Silver Star (Amtrak train)

Silver Star
Silver Star 2019.png
Southbound Silver Star near Baltimore in 2019
Overview
Service typeInter-city rail
StatusOperating
LocaleEast Coast of the United States
First service1947
Current operator(s)Amtrak
Former operator(s)Seaboard Air Line (1947–1967)
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (1967–1971)
Pennsylvania Railroad (1947–1968, haulage agreement)
Penn Central (1968–1971, haulage agreement)
Ridership368,518 (FY18)[1]
Route
StartNew York City
Stops38[2]
EndMiami, Florida
Distance travelled1,522 miles (2,449 km)
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)91–92
On-board services
Class(es)Reserved Coach and First-class Sleeper
Seating arrangementsAirline-style coach seating
Sleeping arrangementsViewliner Roomette (2 beds)
Viewliner Bedroom (2 beds)
Viewliner Bedroom Suite (4 beds)
Viewliner Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
Catering facilitiesLounge car, Dining car
Baggage facilitiesChecked baggage available at selected stations
Technical
Rolling stock
  • Amfleet II coaches
  • Viewliner sleepers
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
ElectrificationOn the Northeast Corridor
Operating speedNortheast Corridor: 125 mph (201 km/h) Outside NEC: 79 mph (127 km/h)
Track owner(s)Amtrak, CSX, NS, SunRail, Tri-Rail

The Silver Star is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 1,522-mile (2,449 km) route between New York City and Miami via Washington, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Tampa.[2] The Silver Star and its partner in the Silver Service brand, the Silver Meteor, are the descendants of numerous long-distance trains that operated between Florida and New York for most of the 20th century.

During fiscal year 2019, the Silver Star carried nearly 389,995 passengers, an increase of 5.9% from FY2018.[3] In FY16, it earned a total revenue of $29,261,496, an 11.6% decrease from FY2010.[4]

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. In early years it was winter-only and did not appear in summer timetables.[5] By 1949, however, it was a year-round train.[6] Its main Miami-bound route went through the interior of Florida, via Ocala and Winter Haven. In peak winter service in the mid-1950s it had a section that went to St. Petersburg via Tampa. Another section went to Port Boca Grande via Tampa.[7] The Pennsylvania Railroad carried the train between New York and Washington, D. C. under a haulage agreement, similar to the arrangement with its sister train, the Silver Meteor. The agreement was maintained when the Pennsy was folded into Penn Central in 1968, a year after SAL merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as the Seaboard Coast Line. Between Washington and Richmond, Virginia, the train operated on RF&P rails. Amtrak took over the train in 1971.

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

Except for a brief period from 1994 to 1995 and from 1996 to 2004, when service to Tampa was provided by the Palmetto (known as the Silver Palm from 1996 to 2002), the Silver Star has served both Tampa and Miami during the Amtrak era. Originally, Amtrak operated the Silver Star with Tampa and Miami sections that split in Jacksonville, with the Tampa section continuing on the old Atlantic Coast Line route through Orlando, and the Miami section 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 or north to New York.[8][9] The detour occurs at Lakeland; the train stops there to discharge passengers before going to Tampa and to receive passengers after it returns from Tampa.

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 (the Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, and Cardinal) were examined in FY 2010.[10] With the discontinuation of the Silver Meteor's former Tampa section (a descendant of the Champion, a longtime rival of the Silver Star and Silver Meteor) in 1988, the Silver Star is now the only passenger train serving Tampa.

On February 4, 2018, Silver Star train number 91 collided with a CSX freight train in Cayce, South Carolina; the engineer and a conductor of the Silver Star were killed, and 116 passengers were injured.[11][12]

On July 6, 2020, Amtrak reduced the frequency of this train to three times per week as opposed to daily.[13] Southbound Silver Star trains departed New York Friday through Sunday, while Silver Meteor trains departed Monday through Thursday. Similarly, northbound Silver Star trains departed Miami on Thursday through Saturday, while Silver Meteor trains departed Sunday through Wednesday.[14] Both trains resumed daily services on June 7, 2021, after additional Amtrak funding was included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[15]

Rolling stock

Southbound Silver Star passing Martin State Airport station at 100 mph, June 15, 2019

Like Amtrak's other long-distance routes that operate to and from New York City, the Silver Star is restricted to single-level Amfleet and Viewliner cars due to low tunnel clearances in Baltimore and New York. 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 or two GE P42 diesel locomotives pull the train. Since July 2015, the Silver Star has operated without a dining car.[16] 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 as of June 2021 is:

