My maternal great-grandfather was the T&P agent in Marshall, Texas for many years until his death in 1920. His daughter, my grandmother, married a man whose brother was an engineer on the T&P out of Fort Worth until he died in the late '30s. Both these women had life-time passes and I remember many times picking one or both of them up from the East Texas Eagle at Dallas Union Station as they returned from Jefferson. I made that train trip at least twice before we moved from Dallas in 1949. (That move to San Antonio was a ride on the Katy/Frisco Texas Special!)

We returned to Texas from Oklahoma City in 1958, moving to Abilene, smack dab on the T&P. Spent my college years watching Swamp Holley Orange and Black Geeps and blue/grey Fs making some time along Hiway 80 through the middle of town. If the timing was right (around noon several times a week) could catch a glimpse of the PFE (Pacific Fruit Express) heading east at speed. Don't remember seeing the empties going west; must have been at night-- or routed somewhere else.

Made my final MoPac connection when I moved here (Austin)in 67. Went to grad school at UT with a guy who was a part-time station agent and spent some time hanging out with him at the then MoPac now Amtrak passenger station downtown.

Now if anyone asks about my Dad's side, get ready for a WHOLE lot about the Cotton Belt.

Mike Thomasson
Austin, Texas