Twilight Shoreliner

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Twilight Shoreliner
Electric train in Boston (195624610).jpg
The Twilight Shoreliner in Boston in 2002
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Discontinued
Locale Northeast Corridor
Predecessor Night Owl
First service 10 July 1997 (1997-07-10)
Last service 28 April 2003 (2003-04-28)
Successor Federal
Former operator(s) Amtrak
Start Newport News, Virginia
End Boston, Massachusetts
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 66,67
On-board services
  • Coach class
  • Custom class
  • Viewliner sleeper car
Catering facilities
  • On-board café
  • Twilight Lounge
Rolling stock
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Twilight Shoreliner was a passenger train operated by Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor between Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport News, Virginia, via New York City and Washington, D.C. Amtrak introduced it in 1997 to replace the Night Owl. It was discontinued in 2003 in favor of the Federal.


The Twilight Shoreliner replaced the Night Owl as Amtrak's dedicated overnight service on the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak equipped the train with a Viewliner sleeping car, replacing the Heritage Fleet equipment used by the Night Owl. The new train also featured a Custom-class coach and the specially-branded "Twilight Café," which served hot meals and was restricted to sleeper- and custom-class passengers. Finally, Amtrak extended the southern terminus from Washington, D.C., to Newport News, Virginia, and moved the departure time from Boston from 10 PM to 8 PM.[1] The Twilight Shoreliner provided a second daily frequency between the Northeast and Newport News, supplementing the Old Dominion.[2]

Amtrak launched the Twilight Shoreliner on July 10, 1997.[2] The cover of its Summer 1997 Northeast timetable called the train "An Unexpected Departure from the Northeast"; a full-page inset touted the many amenities available, including showers and in-room first-run movies for sleeping car passengers and the two cafe cars.[3]

Amtrak discontinued the Twilight Shoreliner on April 28, 2003, replacing it with the Federal, which ran from Boston to Washington, D.C. Ridership from Newport News had declined in 2002–2003, and eliminating the Virginian portion of the route Amtrak could offer a better schedule to travelers on the Northeast Corridor.[4] The Federal was merged into the Regional brand on April 26, 2004.[5] Amtrak continues to offer overnight Washington-Boston trains 66 and 67 as part of the Northeast Regional brand; however, they do not include the sleeping car and lounge car.[6]


A former Twilight Shoreliner Viewliner sleeper, still in revenue service, in 2009

The Twilight Shoreliner operated with a mix of Heritage, Amfleet, and Viewliner equipment. A Heritage Fleet baggage car handled checked baggage for passengers and, beginning in 2001, bicycles.[7][8] The train carried a Viewliner sleeping car except for a brief period in 2002 when Amtrak had to withdraw it because of equipment shortages elsewhere.[9] The train carried four Amfleet coaches, two of which were configured for "Custom Class" seating.[2] The train featured a first class-only lounge car, the "Twilight Lounge", for sleeper and Custom Class passengers.[10] A second standard cafe car served regular coach passengers.[11]:13


  1. ^ "HERALD TRAVELER: Bet on a good time with golf, gambling". Boston Herald  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). July 3, 1997. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Messina, Debbie (July 10, 1997). "LIKE HOME ON THE RAILS AMTRACK EXPANDS SERVICE TO HAMPTON ROADS WITH SECOND TRAIN, LUXURY SLEEPING AND DINING". The Virginian-Pilot  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Amtrak Northeast Timetable: Summer 1997, Revised Edition. Amtrak. July 10, 1997 – via Museum of Railway Timetables. 
  4. ^ Messina, Debbie (April 24, 2003). "Amtrak Alters Sleeper Service to Boston". The Virginian-Pilot  – via HighBeam (subscription required). Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Amtrak System Timetable: Spring/Summer 2004. Amtrak. April 26, 2004. p. 33 – via Museum of Railway Timetables. 
  6. ^ Amtrak System Timetable: Winter/Spring 2016 (PDF). Amtrak. January 11, 2016. pp. 18,26 – via Museum of Railway Timetables. 
  7. ^ "Coming and Going". The Washington Post. May 13, 2001. Retrieved October 22, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "Exhibit Train Equipment History". Amtrak. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  9. ^ Hanchett, Doug (June 15, 2002). "Amtrak rethinks bed idea, restores sleeper car service". The Boston Herald. Retrieved October 23, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ Grossman, Cathy Lynn (June 27, 1997). "An updated Boston-D.C. night train". USA Today. pp. 5D. 
  11. ^ Riddell, Doug (October 1997). "The First Run of Amtrak's Twilight Shoreliner". RailNews. No. 407. pp. 12–13.