  • 1 ACS-64 engine (New York–Washington)
  • 2 P42DC engines (Washington–Miami)
  • 2-4 Amfleet II coaches
  • Amfleet II Cafe
  • 1 Viewliner Diner
  • 2-3 Viewliner sleepers
  • Viewliner Baggage car

During the winter months, additional cars are sometimes added to the Silver Star to accommodate increased demand; these longer trains have delayed Amtrak's long-planned move to a larger station in Miami.[17]

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 and Miami Subdivision: AuburndaleMangonia Park
  • South Florida Rail Corridor: Mangonia ParkMiami

The Silver Star uses the same route as the Silver Meteor – the other train in the Silver Service brand – excepting two segments, SelmaSavannah and KissimmeeWinter Haven.[18][2] Between Selma and Savannah, the Silver Star takes an inland route to serve the Carolinas' state capitals of Raleigh and Columbia, while the Silver Meteor stays closer to the coast and services Fayetteville, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. Between Kissimmee and Winter Haven, the Meteor takes a direct route with no intermediate stops, while the Star takes a detour through Lakeland and Tampa. In addition to these diversions, between Sebring and West Palm Beach, Florida, the Meteor makes no intermediate stops, while the Star makes an additional stop at Okeechobee.[18][2]

Prior to October 1986, the Silver Star 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. The train is expected to resume operating via its former route when tracks between Collier Yard and Norlina are restored as part of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor project.[19]

Like other long-distance trains, passengers are not allowed to travel only between stations on the Northeast Corridor on the Silver Star. Northbound trains only stop to discharge passengers from Alexandria northward, and southbound trains only stop to receive passengers from Newark to Washington.[2] This policy is in place to keep seats available for passengers making longer trips. Passengers wanting to travel locally must use the more frequent Northeast Regional or Acela trains. Additionally, the Silver Star, like the Silver Meteor, does not allow local travel between West Palm Beach and Miami. Southbound trains only stop to discharge passengers, while northbound trains only stop to receive passengers bound for points beyond West Palm Beach. This is due to the availability of Tri-Rail, South Florida's commuter rail system.

Since Amtrak ended rail passenger service over the CSX Clearwater Subdivision between Tampa and St. Petersburg in 1984,[20] it has provided dedicated Amtrak Thruway bus service at Tampa Union Station for trainside transfer of passengers and their baggage to/from Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Other points on Florida's west coast, such as Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers, are also served by Amtrak Thruway service connecting with the Star at Tampa.[21]

