Silver Star (Amtrak train)

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Silver Star
905 at Trenton, NJ.jpg
Southbound Silver Star at Trenton Transit Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
Overview
Service type Inter-city rail
First service 1947
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Former operator(s) Seaboard Air Line
Pennsylvania Railroad
Seaboard Coast Line
Penn Central
Ridership 1,163 daily
424,394 total (FY11)[1]
Route
Start New York City
Stops 35
End Miami, Florida
Distance travelled 1,522 miles (2,449 km)
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 91-92
On-board services
Class(es)
  • First class sleeper
  • Reserved coach
Technical
Rolling stock
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) Amtrak, CSX, NS, CFRC BNSF

The Silver Star is a 1,522-mile (2,449 km) passenger train route in the Silver Service brand operated by Amtrak, running from New York City south to Miami, Florida via the Northeast Corridor to Washington, D.C., then via Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Orlando, Florida; and Tampa, Florida. The Silver Star shares much of its track with the Silver Meteor, which runs further east through North Carolina and South Carolina.

During fiscal year 2011, the Silver Star carried nearly 425,000 passengers, an increase of 7.8 percent over FY2010. During FY2011, the train had a total revenue of $32,963,894, a 10.6% increase from FY2010.[1]

History

The northbound Silver Star passing through Seabrook, Maryland in 1969

The 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 inaugurated December 12, 1947, to replace the Advance Silver Meteor.

With the exception of a brief period of time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when service to Tampa was provided by the Palmetto, the Silver Star has served both Tampa and Miami during the Amtrak era. Originally, Amtrak would split the Silver Star in Jacksonville, with the Tampa-bound portion continuing on the old Atlantic Coast Line Railroad route through Orlando, and the Miami-bound portion 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.[2][3]

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.[4]

On February 4, 2018, Silver Star train number 91 collided with a CSX Freight Train in Cayce, South Carolina, killing both the engineer and a conductor and injured 116 more.[5][6]

Rolling stock

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

Like Amtrak's other long-distance routes that operate to and from New York City, the Silver Star is restricted to its single-level Amfleet and Viewliner cars. 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 GE P42 diesel locomotive pulls the train. Since July 2015, the Silver Star has operated without a dining car. Passengers must buy their meals from the lounge car, which serves hot and cold food, albeit from a more limited menu.

A typical Silver Star consist is:

  • 1 ACS-64 engine (New York–Washington)
  • 1 P42 engine (Washington–Miami)
  • 4 or 5 Amfleet II coaches
  • Amfleet II lounge
  • 2 Viewliner sleepers
  • Viewliner Baggage car

Route details

Amtrak Silver Service (interactive map)

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

  • Amtrak Northeast Corridor: New York–Washington
  • CSX RF&P Subdivision, Richmond Terminal Subdivision, North End Subdivision, and South End Subdivision: Washington–Selma
  • NS Piedmont Division, East Carolina Business Unit, Goldsboro to Greensboro district: Selma–Raleigh
  • CSX Aberdeen Subdivision, Hamlet Terminal Subdivision, Hamlet Subdivision, Columbia Subdivision, Savannah Subdivision, Nahunta Subdivision, Jacksonville Terminal Subdivision, Sanford Subdivision, Lakeland Subdivision, and Tampa Terminal Subdivision: Raleigh– Tampa
  • Central Florida Rail Corridor: DeLandPoinciana.
  • CSX Auburndale Subdivision: AuburndaleWest Palm Beach
  • South Florida Rail Corridor: West Palm Beach–Miami

Prior to October 1986, the train ran between Petersburg, Virginia, and Raleigh via the CSX (Seaboard Coast Line) Norlina Subdivision, stopping only in Henderson. CSX abandoned the Norlina Sub between Norlina and Collier Yard in Petersburg in 1986, and the Silver Star was shifted to the "A Line" between Petersburg and Selma, then to NS's "H Line" between Selma and Raleigh.

In popular culture

In the movie Carlito's Way (1993), Al Pacino's character is killed just before boarding the Silver Star.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "April 6, 2004 (System Timetable) Page 71". The Museum of Railway Timetables. 
  3. ^ "Atlantic Coast Service Timetable - Effective November 8, 2010" (PDF). Amtrak. 
  4. ^ "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List", Trains, January 2011, 20-21.
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "All reserved on the 11:30 Amtrak Silver Star bound for Tampa and Miami - Carlito's Way". Subzin. 

External links

  • Amtrak - Silver Service / Palmetto
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