Silver Star (Amtrak train)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Silver Star
Amtrak Silver Star 92 in SOP.jpg
The Silver Star at Southern Pines, North Carolina in 2009
Overview
Service typeInter-city rail
LocaleEast Coast of the United States
First service1947
Current operator(s)Amtrak (1971 - present)
Former operator(s)Seaboard Air Line (1947–1967)
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (1967–1971)
Pennsylvania Railroad (1947–1968, haulage agreement)
Penn Central (1968–1971, haulage agreement)
Annual ridership187,152 (FY21) Decrease −52.0%[1][a]
Route
TerminiNew York City
Miami
Stops38
Distance travelled1,522 miles (2,449 km)
Average journey time31h 33m
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)91, 92
On-board services
Class(es)Coach Class
Sleeper Service
Disabled accessAll train cars, all stations
Sleeping arrangements
  • Roomette (2 beds)
  • Bedroom (2 beds)
  • Bedroom Suite (4 beds)
  • Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
Catering facilitiesDining car, Café
Baggage facilitiesOverhead racks, checked baggage available at selected stations
Technical
Rolling stockAmfleet, Viewliner
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed125 mph (201 km/h) (top, NEC) 79 mph (127 km/h) (top)
Track owner(s)Amtrak, CSXT, NS, CFRC, SFRTA

The Silver Star is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 1,522-mile (2,449 km) route between New York City and Miami via Washington, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Tampa.[2] The Silver Star and its partner in the Silver Service brand, the Silver Meteor, are the descendants of numerous long-distance trains that operated between Florida and New York for most of the 20th century.

During fiscal year 2019, the Silver Star carried nearly 389,995 passengers, an increase of 5.9% from FY2018.[3] In FY16, it earned a total revenue of $29,261,496, an 11.6% decrease from FY2010.[4]

History[edit]

The northbound Silver Star passing through Seabrook, Maryland in 1969

The Silver 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 previously known as the Advance Silver Meteor, and was renamed on December 12, 1947, after the name was chosen by Seaboard in a contest.[citation needed] From 1947 to 1948, it was winter-only and did not appear in summer timetables.[5] By 1949, however, it was a year-round train.[6] Its main Miami-bound route went through the interior of Florida, via Ocala and Winter Haven. In peak winter service in the mid-1950s it had a section that went to St. Petersburg via Tampa. Another section went to Port Boca Grande via Tampa.[7] 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. Between Washington and Richmond, Virginia, the train operated on RF&P rails. Amtrak took over the train in 1971.

A Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad locomotive pulls the Silver Star at Alexandria, VA on March 23, 1969

Except for a brief period 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 operated the Silver Star with Tampa and Miami sections that split in Jacksonville, with the Tampa section continuing on the old Atlantic Coast Line route through Orlando, and the Miami section 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 or north to New York.[8][9] The detour occurs at Lakeland; the train stops there to discharge passengers before going to Tampa and to receive passengers after it returns from Tampa.

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 (the Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, and Cardinal) were examined in FY 2010.[10] With the discontinuation of the Silver Meteor's former Tampa section (a descendant of the Champion, a longtime rival of the Silver Star and Silver Meteor) in 1988, the Silver Star is now the only passenger train serving Tampa.

On February 4, 2018, Silver Star train number 91 collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce, South Carolina; the engineer and a conductor of the Silver Star were killed, and 116 passengers were injured.[11][12]

On July 6, 2020, Amtrak reduced the frequency of this train to three times per week as opposed to daily.[13] Southbound Silver Star trains departed New York Friday through Sunday, while Silver Meteor trains departed Monday through Thursday. Similarly, northbound Silver Star trains departed Miami on Thursday through Saturday, while Silver Meteor trains departed Sunday through Wednesday.[14] Both trains resumed daily services on June 7, 2021, after additional Amtrak funding was included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[15]

In 2021, Amtrak reached out to FDOT to begin negotiations again for utilization of the Miami Intermodal Center. This comes after years of disagreement over the platform length at the MIC, as Amtrak normally adds cars to the Silver Meteor and Silver Star during the winter season to accommodate increased demand.[16] In February 2022, negotiations restarted between FDOT and Amtrak.[17] Later in March 2022, a test train operated into and out of the station and proved that the platforms are sufficient in length to hold a standard 10 car train.[18] However, the platforms are not long enough to accomodate an 11 to 12 car train, which could be possible in the winter months. In September 2022, Amtrak management announced that it had restarted lease negotiations with FDOT regarding use and maintenance of the terminal. One issue however, is the deadheading move that will need to take place between the MIC and Hialeah. Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner has stated that "the company is evaluating technical and operational aspects of the move."[19]

Between January 24 and October 6, 2022, the Silver Star temporarily added a station stop in [Jesup, Georgia due to the suspension of its sister train, the Silver Meteor, which is normally the only train that stops at that station. This was due to a resurgence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.[20] During this period the Silver Star provided a single once daily service between New York and Miami.

