One hundred years ago, on October 26, 1912, the citizens of Marshall celebrated the completion and grand opening of their new Texas & Pacific Railway Depot. This year, our wonderful Depot turns one hundred years old, and the Depot Board of Directors and its Centennial Committee have planned a grand celebration to honor this historic building. An Old-Fashioned Birthday Celebration will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 10 A. M. until 2:00 P. M. on the Depot grounds. The public is invited to attend this free event. Union Pacific Railroad is celebrating its 150th anniversary and has graciously agreed to sponsor the Depot Celebration and to hold its 150th Celebration in combination with the Depot affair… which makes this one of the biggest rail events ever held in East Texas. (See schedule of events.)
Highlighting the Depot’s festivities will be the arrival of Union Pacific Railroad’s steam engine #844, “The Living Legend”, the last steam engine purchased by Union Pacific. Many area citizens will remember this train when it came to the Depot in 2006. Rail fans will want to make sure they tour the train and its UP Museum Display car while it is in the Depot area for our celebration. And, just for the kids, Union Pacific will bring a miniature train for the kids to ride! At each and every event all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Something else unusual has been added for adults and young people to enjoy. Experience the railroad operations and how in feels to be a Locomotive Engineer in Union Pacific’s Locomotive Simulator.
The four-hour event will feature a strolling magician, music, birthday cake, Blue Bell ice cream, and more fun than you can imagine! Ms. Mary Brooke Casad and her sidekick, Bluebonnet the Armadillo, will read Bluebonnet at the Marshall Depot . Ms. Casad worked closely with the late Marjorie Perkins and other board members to assist Bluebonnet in writing about the history of the Depot. The book has become a Depot favorite of teachers, students, and parents alike. The Hamptons, a local blue-grass and gospel group, will provide musical entertainment, and kicking off the event will be Dixie Land Jazz Band, made up of local and area musicians, who have become crowd-pleasing favorites. Special guest, Bob Griffin KTBS, Channel 3 Personality and Depot President Hal Evans will be Masters of Ceremonies. No matter what your taste in entertainment, you will find something to please your entertainment taste!
Everyone must provide their own picnic lunches and blankets for their dinner on the grounds of the Depot! And, if you like, in a 1912, Depot or Railroad theme. Judges will choose the best-decorated and themed basket with a Picnic Basket Parade following the naming of the winner. The winner of the contest will be awarded a round trip sponsored by Amtrak on its Texas Eagle Line. The trip which is valued at over $4,000.00, will be for a family of 4 and to anywhere on the Texas Eagle route. So, start to plan now to participate in this exciting contest!
The Depot Board of Directors would like to thank Union Pacific Railroad for its sponsorship of this Centennial event and to Amtrak for its sponsorship of the trip given for the Picnic Basket Contest. Many others have worked diligently to make this event a success, and the Marshall Depot Board is also indebted to them.
It's going to be an old-fashioned birthday celebration and a depot centennial celebrated on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 10am til 2pm. Events include: starting at 10 am, Dixieland Band Concert; 10:30 am, welcome and recognition of special guest speakers including KTBS' own Bob Griffin; 11 am, reading of "Bluebonnet at eh Marshall Depot" and judge begins judging baskets; 11:15 am til noon, "The Hamptons" entertain; noon, Picnic Basket Parade and Announcement of Picnic Basket Contest Winner and awarding of prize by Amtrak Representative; 12:15 pm, picnic dinner on the grounds; 1 pm, Mary Brooke Casad and Bluebonnet, the Armadillo, read Bluebonnet at the Marshall Depot. Birthday cake and ice cream will be offered throughout the afternoon.
Ongoing Activities: Free Depot museum admission, visit gift shop, kids can ride Union Pacific miniature train, visit Union Pacific Engine#844, and all ages can experience railroad operations on a Locomotive Simulator.
Union Pacific Railroad & the Texas & Pacific Railroad
The Texas & Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad have many things in common, even though the Texas & Pacific is no longer in operation. Union Pacific was the first railroad authorized by the Congress of the United States to build a transcontinental railroad all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Most people are familiar with the famous Union Pacific history about ”driving the golden spike”, in Promontory, Utah.
Many people do not realize, however, that there was a second transcontinental railroad authorized by the Congress of The United States in 1873. This railroad was to go from Marshall, Texas, to San Diego, California…and it was named The Texas & Pacific Railroad.
The first T & P passenger depot was built in Marshall in 1874, but at the turn of the century, train travel to Marshall had grown so popular that a larger, more useful (and very beautiful) station was built in 1912. This is the one you see today, Marshall’s Texas & Pacific Depot. Passenger travel at the Marshall Depot has always been so heavy in the settling of Texas, that the Marshall Depot was given the nickname of “The Gateway to Texas”.
Texas & Pacific’s Engine #400 – The “Moccasin”
Texas & Pacific Engine #400, that sits in front of the Marshall Depot as a static display, was the last steam engine purchased by the T & P Railroad. Although this engine was built in 1915, it was purchased from the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad by the Texas & Pacific in 1958. All other TP engines by then were Diesel-Electric, and could not operate in high water. Engine #400 could operate in three to four feet of water, so the T & P purchased it to pull freight cars out of flooded areas in South Louisiana. After months of very dependable service, it was given the nickname of , “The Moccasin”. It was retired in 1963, and given by the City of Marshall to the Marshall Depot in 2007.
Union Pacific’s Engine #844 – The “Living Legend”
Union Pacific’s Engine #844 is one of the most recognized steam engines in the world, and was the last steam engine purchased by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1944. A high speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Portland Rose, Los Angeles Limited, Overland Limited and Challenger. The engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill. It has made appearances at Expo ’74 in Spokane, the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.