Gulf Breeze (train)

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Gulf Breeze
Greenville AL Greenville Depot.JPG
Overview
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Discontinued
Locale Alabama
First service October 1989
Last service 1 April 1995
Former operator(s) Amtrak
Route
Start New York City, New York
End Mobile, Alabama
Service frequency Daily each way
Train number(s) 519, 520
On-board services
Class(es) Standard and first class
Seating arrangements Reserved Coach Seat
Sleeping arrangements Roomette
Bedrooms
Catering facilities Dining Car
Lounge Car
Baggage facilities Checked baggage available at stations north of Birmingham
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) CSX Transportation
Route map
Dist.
Station
0 mi Birmingham
96 mi 
154 km 
Montgomery
140 mi 
225 km 
Greenville
177 mi 
285 km 
Evergreen
201 mi 
323 km 
Brewton
230 mi 
370 km 
Atmore
250 mi 
402 km 
Bay Minette
275 mi 
443 km 
Mobile

The Gulf Breeze was a 275 miles (443 km) daily passenger train operated by Amtrak between Birmingham and Mobile in the U.S. state of Alabama.

History[edit]

Amtrak introduced the Gulf Breeze in October 1989 as an adjunct to the Crescent (New YorkNew Orleans). Costs of operation were split between Amtrak and the state, with the latter contributing about $1.3 million per year. Annual ridership in FY 1994, the last full year of operation, was 7,737. In December 1994 Amtrak announced that the Gulf Breeze would be discontinued as part of a broad cost-cutting measure which saw other services eliminated or reduced.[1] The last Gulf Breeze ran on 1 April 1995, and was replaced by bus service.[2]

Later that year attempts were made under the auspices of the Southern High Speed Rail Commission to resurrect the Gulf Breeze as a Mobile–New Orleans service, sharing part of the Sunset Limited's route. This was eventually realized as the Gulf Coast Limited, a joint effort between Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana which operated 1996–1997.[3]

Route[edit]

The Gulf Breeze originated in New York City as the Crescent, but split at Birmingham and ran south through Montgomery to Mobile on the Gulf of Mexico, while the Crescent continued southwest through Mississippi to Louisiana. At the time Mobile was served also by the Sunset Limited (Orlando, FloridaLos Angeles, California).[4]

The Gulf Breeze served the following communities:

Of these, Birmingham is still served by the Crescent, while Mobile and Atmore were served by the Sunset Limited prior to Hurricane Katrina, which saw the shortening of that line to New Orleans. The remainder no longer have passenger rail service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diehl, Stan (15 Dec 1994). "CUTS BIRMINGHAM TO MOBILE LINK RAIL SERVICE PRUNED NATIONWIDE". Birmingham News. 
  2. ^ "AMTRAK ELIMINATES GULF BREEZE TRAIN SERVICE; REPLACES WITH THRUWAY BUS SERVICE". PR Newswire. 3 Apr 1995. 
  3. ^ "The little train route that could gets the go-ahead". Coast Business. 10 Apr 1995. p. 7. 
  4. ^ Durantine, Peter (13 Nov 1989). "Orient Express-Style Train Launches Washington to Chicago Run". Washington Business Journal. p. 31. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

External images
A Gulf Breeze headed by an F40PH northbound near Flomaton, Alabama in December 1990.