Way back in the ancient 1950s (August 1959 to be exact), my mother and I rode trains from Brenham, Texas to Childress, via Houston and then Dallas. I snapped a few photos with my trusty Kodak Brownie and scanned those to put on  this web page. While the quality is lacking, I found the most interesting shot to be of the Texas Zephyr at the station in Childress showing what I believe was an articulated diner. Also shown is the locomotive, an E5, but I wasn't an official railfan then yet, so I couldn't throw rocks at that auto in front of the locomotive. I found the April 1959 Burlington timetable for the Texas Zephyr and Sam Houston Zephyr and included a scan of those at the end of this page.

"Texaszephyr" of the Railspot Group at Yahoo emailed me the following: "The northbound morning train out of Houston over the BRI was the SAM HOUSTON
ZEPHYR (Train #4) which made connections with the northbound TEXAS ZEPHYR (Train #2) at Dallas Union Station. You would have arrived in Houston from
Brenham on the CALIFORNIA SPECIAL. This is all very interesting. Although the SF operated their TEXAS CHIEF direct from Houston to Ft. Worth (where you could have still made connections with the TZ), the CHIEF did not stop at Brenham. But the CALIFORNIA SPECIAL did. Because of this strange fact and because of the schedules of SF trains in and out of Houston, it was easier for you to ride the train the long way down to Houston, than to wait for the westbound CALIFORNIA SPECIAL that would have taken you only as far as Temple where you would have had to wait until the next day's northbound TEXAS CHIEF. Neat" - Thanks TZ.


August 1959 was the date stamped on the photos, which are enlarged and enhanced below. This was at Childress, Texas late in the evening and shows the northbound Texas Zephyr on its way to Denver from Dallas.



Note the articulated car.  The car on the right was 'Silver' Something, as were all of the TZ's cars.



An enhanced view of the locomotive, an E-5, but I still can't read any numbers. Anyone have any ideas?
("texaszephyr" of the Railspot Yahoo Group said the following: "Great photos. Here are a few points. First, the engine is an E-5. The Burlington never owned any E-6's. Next, the cars on the TZ are the ex-1936
DENVER ZEPHYR equipment which was sold to the C&S and reassigned (and re-lettered) for the TZ. Some of these were semi-articulated, some articulated and some (like the obs) not articulated at all. All Burlington lightweight cars were "Silver somethings".)




Me (Ken Ziegenbein) in a coach on the Sam Houston Zephyr after it arrived in Dallas. The seat headrests had "Route of the Rockets" on them and I assume these cars were run on both the Sam Houston Zephyr and Twin Star Rockets at times. As you could tell, I was ansy about waiting there to have my picture taken since our other train, the Texas Zephyr, was waiting at Dallas Union Station.
   An email from  "texaszephyr' of the Railspot Yahoo Group said: "As for the "Route of the Rockets" headrest covers, two things. Based on the times you gave out of Houston this still has to be the SHZ. However the reason that it may have RI headrest covers was that the SHZ and the TWIN STAR ROCKET were jointly operated trains south of Dallas (over the ex-BRI, Joint Texas Division) and these photos may have been taken during the alternating time period that the CRI&P was operating the line. Both the RI and FW&D took turns every five years operating the JTD and maybe this was when the Rock was in charge. (Just a guess). If not, then please recheck your departure times out of Houston and see if it was late enough in the afternoon to have been aboard the northbound TWIN STAR. (My bet is that it was the SHZ, just with RI headrest covers due to who was operating the JTD at the time.)"
   (Ken Z - I checked the departure tiime from Houston and it was definitely in the morning shortly after the SF California Special arrived from Brenham. I distinctlly remember us going to the ticket counter at Houston Union Station and hurridly buying the tickets to Childress and that the person who sold us those tickets didn't mention anything about having to change trains in Dallas - the conductor on the Sam Houston Zephyr was the one who told us we had to change trains and that the Texas Zephyr would be on the adjacent track in Dallas when we got there).




Scene at Houston Union Station in July 1959. (Technical stuff - I scanned these dark photos in both 256 grayscale and the 'millions of colors' setting. I noticed on the grayscale setting that I couldn' t see any details on the rear of the observation cars, but could see more detail with the color setting - the photos above, both at the Houston station and of the Texas Zephyr, were thus scanned with the 'millions of colors' setting. The original photos were, of course, black and white).


LEFT-Union Station in Houston, August 1959. RIGHT-Same at Houston July 1956




I found these shots of the Sam Houston Zephyr sitting at Union Station in Houston in July 1956. You can seel the steam coming out. Doesn't it make you want to get on and take a trip? Those were the days!

Below is the April 1959 timetable for the Texas Zephyr and Sam Houston Zephyr: