Silver Star (Amtrak train)
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|First service||May 1, 1971|
424,394 total (FY11)
|Start||New York City|
|Distance travelled||1,522 miles (2,449 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Track owner(s)||Amtrak, CSX, NS, CFRC|
The Silver Star is a 1522-mile (2449 km) passenger train route in the Silver Service brand operated by Amtrak, running from New York City south to Miami, Florida via the Northeast Corridor to Washington, DC, then via: Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Orlando, Florida; and Tampa, Florida. The Silver Star shares much of its track with the Silver Meteor, which runs further east through North Carolina and South Carolina.
During fiscal year 2011, the Silver Star carried nearly 425,000 passengers, an increase of 7.8 percent over FY2010. During FY2011, the train had a total revenue of $32,963,894, a 10.6% increase from FY2010.
The "Star" was originally a service of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, running from New York to Miami and later also St. Petersburg (beyond Tampa). It was inaugurated December 12, 1947 to replace the Advance Silver Meteor.
With the exception of a brief period of time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when service to Tampa was provided by the Palmetto, the Silver Star has served both Tampa and Miami during the Amtrak era. Originally, Amtrak would split the Silver Star in Jacksonville, with the Tampa-bound portion continuing on the old Atlantic Coast Line Railroad route through Orlando, and the Miami-bound portion traveling through Ocala and Wildwood over most of what was the original Seaboard route to Miami. After November 1, 2004, the Silver Star resumed service to Tampa, and now travels intact all of the way, backing out of Tampa and retracing its route 40 miles east to Auburndale, where it heads south to Miami.
In the January 2011 issue of Trains Magazine, this route was listed as one of five routes to be looked at by Amtrak in FY 2011 as the previous five routes (Sunset, Eagle, Zephyr, Capitol, and Cardinal) were examined in FY 2010.
Like Amtrak's other long-distance routes that operate to and from New York, Amtrak is restricted to its single-level Amfleet and Viewliner cars. In addition, while electric locomotives are used between Washington, DC and New York, trains switch to diesel locomotives traveling south of Washington. Today's "Silver Star" consist is as follows:
- 1 or 2 ACS-64s, HHP-8 or AEM-7 engines (New York-Washington D.C.)
- 2 P42s (Washington D.C.-Miami)
- Baggage car
- 2 Viewliner sleepers
- Heritage Fleet diner
- Amfleet II lounge
- 4 Amfleet II coaches
- Amtrak Northeast Corridor, New York to Washington
- CSX RF&P Subdivision, Richmond Terminal Subdivision, North End Subdivision, and South End Subdivision, Washington to Selma
- NS Piedmont Division, East Carolina Business Unit, Goldsboro to Greensboro district, Selma to Raleigh
- CSX Aberdeen Subdivision, Hamlet Terminal Subdivision, Hamlet Subdivision, Columbia Subdivision, Savannah Subdivision, Nahunta Subdivision, Jacksonville Terminal Subdivision, Sanford Subdivision, Lakeland Subdivision, and Tampa Terminal Subdivision, Raleigh to Tampa
- Central Florida Rail Corridor, DeLand to Poinciana.
- CSX Auburndale Subdivision and Miami Subdivision, Auburndale to Miami
Prior to October 1986, the train ran between Petersburg and Raleigh via the CSX (Seaboard Air Line) Norlina Subdivision, stopping only in Henderson. CSX abandoned the Norlina Sub between Norlina and Collier Yard in Petersburg in 1986 and the Silver Star was shifted to the "A Line" between Petersburg and Selma, then to NS's "H Line" between Selma and Raleigh.
In popular culture
- "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "April 6, 2004 (System Timetable) Page 71". The Museum of Railway Timetables.
- "Atlantic Coast Service Timetable - Effective November 8, 2010". Amtrak.
- "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List", Trains, January 2011, 20-21.
- "All reserved on the 11:30 Amtrak Silver Star bound for Tampa and Miami - Carlito's Way". Subzin.
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