Station stops

StateTown/CityStationConnections
New YorkNew York CityPenn StationAmtrak: Acela, Adirondack, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
LIRR: Main Line, Port Washington Branch
NJ Transit: North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, Gladstone Branch, Montclair-Boonton Line, Morristown Line
NYC Subway: 1, ​2, ​3, A, ​C, ​E, B, ​D, ​F, <F>, ​M​, N, ​Q, ​R, and ​W trains
NYC Transit buses: M7, M20, M34 / M34A Select Bus Service, Q32
PATH: Hoboken–33rd Street, Journal Square–33rd Street, Journal Square–33rd Street (via Hoboken)
New JerseyNewarkNewark Penn StationAmtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
NJ Transit: Newark City Subway, Newark Light Rail, North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, Raritan Valley Line, 1, 5, 11*, 21, 25, 28*, 29*, 30*, 34, 39, 40, 41* 62, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 78*, 79*, 108, 308*, 319, 361*, 375*, 378*, go25* *Limited service
PATH: Newark–World Trade Center
Coach USA: 31, 44
TrentonTrentonAmtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line, River Line, 409, 418, 600, 601, 604, 606, 608, 609, 611, 619
SEPTA Regional Rail: Trenton Line
SEPTA Suburban Transit Division: 127
PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia30th Street StationAmtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
NJ Transit: Atlantic City Line
SEPTA City Transit Division: Market–Frankford Line, SEPTA Subway–Surface Trolley Lines (Route 10, Route 11, Route 13, Route 34, Route 36), 9, 12, 21, 30, 31, 42, 44, 49, 62, LUCY
SEPTA Suburban Transit Division: 124, 125
SEPTA Regional Rail: Airport Line, Warminster Line, Wilmington/Newark Line, West Trenton Line, Media/Elwyn Line, Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Paoli/Thorndale Line, Manayunk/Norristown Line, Cynwyd Line, Trenton Line, Chestnut Hill East Line, Chestnut Hill West Line, Fox Chase Line
DelawareWilmingtonWilmingtonAmtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
Greyhound Lines
DART First State: 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 28, 31, 33, 35, 37, 40, 47, 52, 301, 305 (seasonal)
SEPTA Regional Rail: Wilmington/Newark Line
MarylandBaltimorePenn StationAmtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
MARC Train: Penn Line
MTA Maryland: Light RailLink, 3, 11, 61, 64
Charm City Circulator: Purple Route, Artscape Shuttle
District of ColumbiaWashingtonWashington Union StationAmtrak: Acela, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
MARC Train: Brunswick Line, Camden Line, Penn Line
VRE: Manassas Line, Fredericksburg Line
Metro: Red Line
Metrobus: D3, D6, D8, X1, X2, X8, X9, 80, 96, 97
DC Circulator: Georgetown, Navy Yard
DC Streetcar: H Street/Benning Road Line
MTA Maryland: 903, 922
Loudoun County Transit: Loudoun County
PRTC: Dale City
VirginiaAlexandriaAlexandriaAmtrak: Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
VRE: Fredericksburg Line, Manassas Line
Metro: Blue Line, Yellow Line
Metrobus: REX, 28A, 29K, 29N
DASH: AT2, AT5, AT6, AT7, AT8, AT10
RichmondRichmond Staples Mill RoadAmtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
GRTC: Route 18
EttrickPetersburgAmtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
North CarolinaRocky MountRocky MountAmtrak: Carolinian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
Greyhound Lines
Tar River Transit: all routes
RaleighRaleighAmtrak: Carolinian, Piedmont
GoRaleigh: R-Line, inbound 13,
 outbounds 7, 11
GoTriangle: outbounds 301, 303, 305
CaryCaryAmtrak: Carolinian, Piedmont
GoCary: 3, 4, 5, 6
GoTriangle: 300, 301
Southern PinesSouthern Pinesnone
HamletHamletnone
South CarolinaCamdenCamdennone
ColumbiaColumbianone
DenmarkDenmarknone
GeorgiaSavannahSavannahAmtrak: Palmetto, Silver Meteor
FloridaJacksonvilleJacksonvilleAmtrak: Silver Star, Thruway Motorcoach to Waldo, Ocala, Gainesville, The Villages, Wildwood, Dade City and Lakeland, Florida
JTA Bus: 3
PalatkaPalatkaAmtrak: Silver Meteor
The Ride Solution
DeLandDeLandAmtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Daytona Beach, Florida
Winter ParkWinter ParkAmtrak: Silver Meteor
SunRail
LYNX: 9, 102, 443
OrlandoOrlandoAmtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Lakeland, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers, Florida
SunRail
LYNX: 40
KissimmeeKissimmeeAmtrak: Silver Meteor
SunRail
Greyhound Lines
LYNX: 10, 18, 26, 55, 56, 57, 108, 208, 407, 441, 632
LakelandLakelandAmtrak: Thruway Motorcoach to Dade City, Wildwood, The Villages, Gainesville, Ocala, Waldo Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers, Florida
Citrus Connection: Purple Line/12, Silver Line/22XL
Greyhound Lines
TampaTampaAmtrak: Thruway Motorcoach to Dade City, Wildwood, The Villages, Gainesville, Ocala, Waldo, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers, Florida
HART: 9, 12, MetroRapid
Winter HavenWinter HavenAmtrak: Silver Meteor
SebringSebringAmtrak: Silver Meteor
OkeechobeeOkeechobeenone
West Palm BeachWest Palm BeachAmtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail
Palm Tran: 1, 2, 20, 31, 40, 41, 43, 44, 49, 60
Tri-Rail Commuter Connector: WBP-1
West Palm Beach Downtown Trolley: Green Trolley
Greyhound Lines
Delray BeachDelray BeachAmtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail
Palm Tran: 2, 70, 81, 88
Downtown Connector
Deerfield BeachDeerfield BeachAmtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail
Broward County Transit: 48, Deerfield Beach Express I
Tri-Rail Commuter Connector: DB-1, DB-2
Fort LauderdaleFort LauderdaleAmtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail
Broward County Transit: 9, 22, 81, Broward Breeze
Metrobus: 95
Sun Trolley: Neighborhood Link, NW Community Link
Tri-Rail Commuter Connector: FL-1, FL-2, FL-3
HollywoodHollywoodAmtrak: Silver Meteor
Tri-Rail
Broward County Transit: 7
Hallandale Beach Community Bus: 3
MiamiMiamiAmtrak: Silver Meteor
Metrobus: 42, 112

