- Gulf Wind
Infobox rail line
name = "Gulf Wind"
Seaboard Air Line(1949-1967) Seaboard Coast Line(1967-1971) Louisville and Nashville(1949-1971)
New Orleans, Louisiana
open = 1949
close = 1971
linelength = convert|616.6|mi|km
gauge = RailGauge|ussg
map_state = show
The "Gulf Wind" was a streamlined
passenger traininaugurated on July 31, 1949as a joint operation by the Louisville and Nashville Railroadand the Seaboard Air Line Railroad( Seaboard Coast Lineafter merger with the Atlantic Coast Lineon July 1, 1967). [ [http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000aet Gulf Wind ] ] The "Gulf Wind" replaced the heavyweight "New Orleans - Florida Limited" as the premier train on this routing. [http://books.google.com/books?id=vzJkVIXu77YC&pg=RA2-PA141&lpg=RA2-PA141&dq=%22gulf+wind%22+train+L%26N&source=web&ots=fgsYLChCNQ&sig=KrKSa0vv6pBZB0P0dznyMk6IdhU&hl=en#PRA2-PA141,M1]
The train's 617-mile route ran from
Jacksonville, Floridavia 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 Panhandleand along the Gulf Coast, arriving about midmorning at the other end of the line. [ [http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000aet 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."
consistof the "Gulf Wind" included baggage cars, coaches, and Pullmansleepers, as well as an L&N diner between New Orleans and Mobile, and an SAL diner between Chattahoochee and Jacksonville. [http://www.geocities.com/ORVILLEI/seaboard59.html] A round-ended observation carwas 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. [ [http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000aet 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. [ [http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000aet 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.
* [http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track1/gulfwind197104.html The "Gulf Wind's" final timetable and consist, January - April, 1971]
* [http://www.wfrm.org/wfrmhist.html West Florida Railroad Museum, Milton, Fla.]
* [http://www.heritage-museum.org/exhibits.htm Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, Valparaiso, Fla.]
* [http://www.privaterailcars.net/royalstreet.html Pictures of the restored L&N observation car Royal Street, used on the Gulf Wind until 1970]
* [http://www.americanrail.com/Royal_Street.htm More pictures of the Royal Street, now in private hands]
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