The Sam Houston Zephyr Leaving Union Station, Crossing Over the Triple Underpass — 1950

by Paula Bosse

zephyr_triple-underpass_1950_portalThe SHZ chugging through Dallas… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The title pretty much says it all. The Sam Houston Zephyr passenger train is seen crossing over the Triple Underpass, heading out of Dallas. Next stop: Fort Worth. The Post Office Terminal Annex is the tall white building, the Jefferson Hotel is behind it (with the sign on its roof), and Union Station is in the background, just right of center, with the Dallas Morning News building peeking over its roofline. The Old Red Courthouse would be out of frame to the left.

Below, a view of downtown from the west, with the Triple Underpass partially cut off at the very bottom, and Union Station just out of frame at the right.

downtown_aerial-photo-service_postcard_cook-collection_smu_cropped

In asking members of Facebook’s Texas Railroad History group about the top photo, Gerald Preas, one of the members, made this comment, full of interesting little tidbits (slightly edited by me):

The large building in the center is the USPO Terminal Annex. I started working there in August 1963. The buildings between TA and Union Station were part of Railway Express, used for sorting mail to and from RPO cars. That stack in back was the power station for Union Station — it had its own electric and water system, maybe sewage, too. I drank many times that cool sweet well-water. Notice cars around TA loading dock. I supervised that dock 1968/69 — we had to keep the area open. Now look where train is bending, people would park off ballast, but cars turning would swing out further and hit parked cars. That tree on the upper right led down grade to vacant parting lot. I was coming up that path when the President was shot.

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Top photo shows the Fort Worth and Denver’s Sam Houston Zephyr train No. 4, northbound from Houston, leaving the Dallas Union Terminal Station, heading to Fort Worth. The photo was taken by Roger S. Plummer in 1950; photo from the Museum of the American Railroad, via UNT’s Portal to Texas History, here.

(Other photos of the Sam Houston Zephyr taken in Dallas — and one in Fort Worth — by Roger S. Plummer between 1949 and 1955 can be found on the Portal to Texas History site, here.)

Bottom image titled simply “Dallas, Texas” is an Aerial Photo Service postcard, from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. I’ve edited the image a bit — see the original image and description here.

An aerial view of the same area today can be seen here, via Google.

A previous Flashback Dallas post on the stunningly beautiful Texas Zephyr can be found here.

Thanks to the members of the Texas Railroad History group on Facebook for their comments and help.

Both photos are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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