Rolling stock[edit]

Southbound Silver Star passing Martin State Airport station at 100 mph, June 15, 2019

Like Amtrak's other long-distance routes that operate to and from New York City, the Silver Star is restricted to single-level Amfleet and Viewliner cars due to low tunnel clearances in Baltimore and New York. 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 or two GE P42 diesel locomotives pull the train. From July 2015 into 2020, the Silver Star operated without a dining car.[21] During that time, passengers were able to purchase meals from a limited menu in the lounge car. In May 2020, Amtrak restored complimentary meals for sleeping car passengers only.[22]

A typical Silver Star consist as of June 2021 includes:

  • 1 Siemens ACS-64 engine (New York–Washington)
  • 2 GE P42DC engines (Washington–Miami)
  • 2-4 Amfleet II Coaches
  • 1 Amfleet II Cafe/Lounge
  • 1 Viewliner II Diner
  • 2-3 Viewliner I/II Sleepers
  • 1 Viewliner II Baggage Car

During the 2022 suspension of the Silver Meteor, some coach and sleeping cars usually on the Silver Meteor were combined into the Silver Star, creating a train with up to six coaches and five sleepers, in addition to the café-lounge, diner, and baggage car.[23]

Route details[edit]

Amtrak Silver Service (interactive map)

The Silver Star operates over a combination of Amtrak, CSX Transportation, and Norfolk Southern Railway trackage:[citation needed]

The Silver Star uses the same route as the Silver Meteor – the other train in the Silver Service brand – excluding two segments, Selma, NCSavannah, GA and Kissimmee, FLWinter Haven, FL.[24][2] Between Selma and Savannah, the Silver Star takes an inland route over the CSX S-Line to serve the Carolinas' state capitals of Raleigh and Columbia, while the Silver Meteor stays closer to the coast on the CSX A-Line and serves Fayetteville, NC and Charleston, SC. At Auburndale, FL, the Silver Meteor turns south to go directly Miami, while the Silver Star continues west to Lakeland, FL and Tampa, before coming back to Auburndale and turning south to Miami. In addition to these diversions, between Sebring, FL and West Palm Beach, FL, the Silver Meteor makes no intermediate stops, while the Silver Star makes an additional stop at Okeechobee, FL. Inversely, between Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL, the Silver Meteor makes an additional stop at Jesup, GA, while the Silver Star makes no intermediate stops. However, during the 2022 suspension of the Silver Meteor, the Silver Star temporarily served Jesup.[24][2]

Prior to October 1986, the Silver Star ran between Petersburg, VA, and Raleigh via the CSX Norlina Subdivision, stopping only in Henderson, NC.[25] CSX abandoned the Norlina Subdivision between Norlina, NC and Collier Yard (just south of Petersburg) in 1986, and the Silver Star was rerouted over the CSX A-Line between Petersburg and Selma, then to the North Carolina Railroad between Selma and Raleigh. The Silver Star is expected to be rerouted via its former route when tracks between Petersburg and Norlina are rebuilt as part of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor project, and reinstate its stop at Henderson, as well as adding a stop in La Crosse, VA.[26]

Like other long-distance trains operating on the Northeast Corridor, local travel between NEC stations is not allowed on the Silver Star. Northbound trains only stop to discharge passengers from Alexandria, VA northward, and southbound trains only stop to receive passengers from Newark, NJ to Washington.[2] This policy is in place to keep seats available for passengers making longer trips. Passengers wanting to travel locally must use the more frequent Northeast Regional or Acela trains. Additionally, the Silver Star, like the Silver Meteor, does not allow local travel between West Palm Beach and Miami. Southbound trains only stop to discharge passengers, while northbound trains only stop to receive passengers bound for points beyond West Palm Beach. This is due to the availability of Tri-Rail, South Florida's commuter rail system.

