Memphis Passenger Train Timeline

By Phil Gosney

Memphis Union Station:

            Opened April 1,1912.

             Vacated March 31,1964.

            Reopened Dec.1, 1966. By Order of TPUC. The vacating in 1964 was illegal.

            Last Day of Train Service: March 30, 1968.

*Cotton Belt (SSW) Last Train, No 1-2, “Lone Star” MemphisTexarkana, Texas on October 31, 1952.

*Missouri Pacific   Curtailments:

Trains 334-335 “Delta Eagle” became a Memphis - McGehee, Ark train. Jan. 01, 1952.

Trains 334-335 “Delta Eagle” no longer services Memphis.  Last Trip Oct. 17, 1954.

*NC&St.L:  Trains 5-105, 6-106. Last remnant of  “City of Memphis” ( Now nameless, Coaches Only)  departs for Nashville on September 1, 1958.

*Missouri Pacific:    Last Trains No.  37-38  “Eagle” connection to Little Rock, Ark. (From 43 W. Calhoun St. – Former Iron Mountain Station)  on Aug. 26, 1965.

* L&N 101-102 “Pan American” Last trip (from Central Station) on Nov. 14, 1965.     Memphis to Cincinnati, OH.

* UNION STATION  Reopened:   December 1, 1966 - (Only 4 arrivals and 4 departures)

Last Southern 35-36 “Birmingham Special” to Chattanooga, TN - Jan. 30, 1967.

Last L&N 108 (on former NC&StL) to Nashville, TN - May 22, 1967.

L&N 14 and 19. “Humming Bird” to Cincinnati, OH. - Feb. 28, 1968.

Southern 45-46 “Tennessean” to Chattanooga, TN - March 30, 1968.




CENTRAL STATION: Opened October  04, 1914 initially known as “Grand Central Station”.  In  late 1944,  it became known as  “Central Station”  at  insistence of Illinois Central Railroad.

            *Rock Island Trains:

             Last Trains: 23-24 RDC (former “Choctaw Rockette”) to Amarillo Aug. 8,1964.

            Last Trains 21-22 (former “Cherokee”)  MEM-Tucumcari  Nov.10, 1967

            *Frisco Lines:

                       Restructured Train Service on September 17, 1965: Last Runs on this date:

                        Last 105-106 “Kansas City-Florida Special”    KC-Birmingham, AL

                        Last 107-108 “Sunnyland” trains  KC- Birmingham, AL

                        Last 807-808 “Sunnyland” trains  MemphisSt. Louis, Mo.

                      New train 101-102 “Southland” KC-Birmingham, AL  September 18, 1965.

                        Last Frisco Train at Memphis No. 102, “Southland”, December 09, 1967

            *Illinois Central Trains at Memphis:

Trains 23-24 “Delta Express” Discontinued   MEM-Greenville, Miss;  Mar.27, 1965.

Trains 15-16 “Chickasaw” Discontinued Carbondale, Ill. -MEM; Mar.11, 1967.

          Massive Restructuring of   IC passenger service on March 11, 1967.  On this date the “Mini Corridor” from Chicago-Carbondale began operation.  As a result, the following trains discontinued south of Carbondale, IL

Train 4 “Lousiane” Discontinued New Orleans to Memphis. (March 10, 1967)

Train 8 “Creole” - No longer operated MemphisCarbondale, Ill. (It did continue to operate overnight New Orleans to Memphis)





            Train 25 “Southern Express” discontinued CarbondaleNew Orleans. (March 10, 1967)

            Train 3 “Lousiane”  -Discontinued MemphisNew Orleans on December 02, 1967.

            Train  8 “Creole” – Discontinued New OrleansMemphis on Dec. 01, 1967.

            Trains 3-4 became the “Mid-American” Chicago-Memphis only on Dec.02, 1967.

            Trains 3-4 “Mid-American” dropped Chicago-Memphis on September 15, 1970. #

           #  Last Passenger train to have originated or terminated at Memphis on above date.

Amtrak took over service on May 01, 1971 on that date:

     Last “Panama Limited/Magnolia Star” departed Chicago and New Orleans on April 30, 1971.

     Amtrak continues trains 1-2 “City of New Orleans on daytime schedule.  Memphis now has only one passenger train departure in each direction.

November 14, 1971:  Amtrak renumbers all trains.  Now designated as trains  58-59,  the train now  reverts to overnight schedule from Chicago and New Orleans, allowing for better connections at those cities. The traditional IC name of  Panama Limited” is used once again.

February 1, 1981:  Amtrak renames trains 58-59 “The City of New Orleans”.  The name “Panama Limited” was a bit incongruous and had negative political connotations of that Central American country.

Sept 24, 1999: Central Station is rededicated and opens after a multi year 23 million dollar redevelopment and retrofit.

Compiled by Phil Gosney.                                            Updated… December 15, 2008.