While health issues have kept Maurice Beckham away from the trains for a while, ASTA volunteers and passengers alike share years of vivid memories of the railroad’s No. 1 ambassador of good cheer to our riders. Whether he was crafting balloon animals, conducting a raffle for a 786 drawing, leading carloads of passengers in song or assuming costumed characters such as McGruff the Crime Dog or the French poet Filet Mignon, Maurice was the A&TC’s most dependable and certainly most popular car attendant for more than 20 years.
He volunteered with ASTA in 1993 after a 37-year career with the Texas Department of Public Safety that saw him rise from trooper to Chief of Inspection and Planning, but Maurice’s most notable talents were for reaching people and making them smile. In 2015, in recognition of his long service to the railroad, ASTA re-named his favorite car, ATSF dormitory-lounge 1343, the “Maurice Beckham” in his honor.