San Antonio Passenger Train Service in 1921
44 passenger trains a day - 22 incoming and 22 outgoing

In 1921 San Antoni was served by 44 passenger trains every day. Twenty-two arrived and another 22 departed. The Southern Pacific station handled 10 incoming and 10 outgoing trains. The Missouri Pacific station took care of 8 incoming and eight outgoing passenger trains and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas station had four incoming and four outgoing trains. Most of these trains were locals that stopped at every depot along the way and others were fast "limited" expresses that only stopped at major cities. The most famous limited express trains were the Southern Pacific's "Sunset Limited," the Missouri Pacific's "Sunshine Special," and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas "Texas Limited."
Southern Pacific system in San Antonio

10 incoming and 10 outgoing trains a day in 1921

Click image for a larger version of the Southern Pacific system map
In San Antonio, the Southern Pacific railroad station called Sunset Station served three different lines. All three had been independent railroads at one time. By 1921 they were divisions of the huge SP system. The largest and most significant of these was the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio division which stretched all the way across Texas. It was part of the main SP line from New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana to Los Angeles in California and the Pacific ocean. The Victoria Division had started out as the San Antonio & Gulf Shore. It started and ended in San Antonio, going south-east through La Vernia and Sutherland Springs to Victoria and the coastal region beyond, including Port Lavaca. By 1921 this was second class line with no express services and the two passenger trains in each direction stopped at every depot. By 1921 the third line, the San Antonio & Aransas Pass, was technically still independent but was in fact owned and controlled complete;y by the SP. Again this was a second class line, Another difference was the level of complexity. The line stretched to the Gulf of Mexico, principally Corpus Christi, but it had various junctions along the route with connections for trains to Houston, Aransas Pass and the Rio Grande valley. It also went north into the Hill Country, terminating in Kerrville.
Click image for a larger version of the Southern Pacific station in San Antonio
    Passenger trains every weekday at the Souther Pacific station in San Antonio

  • Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Division :                   4 incoming & 4 outgoing
  • Victoria Division - the old San Antonio & Gulf Shore RR :     2 incoming & 2 outgoing
  • San Antonio & Aransas Pass RR :                                       4 incoming & 4 outgoing

  • Weekday total :                                                         10 incoming & 10 outgoing

Missouri Pacific system in San Antonio

8 incoming and 8 outgoing trains a day in 1921

Click image for a larger version of the Missouri Pacific system map
In San Antonio, the Missouri Pacific railroad station served three different lines. All three had been independent railroads at one time. In 1921, all were still technically independent but each would be owned outright by MOPAC by the middle of the decade. The most significant line was the "International & Great Northern." This line stretched all the way from St. Louis, Missouri to Laredo at the Mexican border. As the line came south through Texas it split in Palestine to provide service to Houston. In the history of American railroading it is one of the most overlooked yet important lines ever created. The station in San Antonio also served what was in the 1920s, the most profitable short-line company in America. Originally known as the "Artesian Belt," it was renamed the "San Antonio Southern." Using the I&GN main line to exit San Antonio, trains switched at a place called Kirk southwards through Poteet and Jourdanton to a small community called Christine. The line was built by a land developer but just happened to go through fertile land for fruit crops, plus there was sand, coal and oil. The third company that used the MOPAC station in San Antonio was the "San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf." This had started out as a line to serve communities south of Uvalde but it built eastward, crossing the I&GN main line at Gardendale. Corpus Christi investors took over the company to build a second direct line from the port city to San Antonio via Pleasanton where the renamed company was based. The SAU&G also used the I&GN main line to enter and exit San Antonio.
Click image for a larger version of the Missouri Pacific station in San Antonio
    Passenger trains every weekday at the Missouri Pacific station in San Antonio

  • International & Great Northern :                                5 incoming & 5 outgoing
  • San Antonio Southern - (formerly "Artesian Belt") :     1 incoming & 1 outgoing
  • San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf :                                     2 incoming & 2 outgoing

  • Weekday total :                                                    8 incoming & 8 outgoing

Missouri, Kansas & Texas in San Antonio

4 incoming and 4 outgoing trains a day in 1921

Click image for a larger version of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas system map
By 1921, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad had its own station as well as tracks into San Antonio. The MK&T, often referred to as the Katy, had begun service to San Antonio in 1881, when it was part of the Missouri Pacific system. After the Katy became independent in 1891, it entered San Antonio using the tracks of the Southern Pacific and it used both the original SP depot and, after 1901, its replacement, Sunset Station. Also in 1901, the MK&T built its own tracks into San Antonio, allowing it to serve San Marcos and New Braunfels from its main hub in Texas, Smithville. The Katy also negotiated use of the Missouri Pacific line through Austin before it reverted to its own trackage to reach both Dallas and Fort Worth on its route to St. Louis. The Katy had no connections of its own from San Antonio other than its own line to the north but switching between both the SP to travel west and the Missouri Pacific to travel south was common. After the MK&T opened its own station in 1917, the terminal only served MK&T trains. At its peak, it served 8 trains a day, 4 incoming and four outgoing.
Click image for larger version of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas station in San Antonio
    Passenger trains every weekday at the Missouri, Kansas & Texas terminal in San Antonio

