- Silver Meteor
A Florida-bound Silver Meteor passes through
Elizabeth, New Jersey with AEM-7 924.
The AEM-7 will be replaced by a diesel powered P42
in Washington, D.C. for the remainder of the trip south.
Overview Service type Inter-city rail First service May 1, 1971 Current operator(s) Amtrak Average ridership 965 daily
352,286 total (FY10)
Route Start New York City End Miami, Florida Distance travelled 1,389 miles (2,235 km) Train number(s) 97-98 Technical Rolling stock Track owner(s) Amtrak, CSX Route mapLegend Amtrak Silver Meteor routeLegend Distance Station 0 New York City (subway) New York/New Jersey border North River Tunnels 10 mi (16 km) Newark (PATH) 58 mi (93 km) Trenton (River Line) New Jersey/Pennsylvania border 91 mi (146 km) Philadelphia (SEPTA) Pennsylvania/Delaware border 116 mi (187 km) Wilmington Delaware/Maryland border 185 mi (298 km) Baltimore (Light Rail) Maryland/District of Columbia border 225 mi (362 km) Washington, DC (Metro) District of Columbia/Virginia border 234 mi (377 km) Alexandria 334 mi (538 km) Richmond 362 mi (583 km) Petersburg Virginia/North Carolina border 460 mi (740 km) Rocky Mount 550 mi (890 km) Fayetteville North Carolina/South Carolina border 633 mi (1,019 km) Florence 672 mi (1,081 km) Kingstree 728 mi (1,172 km) Charleston 782 mi (1,259 km) Yemassee South Carolina/Georgia border 829 mi (1,334 km) Savannah 881 mi (1,418 km) Jesup Georgia/Florida border 977 mi (1,572 km) Jacksonville 1,035 mi (1,666 km) Palatka 1,087 mi (1,749 km) DeLand 1,119 mi (1,801 km) Winter Park 1,124 mi (1,809 km) Orlando 1,142 mi (1,838 km) Kissimmee 1,187 mi (1,910 km) Winter Haven 1,221 mi (1,965 km) Sebring 1,324 mi (2,131 km) West Palm Beach 1,342 mi (2,160 km) Delray Beach 1,353 mi (2,177 km) Deerfield Beach 1,367 mi (2,200 km) Fort Lauderdale 1,375 mi (2,213 km) Hollywood 1,389 mi (2,235 km) Miami (Metrorail)
The Silver Meteor is a 1389-mile (2235 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the Silver Service brand, running from New York City, New York, south to Miami, Florida, via the Northeast Corridor to Washington, D.C., thence via Richmond, Virginia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; North Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Jesup, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
The Silver Meteor shares much of its track with the Silver Star, which runs further west through North Carolina and South Carolina and detours to serve Tampa, Florida. The Palmetto uses the same tracks as the Silver Meteor for its whole length, terminating in Savannah, Georgia.
During fiscal year 2010, the Silver Meteor carried a total of 352,286 passengers, a 6.5% increase FY 2009's total of 330,734 passengers. The train had a total revenue of $35,271,821 during FY 2010, an 8.1% increase from FY 2009's total of $32,640,978.
The Silver Meteor uses a variety of different locomotives. On the Northeast Corridor north of Washington, it uses one of Amtrak's electric locomotives, the EMD AEM-7 and the HHP-8. South of Washington, it uses two P42DC diesel electric locomotives.
A typical Silver Meteor train consists of the following cars:
The Silver Meteor was originally a train of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL), placed in service on February 2, 1939. "Silver Meteor" was the winning entry of a young African American named James Harvey Talley from La Crosse, Virginia. The train was operated between New York, NY, and Washington, DC, by the Pennsylvania Railroad under a haulage agreement. Between Washington and Richmond, it used the tracks of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, jointly owned by the SAL and five other railroads for the use of all. From Richmond south, the SAL's own trackage was used, running via Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida and Ocala, Florida. Until the late 1960s, the Silver Meteor split at Wildwood, Florida, with one section continuing to Miami, Florida, and the other serving St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Venice on Florida's west coast.
The SAL merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in 1967, and on May 28, 1968 the Silver Meteor began serving only Miami (the similarly-routed Silver Star then served only St. Petersburg). Amtrak continued to operate the Silver Meteor when it took over operations on May 1, 1971; on November 14, the numbers 83 (southbound) and 84 (northbound) were assigned.
From December 17, 1971, to April 15, 1972, and September 10, 1972 to April 27, 1973, the Silver Meteor bypassed Jacksonville, running over the track between the Georgia state line and Baldwin, Florida. Between June 11 and September 10, 1972, the Silver Meteor was extended to Boston and called the Meteor. Service to St. Petersburg was also returned, with the train splitting at Auburndale.
On September 30, 1979, the Silver Meteor was rerouted between Savannah and Jacksonville over the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad route, due to the abandonment of the old SAL route. On January 31, 1984, the Silver Meteor's Florida west coast terminus was cut back from St. Petersburg to Tampa , thus ending almost 100 years of rail passenger service to St. Petersburg. By October 26, 1986, the Silver Meteor had shifted to the old ACL route north of Savannah, as the abandonment of the SAL route north of Raleigh affected only the Silver Star. On June 11, 1988, the tracks between Coleman and Auburndale, Florida were abandoned, shifting the Miami section west to Lakeland.
By the end of 1988, the numbers assigned were 87 and 88 (to Tampa) and 97 and 98 (to Miami). The Tampa trips were later dropped, and 97 and 98 are still used.
The best timing for Amtrak's Silver Meteor between Miami and New York City was 27 hours in 2008 whereas SAL's first edition took only 25 hours in 1939, almost 70 years ago. Late trains routinely add even more hours to today's schedules.
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.
The Silver Meteor operates over Amtrak and CSX Transportation trackage:
- Amtrak Northeast Corridor, New York to Washington
- CSX RF&P Subdivision, Richmond Terminal Subdivision, North End Subdivision, South End Subdivision, Charleston Subdivision, Savannah Subdivision, Nahunta Subdivision, Jacksonville Terminal Subdivision, Sanford Subdivision, Auburndale Subdivision, and Miami Subdivision, Washington to Miami
- ^ a b c "AMTRAK SETS NEW RIDERSHIP RECORD, THANKS PASSENGERS FOR TAKING THE TRAIN (link to PDF download)". Amtrak. 11 October 2010. http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/Page/1237608337144/1237608345018?passedMonth=October&passedYear=2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, Stainless Steel Passenger Car, ex-Seaboard, Silver Meteor #6200
- ^ "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List", Trains, January 2011, 20-21.
- Mike Schafer, Amtrak's atlas, Trains June 1991
- PRR Chronology
- Amtrak's First Trains and Routes
- Amtrak timetable, November 14, 1971
- Amtrak timetable, late 1988 (Northeast Corridor only)
Northeast Corridor services Inter-city Amtrak NJ Transit Commuter MBTA CDOT Metro-North NJ Transit SEPTATrenton Line • Wilmington/Newark Line MARCPenn Line
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