café/Lounge Car with sandwiches, snacks, and bar service. The “Texas Eagle” is a currently running Amtrak streamliner. Notable are the bi-level “Superliner” stainless steel coach, sleeping, lounge, and dining cars (see Nos. 10359 and 10600).
No. 10268 represents an accurate scale model of the MoPac Electro-Motive E-6 ABA diesel locomotive, heading up the streamlined dome-equipped 7-car “Missouri River Eagle” (Nos. 10269 & 10270) as it would have been seen on its run between St. Louis and Omaha 1952-1960s. The train is in “0" gauge by MTH. For display, this model train should be shown with the E-6A single-unit locomotive only, as a short 7-car train would not require the three- unit ABA combination.