Since Amtrak ended rail passenger service over the CSX Clearwater Subdivision between Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL in 1984,[27] it has provided dedicated Amtrak Thruway bus service at Tampa Union Station for trainside transfer of passengers and their baggage to and from Clearwater, FL and St. Petersburg. Other points on Florida's west coast, such as Bradenton, FL, Sarasota, FL, Port Charlotte, FL and Fort Myers, FL, are also served by Amtrak Thruway service connecting with the Silver Star at Tampa.[28]

Station stops[edit]

State Town/City Station Connections
NY New York City Penn Station Amtrak Amtrak (long-distance): Adirondack, Cardinal, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor
Amtrak Amtrak (intercity): Acela, Berkshire Flyer, Carolinian, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Vermonter
MTA NYC logo.svg LIRR:  Main Line,  Port Washington Branch
NJ Transit NJ Transit:  North Jersey Coast Line,  Northeast Corridor Line,  Gladstone Branch,  Montclair-Boonton Line,  Morristown Line
BSicon SUBWAY.svg NYC Subway: "1" train"2" train"3" train"A" train"C" train"E" train
Port Authority Trans-Hudson PATH: HOB-33 JSQ-33 JSQ-33 (via HOB)
Bus interchange NYC Transit Bus
NJ Newark Newark Penn Station Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
NJ Transit NJ Transit:  North Jersey Coast Line,  Northeast Corridor Line,  Raritan Valley Line
Port Authority Trans-Hudson PATH: NWK-WTC
Newark Light Rail Newark Light Rail
Bus interchange NJ Transit Bus
Trenton Trenton Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
NJ Transit NJ Transit:  Northeast Corridor Line,  River Line
SEPTA.svg SEPTA Regional Rail:  Trenton Line
Bus interchange NJ Transit Bus, SEPTA Suburban Bus
PA Philadelphia 30th Street Station Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
SEPTA.svg SEPTA Regional Rail: all routes
NJ Transit NJ Transit:  Atlantic City Line
SEPTA.svg SEPTA City Transit: Market-Frankford Subway-Surface
Bus interchange SEPTA City Bus, SEPTA Suburban Bus
DE Wilmington Wilmington Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
SEPTA.svg SEPTA Regional Rail:  Wilmington/​Newark Line
Bus interchange DART First State
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines
MD Baltimore Penn Station Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
MARC train.svg MARC:  Penn Line
BSicon TRAM.svg Light RailLink
Bus interchange MTA Maryland, Charm City Circulator
DC Washington Washington Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Acela, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
MARC train.svg MARC:  Brunswick Line,  Camden Line,  Penn Line
Virginia Railway Express VRE:  Manassas Line,  Fredericksburg Line
WMATA Metro Logo small.svg Metro: WMATA Red.svg Red Line
BSicon TRAM1.svg DC Streetcar: H Street/Benning Road Line
Bus interchange Metrobus, DC Circulator, MTA Maryland, Loudoun County Transit, OmniRide
Bus interchange Intercity bus: Greyhound Lines Greyhound, Megabus (North America) Megabus, BoltBus, BestBus, Peter Pan, OurBus
VA Alexandria Alexandria Amtrak Amtrak: Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
Virginia Railway Express VRE:  Manassas Line,  Fredericksburg Line
WMATA Metro Logo small.svg Metro: WMATA Blue.svg Blue Line, WMATA Yellow.svg Yellow Line
Bus interchange Metrobus, DASH
Richmond Richmond Staples Mill Road Amtrak Amtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
Bus interchange Greater Richmond Transit Company
Ettrick Petersburg Amtrak Amtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
NC Rocky Mount Rocky Mount Amtrak Amtrak: Carolinian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
Bus interchange Tar River Transit
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines
Raleigh Raleigh Union Station Amtrak Amtrak: Carolinian, Piedmont
Bus interchange GoRaleigh, GoTriangle
Cary Cary Amtrak Amtrak: Carolinian, Piedmont
Bus interchange GoCary, GoTriangle
Southern Pines Southern Pines
Hamlet Hamlet
SC Camden Camden
Columbia Columbia Bus interchange The Comet
Denmark Denmark
GA Savannah Savannah Amtrak Amtrak: Palmetto, Silver Meteor
FL Jacksonville Jacksonville Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Waldo, Ocala, Gainesville, The Villages, Wildwood, Dade City, Lakeland
Bus interchange Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Palatka Palatka Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Bus interchange The Ride Solution
DeLand DeLand Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Daytona Beach
Winter Park Winter Park Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
SunRail SunRail
Lynx (Orlando) LYNX Bus
Orlando Orlando Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Lakeland, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers
SunRail SunRail
Lynx (Orlando) LYNX Bus
Kissimmee Kissimmee Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
SunRail SunRail
Lynx (Orlando) LYNX Bus
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines
Lakeland Lakeland Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach to Dade City, Wildwood, The Villages, Gainesville, Ocala, Waldo Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers
Bus interchange Citrus Connection
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines
Tampa Tampa Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach to Dade City, Wildwood, The Villages, Gainesville, Ocala, Waldo, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers
Bus interchange Hillsborough Area Regional Transit
Winter Haven Winter Haven Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Sebring Sebring Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Okeechobee Okeechobee
West Palm Beach West Palm Beach Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail Tri-Rail
Brightline Brightline (at West Palm Beach)
Bus interchange Palm Tran, Tri-Rail Commuter Connector, West Palm Beach Downtown Trolley
Greyhound Lines Greyhound Lines
Delray Beach Delray Beach Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail Tri-Rail
Bus interchange Palm Tran, Downtown Connector
Deerfield Beach Deerfield Beach Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail Tri-Rail
Bus interchange Broward County Transit, Tri-Rail Commuter Connector
Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail Tri-Rail
Bus interchange Broward County Transit, Metrobus, Sun Trolley, Tri-Rail Commuter Connector
Hollywood Hollywood Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail Tri-Rail
Bus interchange Broward County Transit, Hallandale Beach Community Bus
Miami Miami Amtrak Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Bus interchange Metrobus