References

  1. ^ "Amtrak Sets Revenue and Earnings Records Delivers Best Operating Performance in Company History" (PDF). Amtrak. November 16, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Atlantic Coast Timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. March 4, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  3. ^ https://media.amtrak.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/FY19-Year-End-Ridership.pdf
  4. ^ "Amtrak FY16 Ridership & Revenue Fact Sheet" (PDF). Amtrak. April 17, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  5. ^ Seaboard Aire Line Railroad Timetables, June 15, 1948
  6. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways, August 1949, Seaboard Air Line Railroad section, Tables 1, 3, 6
  7. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways, December 1954, Seaboard Air Line Railroad section, Condensed Table and Tables 1, 3, 6, 7
  8. ^ "April 6, 2004 (System Timetable) Page 71". The Museum of Railway Timetables.
  9. ^ "Atlantic Coast Service Timetable - Effective November 8, 2010" (PDF). Amtrak.
  10. ^ "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List". Trains. January 2011. pp. 20–21.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Tate, Curtis. "Amtrak to reduce New York-Florida trains starting July 6, with more cuts coming Oct. 1". USA TODAY. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  14. ^ "Silver Star and Silver Meteor Schedule Changes effective July 6, 2020". Amtrak. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  15. ^ "With Increased Demand and Congressional Funding, Amtrak Restores 12 Long Distance Routes to Daily Service". Amtrak. March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  16. ^ Kennedy, Thomas L. (September 8, 2017). "Tampa's Silver Star not a fallen star but needs work". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  17. ^ Chardy, Alfonso; Viglucci, Andres (October 31, 2013). "Long trains, short platforms at new Miami airport train station won't force permanent street closure". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Silver Service / Palmetto Train". Amtrak. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  19. ^ "Southeast High Speed Rail: Tier II Final Environmental Impact Statement, And Final Section 4(f) Evaluation, Richmond, VA to Raleigh, NC" (PDF). August 2015. p. 122. Retrieved September 6, 2022. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  20. ^ Luisi, Vincent (2010). Railroading in Pinellas County. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-8550-5.
  21. ^ Amtrak Website

External links

Media files used on this page

Bus-logo.svg
Logo autobus
PATH logo.svg
PATH logo (no text)
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg
Amtrak logo, no lettering
Greyhound no dog.svg
Greyhound logo, without dog
BSicon BHF.svg
station straight track
MTA NYC logo.svg
The logo of Metropolitan Transportation Authority – public transportation organization in New York
BSicon lTUNNEL.svg
Underground markers
BSicon BUS3.svg
Author/Creator: Natural RX, Licence: CC0
A variant of File:Aiga bus.svg to illustrate w:Bus rapid transit
Tri-Rail.svg
Logo for SFRTA
BSicon GRZq.svg
border (legend icon)
Silver Star 2019.png

Southbound Amtrak Silver Star speeding by Martin State Airport station near Baltimore at 100 mph
BSicon KBHFe.svg
head station, track ending
BSicon hKRZWae.svg
bridge over water straight (big)
Virginia Railway Express.svg
Virginia Railway Express
Amtrak Silver Service.png
Author/Creator: jkan997, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Amtrak Silver Service

Legend:

  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Star, Silver Meteor and Palmetto (this applies to north
  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Meteor and Palmetto
  • ━━━ Route of Silver Star
  • ━━━ Common route of Silver Star, Silver Meteor (Palmetto finish route at Savannah)
MARC train.svg
logo for MARC Train
BSicon ABZr+r.svg
junction to the right from the right (with exact circles)
BSicon tKRZW+GRZq.svg
tunnel track below river with ex border
BSicon STR+l.svg
track to right against driving direction (with exact circles)
BSicon tCONTg.svg
Image for BSicon diagrams
BSicon SUBWAY.svg
subway train icon, based on Toronto Transit Commission design
BSicon lHST~L.svg
Overlay icon for a half of a stop to the left
WMATA Metro Logo.svg
Worldwide metro logo
PC 4936 (GG-1) leading the Silver Star at Seabrook, MD on March 23, 1969.jpg
Penn Central GG1 #4936 leads train #128, the northbound Silver Star, through Seabrook station in March 1969
BSicon STR+GRZq.svg
Author/Creator: de:User:Bernina, de:User:axpde, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0 de
track with ex border
BSicon htSTRe.svg
Icons for railway description
BSicon HST.svg
flag stop track straight in use
BSicon tINT.svg
Route diagram template icon
BSicon hKRZWae+GRZq.svg
track with ex border on bridge over water
BSicon lHST~R.svg
Overlay icon for a half of a stop to the right
BSicon hSTRae.svg
Bridge (big)
Gnome-searchtool.svg
Author/Creator: David Vignoni / ICON KING, Licence: LGPL
Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x / GNOME 2.
BSicon lhSTRe@f.svg
Elevated end, no track