Silver Star (Amtrak train)
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|Locale||East Coast of the United States|
Seaboard Air Line (1947-1967)|
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (1967-1971)
Pennsylvania Railroad (1947-1968, haulage agreement)
Penn Central (1968-1971, haulage agreement)
424,394 total (FY11)
|Start||New York City|
|Distance travelled||1,522 miles (2,449 km)|
|Class(es)||Reserved Coach and First-class Sleeper|
|Seating arrangements||Airline-style coach seating|
Viewliner Roomette (2 beds)|
Viewliner Bedroom (2 beds)
Viewliner Bedroom Suite (4 beds)
Viewliner Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
|Baggage facilities||Checked baggage available at selected stations|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Track owner(s)||Amtrak, CSX, NS, CFRC BNSF|
The Silver Star is a 1,522-mile (2,449 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, D.C., 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, except for between Selma, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. The Silver Star takes an inland route that services the Carolinas' state capitals of Raleigh and Columbia, while the Silver Meteor stays closer to the coast and services Florence and Charleston, 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. The Pennsylvania Railroad carried the train between New York and Washington, D. C. under a haulage agreement, similar to the arrangement with its sister train, the Silver Meteor. The agreement was maintained when the Pennsy was folded into Penn Central in 1968, a year after SAL merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as the Seaboard Coast Line. Amtrak took over the train in 1971.
With the exception of a brief period of time from 1994 to 1995 and from 1996 to 2004, when service to Tampa was provided by the Palmetto (known as the Silver Palm from 1996 to 2002), 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 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 (64 km) 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 City, the Silver Star is restricted to its single-level Amfleet and Viewliner cars. Between New York Penn Station and Washington Union Station, the Silver Star is pulled by one Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotive. South of Washington, one GE P42 diesel locomotive pulls the train. Since July 2015, the Silver Star has operated without a dining car. Passengers must buy their meals from the lounge car, which serves hot and cold food, albeit from a more limited menu.
A typical Silver Star consist is:
- 1 ACS-64 engine (New York–Washington)
- 1 P42 engine (Washington–Miami)
- 4 or 5 Amfleet II coaches
- Amfleet II lounge
- 2 Viewliner sleepers
- Viewliner Baggage car
- Amtrak Northeast Corridor: New York–Washington
- CSX RF&P Subdivision, Richmond Terminal Subdivision, North End Subdivision, and South End Subdivision: Washington–Selma
- NS Piedmont Division, East Carolina Business Unit, Goldsboro to Greensboro district: Selma–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– Tampa
- Central Florida Rail Corridor: DeLand–Poinciana.
- CSX Auburndale Subdivision: Auburndale–West Palm Beach
- South Florida Rail Corridor: West Palm Beach–Miami
In its present form, the southbound Silver Star leaves New York just before lunchtime, arriving in Washington in mid-afternoon and Raleigh in mid-evening, then passing through the Carolinas and Georgia overnight before arriving in Jacksonville at breakfast time the following morning, Orlando in mid-morning, Tampa at lunchtime, and Miami at the end of the evening rush. Northbound trains leave Miami just before lunchtime, arriving in Tampa at rush hour and Orlando in early evening, passing through Jacksonville, Georgia and South Carolina overnight before arriving in Raleigh at rush hour the following morning, Richmond at lunchtime, Washington in mid-afternoon, and New York in early evening.
Prior to October 1986, the train ran between Petersburg, Virginia, and Raleigh via the CSX (Seaboard Coast 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. October 13, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "April 6, 2004 (System Timetable) Page 71". The Museum of Railway Timetables.
- "Atlantic Coast Service Timetable - Effective November 8, 2010" (PDF). Amtrak.
- "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List", Trains, January 2011, 20-21.
- Fedschun, Travis (February 4, 2018). "Amtrak, CSX train collision in South Carolina leaves 2 dead, over 100 injured, officials say". Fox News. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Joseph, Yonette; Bolon, Anne-Sophie (January 31, 2018). "Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures Nearly 70 Others". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- "All reserved on the 11:30 Amtrak Silver Star bound for Tampa and Miami - Carlito's Way". Subzin.
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