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amtrak Fiscal Year 2021 Ridership" (PDF). Amtrak. September 30, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Atlantic Coast Timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. March 4, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "Amtrak Sets Revenue and Earnings Records Delivers Best Operating Performance in Company History" (PDF). Amtrak. November 16, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Amtrak FY16 Ridership & Revenue Fact Sheet" (PDF). Amtrak. April 17, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Seaboard Aire Line Railroad Timetables, June 15, 1948
  6. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways, August 1949, Seaboard Air Line Railroad section, Tables 1, 3, 6
  7. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways, December 1954, Seaboard Air Line Railroad section, Condensed Table and Tables 1, 3, 6, 7
  8. ^ "April 6, 2004 (System Timetable) Page 71". The Museum of Railway Timetables.
  9. ^ "Atlantic Coast Service Timetable - Effective November 8, 2010" (PDF). Amtrak.
  10. ^ "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List". Trains. January 2011. pp. 20–21.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Tate, Curtis. "Amtrak to reduce New York-Florida trains starting July 6, with more cuts coming Oct. 1". USA TODAY. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  14. ^ "Silver Star and Silver Meteor Schedule Changes effective July 6, 2020". Amtrak. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  15. ^ "With Increased Demand and Congressional Funding, Amtrak Restores 12 Long Distance Routes to Daily Service". Amtrak. March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  16. ^ Chardy, Alfonso; Viglucci, Andres (October 31, 2013). "Long trains, short platforms at new Miami airport train station won't force permanent street closure". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Amtrak Begins Active Preparations To Launch Service To Miami Intermodal Center". The Next Miami. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  18. ^ "Video Shows Amtrak Train Fitting Into The Miami Intermodal Center In First Test Run". The Next Miami. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  19. ^ "Amtrak switch to Miami airport station again moving forward". Trains.com. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  20. ^ "Amtrak to restore four long-distance trains to daily service in late May". Trains. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  21. ^ Kennedy, Thomas L. (September 8, 2017). "Tampa's Silver Star not a fallen star but needs work". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  22. ^ Cokley, Carolyn (January 9, 2020). "NEW FLEXIBLE DINING SERVICE LAUNCHES ON THE SILVER STAR". Rail Passengers Association. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  23. ^ "Silver Star/Silver Meteor combined train (Jan-Mar 2022)". Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  24. ^ a b "Silver Service / Palmetto Train". Amtrak. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  25. ^ "Henderson, NC". www.trainweb.org. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  26. ^ "Southeast High Speed Rail: Tier II Final Environmental Impact Statement, And Final Section 4(f) Evaluation, Richmond, VA to Raleigh, NC" (PDF). August 2015. p. 122. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  27. ^ Luisi, Vincent (2010). Railroading in Pinellas County. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-8550-5.
  28. ^ Amtrak Website

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Amtrak's Fiscal Year (FY) runs from October 1st of the prior year to September 30th of the named year.

External links[edit]