Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak in Florida’

Amtrak Eyes Florida Service Cuts July 6

June 20, 2020

A Florida rail advocacy group told its members this week that Amtrak plans to reduce the frequency of operation of its Silver Service trains on July 6.

On that date, the group said, Amtrak plans to begin operating the Silver Star and Silver Meteor on alternating days between New York and Miami.

The group cited an Amtrak memo saying the Silver Meteor will depart New York on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and leave Miami on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Silver Star will depart New York on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and leave Miami on Miami on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The memo said both trains will offer expanded capacity for each departure that will include five Amfleet II coaches, three Viewliner sleeping cars, an Amfleet café car, and a Viewliner II sleeper class passenger lounge.

Daily service to Tampa will be provided by a bus connection at Orlando to and from the Silver Meteor on the days the Silver Star does not operate in Florida.

The service changes will not affect operations of the Palmetto, which will continue to operate daily between New York and Savannah, Georgia.

The Florida group is disputing assertions by Amtrak that the service reductions are temporary until ridership rebounds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group said the planned July changes will mean that Florida stations in Tampa, Okeechobee, Lakeland and Palatka will only have tri-weekly rail service.

Amtrak has not yet announced the changes to operations of the Florida trains on its website.

St. Petersburg Thruway Bus Station Closes

January 4, 2020

Amtrak Thruway bus service will continue to St. Petersburg, Florida, even though the station used by the service closed this past Thursday.

Amtrak said passengers will no longer be able to have access to the waiting area and restrooms at the stop.

Although passengers will be able to check baggage traveling south to St. Petersburg-Clearwater they will not be able to check baggage from St. Petersburg-Clearwater to another destination.

Amtrak said passengers seeking assistance or other services could use the ticket windows with customer service representatives at the Tampa Amtrak station, which is open daily from 9:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Hurricane Prompts Florida Service Suspensions

August 30, 2019

Amtrak is suspending service in Florida starting today (Aug. 30) in advance of Hurricane Dorian, which is projected to strike the state on Sunday or Monday.

The suspensions will be in effect through Sept. 2 or 3 depending on the train and route.

Canceled between Jacksonville and Miami will be the Silver Star, Auto Train and

Silver Meteor.

A service advisory issued by Amtrak on Thursday said that service will be reinstated pending improved conditions.

The advisory projects that Nos. 91, 97, 52 and 53 will be suspended through Sept. 2 while Nos. 92 and 98 will be suspended through Sept. 3.

Alternative transportation will not be provided for the suspended trains.

Amtrak said passengers affected by the service cancellations will be accommodated on trains with similar departure times or another day.

The carrier will waive additional charges for customers looking to change their reservation during the modified schedule by calling our reservation center at 800-USA-RAIL.

CSX Retains Rights on Line it is Selling

December 13, 2018

CSX plans to continue using a portion of the former route of Amtrak’s Sunset Limited in the Florida Panhandle even though it is selling the track to a short-line railroad.

The Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad plans to begin operations on the line between Jacksonville and Pensacola on Jan. 6, 2019.

However, a filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board indicates that CSX will retain trackage and haulage rights on the route.

The Sunset Limited operated over the line until August 2005 when portions of its were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Despite numerous efforts by southern rail passenger agencies, Amtrak has not reinstated service east of New Orleans.

CSX, though, said it has no plans to regularly operate trains on the line and sought the trackage rights as an insurance policy to provide it with operational flexibility.

The FF&A is a subsidiary of RailUSA and is based in Boca Raton, Florida.

Silver Star Disrupted Today by Track Work

May 7, 2018

CSX track work will disrupt operations of the Silver Star in Florida on May 7.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said that southbound No. 91 passengers destined for Tampa of Lakeland will detrail at Orlando and transfer to Bus 4091, which will stop at Kissimmee to pick up passengers traveling to Lakeland or Tampa only.

Passengers originating at Tampa or Lakeland will board Bus 4191 and transfer to Train 91 at Winter Haven. Bus 4191 will depart Tampa at 10:30 a.m. and Lakeland at 11:40 a.m., earlier than the train schedule.

Northbound Train No. 92 passengers headed for for Tampa or Lakeland will detrain at Winter Haven and transfer to Bus 4092.

Passengers originating at Tampa, Lakeland or Kissimmee will board Bus 4192 and transfer to Train 92 at Orlando. Bus 4192 will depart Tampa at 4:45 pm, Lakeland at 5:55 p.m. and Kissimmee at 6:35 p.m., earlier than the train schedules.

Nabbing Amtrak’s Silver Service

April 24, 2018

My travels during my Florida vacation took me to the city of Lakeland, Florida. This is the Junction of the CSX A line and S line.

We set up at the abandoned former Atlantic Coast Line station. First we got Amtrak train 91, the Silver Star, going to Tampa. About an hour and a half later it returned on its way to Miami.

A pair of CSX freights went through, one north, one south, but that was the extent of activity in Lakeland.

On our way east we pulled up to a crossing only to watch the northbound Amtrak No. 92 fly by with no time for photos. Our next stop was Davenport where we just caught the southbound Silver Meteor, this time getting photos.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon