Gulf Wind

Gulf Wind

Infobox rail line
name = "Gulf Wind"
color =

logo_width =

image_width =
caption =
type = Inter-city rail
system = Seaboard Air Line (1949-1967)
Seaboard Coast Line (1967-1971)
Louisville and Nashville (1949-1971)
locale =
start = Jacksonville, Florida
end = New Orleans, Louisiana
stations =
routes =
ridership =
open = 1949
close = 1971
owner =
operator =
character =
stock =
linelength = convert|616.6|mi|km
tracklength =
notrack =
gauge = RailGauge|ussg
el =
speed =
elevation =

map_state = show

The "Gulf Wind" was a streamlined passenger train inaugurated on July 31, 1949 as a joint operation by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (Seaboard Coast Line after merger with the Atlantic Coast Line on July 1, 1967). [ [ Gulf Wind ] ] The "Gulf Wind" replaced the heavyweight "New Orleans - Florida Limited" as the premier train on this routing. [,M1]

The train's 617-mile route ran from Jacksonville, Florida via Tallahassee, Chattahoochee, Pensacola, Flomaton, Mobile, and Biloxi to New Orleans. Locomotives were changed at Chattahoochee, where the SAL rails met those of the L&N.

With a schedule designed for passengers changing to or from the Seaboard's "Silver Meteor" at Jacksonville, the "Gulf Wind" originally departed both endpoints at 5 p.m. daily for the overnight run across the Florida Panhandle and along the Gulf Coast, arriving about midmorning at the other end of the line. [ [ Gulf Wind ] ] The name was likely inspired by the success of an earlier train carried partly over L&N rails, the Chicago-Miami "South Wind."

The consist of the "Gulf Wind" included baggage cars, coaches, and Pullman sleepers, as well as an L&N diner between New Orleans and Mobile, and an SAL diner between Chattahoochee and Jacksonville. [] A round-ended observation car was also a regular part of the "Gulf Wind" consist.

In its later years, as passenger numbers dwindled, the Gulf Wind was often combined with L&N's northbound "Piedmont Limited" from New Orleans to Flomaton, and with the southbound "Pan-American" from Flomaton to New Orleans. The "Gulf Wind's" daily schedule was cut back to triweekly in the late 1960s. [ [ Gulf Wind ] ]

The last run of the "Gulf Wind" occurred on April 30, 1971. Amtrak, which took over nearly all passenger train operations in the United States on the following day, elected not to continue running the "Gulf Wind", which despite good equipment and service was not a profitable train at that point in time. [ [ Gulf Wind ] ]

The "Gulf Wind" route had no scheduled passenger train service between Jacksonville and Flomaton until the revived and extended "Sunset Limited" was inaugurated by Amtrak in 1993.


External links

* [ The "Gulf Wind's" final timetable and consist, January - April, 1971]
* [ West Florida Railroad Museum, Milton, Fla.]
* [ Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, Valparaiso, Fla.]
* [ Pictures of the restored L&N observation car Royal Street, used on the Gulf Wind until 1970]
* [ More pictures of the Royal Street, now in private hands]

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