  • Missouri, Kansas & Texas :                                        4 incoming & 4 outgoing
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San Antonio Railroad Timeline
San Antonio and Bexar County invest $50,000 each in the San Antonio & Mexican Gulf Railroad to reach the port of Indianola
Galveston Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad (GH&SA) arrives in San Antonio from Houston
Mule drawn street car service is introduced.
International & Great Northern Railroad (I&GN) arrives in San Antonio from the north then reaches Laredo.
Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) begins transcontinental service along the Sunset Route.
San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad (SA&AP) is formed to reach Corpus Christi Bay.
SA&AP reaches Floresville and later the port of Corpus Christi.
SA&AP heads north and reaches Boerne.
Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad (M-K-T) breaks free of Jay Gould's Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP).
I&GN lease to M-K-T is voided and stays under Jay Gould's control.
GH&SA officially leased to the SP.
SP takes effective control of the SA&AP.
San Antonio & Gulf Shore Railroad (SA&GS) is formed, reaches Sutherland Springs same year.
The “Sunset Limited” train is created by the S.P.
Southern Pacific (SP) acquires the bankrupt SA&GS, renames it San Antonio & Gulf SA&G
M-K-T completed its own line into San Antonio, uses the SP Depot.
SP opens its new Sunset Depot.
I&GN opens grand new station.
Artesian Belt Railroad is completed and serves Jourdanton and Christine.
Crystal City & Uvalde Railroad is created.
San Antonio Uvalde & Gulf Railroad (SAU&G) is new name of expanded Crystal City Railroad.
Worst locomotive boiler explosion in US history happens at Southern Pacific round house.
San Antonio Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad opens between Comfort and Fredericksburg.
SAU&G begins service to Corpus Christi.
The I&GN “Sunshine Special” is inaugurated.
M-K-T opens express freight depot on St. Mary's.
M-K-T opens its own passenger depot at Durango and Flores.
Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad takes over from San Antonio Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad.
San Antonio Southern Railroad (SAS) is the new name of the Artesian Belt Railroad.
Uvalde & Northern Railroad begins operations as a logging railroad to Camp Wood from Uvalde.
Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP) acquires I&GN.
SAU&G is acquired by MP, folded into its Gulf Coast Lines division.
SA&AP is formally acquired by SP. Tracks downgraded to secondary status.
MP opens Monte Vista Depot.
SAS is acquired by MP, folded into its Gulf Coast Lines division.
GH&SA is folded into the SP’s Texas & New Orleans Division.
25 passenger trains enter and 25 leave San Antonio every day.
SA&AP operations folded into the SP’s Texas & New Orleans division.
Original SA&AP Depot is demolished.
18 passenger trains a day enter and 18 leave San Antonio every day.
Uvalde & Northern Railroad ceases operations.
San Antonio Fredericksburg & Northern Railroad ceases operations.
Old SA&AP line between Shiner and Lockhart removed.
M-K-T introduces diesel-electric powered “Texas Special” streamliner train.
MP introduces the Texas Eagle streamliner, replacing the steam powered Sunshine Special.
The SP begin using diesels to power the Sunset Limited.
Local passenger service on former SA&AP and SA&GS lines are terminated by SP.
MP folds I&GN & Gulf Coast Railroad lines operations under its own name.
MP retires its last steam locomotive.
Service ends along former SA&GS line between San Antonio & Sutherland Springs.
SP donates “Old 794,” 2-8-0 Mikado steam locomotive to the city of San Antonio.
Last SP passenger train stops at Hondo
All local passenger services have been discontinued by MP & SP.
Former SAU&G tracks from Pleasanton to Gardendale are pulled up.
Texas & New Orleans division folded into SP.
Last MP train stops at Monte Vista Depot.
M-K-T ceases passenger operations to San Antonio.
Texas Transportation Museum opens at Pearl Brewery using Texas Transportation Company line.
Former SAS tracks to Jourdanton pulled up.
SP obliged to end service to Corpus Christi due to removal of bascule bridge.
Texas Transportation Museum relocates to Northeast Preserve, now known as McAllister Park.
M-K-T depot is demolished.
Converse depot escapes demolition and moves to its new home at Texas Transportation Museum.
Last MP passenger train to San Antonio. Depot is abandoned.
SP reduces frequency of “Sunset Limited” to three times a week.
AMTRAK begins operations and continues the SP’s “Sunset Limited”.
Former SA&AP tracks to Boerne and beyond pulled up north of Camp Stanley.
AMTRAK introduces its new “Inter-American” train from Chicago and New York to Laredo with aspirations of connections further into Mexico
MP tears down its depot in San Marcos.
Union Pacific Railroad (UP) merges with MP.
Abandoned San Antonio MP Depot acquired and restored by San Antonio City Employees FCU
M-K-T light freight depot on St Mary's demolished.
UP buys M-K-T. Sloan yard abandoned
UP merges with SP.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) gains limited trackage rights through San Antonio.
AMTRAK moved out of Sunset Station into temporary offices as renovation of station begins.
MP is formally merged into UP and disappears.
Former SA&AP line to Floresville pulled up south of Elmendorf.
Fully renovated Sunset Station opens as an entertainment complex.
AMTRAK opens smaller depot adjacent to Sunset Station.
AMTRAK reinstates daily service on its “Texas Eagle” service.
UP causes uproar by refusing BNSF access to proposed new Toyota plant.
BNSF granted trackage rights from San Antonio to new Toyota plant, but not to Corpus Christi.
Six major railroad accidents occur in San Antonio, resulting in five deaths
UP begins $54 million of track improvement in and around San Antonio
UP opens state of the art intermodal freight yard in southwest San Antonio