Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Silver Star’

Somewhere in North Carolina

February 12, 2019

Some memories that some photographs trigger tend to stay with you longer than others.

Such is the case with the image of Amtrak’s northbound Silver Star on Dec. 14, 1979.

I created this image from an open vestibule and have no idea where the train was at the time other than passing through North Carolina.

My sole purpose for riding this train was to ride the train. My mother had died two months earlier and I wanted to get away for a while.

I wasn’t traveling to visit family or friends, to go sightseeing, or to make a business trip. I was traveling just to travel.

I still had vacation time to use at work so I booked a long Amtrak journey that initially took me from east central Illinois aboard the Panama Limited to Chicago.

I then rode to New York on the Lake Shore Limited, my first experience aboard that train and my first experience in a Heritage fleet sleeper. From New York it was south to Washington on the Crescent, my first time riding that train, and a connection to the Silver Meteor to Miami. It was my first time aboard the Meteor.

After an overnight stay in a motel I was back aboard the train, taking the Silver Star to Washington. It was my first time aboard the Silver Star.

I stayed overnight in a motel in suburban Virginia and then took the Colonial to New York and a connection with the Lake Shore Limited back to Chicago.

The last segment was back home aboard the Panama Limited. During this trip I picked up a lot of new miles.

Spending days at a time riding trains just to ride trains was something that I did back during that time of my life. Today, it is something that I rarely do.

There is much to see here that can’t be seen anymore, starting with the two SDP40F units (Nos. 647 and 645) wearing the Phase I livery.

None of the streamliner era passenger cars visible here are still on the Amtrak roster. Note that one of those cars appears to be a former Southern Railway car that Amtrak acquired when it took over the Southern Crescent on Feb. 1, 1979.

I still have a number of memories of this trip. They include milling about the platform in Miami to get photos of the train, a sunset over a lake as the Star cruised through Florida, the process of joining the Miami and St. Petersburg sections at Aurbundale, trying to sleep sprawled across two coach seats and disembarking at Richmond to make more photographs.

I recall at one point during the night feeling the train stop and seeing light from the station platform lights illuminating the inside of my coach. But I didn’t bother to raise up to look out the window to see where we were.

To this day still wonder where that was. Probably it was in South Carolina.

Thus far this has turned out to be the last time that I’ve ridden either the Silver Meteor or Silver Star.

Maybe some day I’ll get back aboard one or both of those trains. If so, it will be a nice ride, but it can’t be the same as it was on this day.

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Amtrak Weathered Winter Storm Fairly Well

January 17, 2019

Amtrak service held up reasonably well during a recent major winter storm that buried the nation’s midsection in double digit measurements of snow last weekend.

Trains magazine reported just two trains were canceled, the morning Missouri River Runners in both directions on Jan. 12 and the Cardinal east of Indianapolis on Jan. 13.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the decision to scrub the Missouri River Runners was made after the passenger carrier consulted with Union Pacific and the Missouri Department of Transportation.

As for the Cardinal cancellation, Magliari said that came because heavy snowfall had been forecast in isolated areas of West Virginia along the route of No. 50.

As it was, No. 50 was two hours late arriving after encountering a mechanical problem near Lafayette, Indiana.

Trains said that most trains on Midwest corridor routes radiating from Chicago to St. Louis and the Illinois cities of Quincy and Carbondale ran on time.

The westbound Southwest Chief, though, lost three hours on Saturday between Galesburg, Illinois, and Fort Madison, Iowa.

Along the Atlantic seaboard, some trains incurred significant delays, including more than two hours for the southbound Palmetto and Carolinian,

The northbound Silver Star was combined with the Carolinian out of Richmond, Virginia.

The southbound Silver Meteor was nearly three hours late when it left Washington.

A blast of frigid arctic air combined with heavy snow in some regions are being forecast for this week.

Brightline Gets OK to Seek Land Lease

December 4, 2018

Brightline has received a green light from the Florida Department of Transportation to seek a lease of land to be used for a proposed Orland-Tampa intercity rail service route.

The private passenger carrier will have 90 days to negotiate the lease with the Central Florida Expressway Authority for land adjacent to Interstate 4.

Brightline was the only company that submitted a proposal to the state to operate a rail passenger service between the two cities, which are 88 miles apart.

The right of way will be 44 feet wide footprint and would extend from Orlando International Airport through Osceola and Polk counties to downtown Tampa.

Intermediate stations would be established in Celebration and Lakeland, Florida.

The passenger carrier must also hold talks with utilities, local land owners and leaders of local communities along the route.

Amtrak’s Silver Star currently provides service between Orlando and Tampa.

Service Canceled Due to Hurricane Michael

October 10, 2018

Amtrak is canceling service in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Michael.

In a service advisory issued on Tuesday, the passenger carrier said that the Silver Star (Nos. 91 and 92) will operate between Miami and Jacksonville, Florida, effective Oct. 10.

No alternate transportation is being provided between Jacksonville and New York City.

The Palmetto (Nos. 89 and 90) will operate only between New York and Washington with no alternate transportation provided between Washington and Savannah. This change is effective Oct. 11,

Michael is to come ashore in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday and turn east toward the routes used by the affected two trains.

Flooding earlier affected operations of two other routes.

The Southwest Chief detoured in Kansas due to the threat of flooding along the Little Arkansas River.

No. 3, which departed Chicago on Tuesday, and No. 4, which departed Los Angeles on Monday, traversed a former Rock Island line between Hutchinson and Topeka. Those tracks are now owned by Union Pacific.

Chartered buses served passengers traveling to and from Newton, which was the only missed station.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the detour could continue for multiple days if needed.

The northbound Heartland Flyer was affected by a track washout in southern Oklahoma delayed passengers after heavy rainfall on Sunday afternoon damaged the tracks between Gene Autry and Davis.

The train was halted in Ardmore and passengers were transported by bus to all stops en route to Oklahoma City.

Many passengers aboard the Flyer had attended the annual Red River Showdown football game in Dallas between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.

Southeast Service Back to Normal

September 26, 2018

Amtrak on Wednesday restored the last service that had been suspended in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

The last trains to resume were the New York-Miami Silver Star, which had been operating only between Miami and Jacksonville, Florida.

Amtrak Continues to Restore Service in Southeast

September 20, 2018

Amtrak continues to restore service in areas of the Southeast that were hit by Hurricane Florence last week.

Piedmont Service between Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, resumed operating on Thursday.

Also resuming service over all of its route on Tuesday was the Crescent.

The Carolinian was to resume operating between Raleigh and Charlotte today. Amtrak has not said when Nos. 79 and 80 will resume operating north of Raleigh to New York City.

That will hinge on how quickly host railroad CSX can repair and put back into service the A Line used by Amtrak.

The Auto Train and Silver Meteor remain suspended through Sept. 22. The Silver Star is operating only between Miami and Jacksonville, Florida, while the Palmetto is operating only between New York and Washington.

North Carolina Track Work Affects 3 Routes

August 29, 2018

Track work being performed by Norfolk Southern and the North Carolina Department of Transportation will affect the operations of Amtrak’s Carolinian, Silver Star and Piedmont Trains

Alternative schedules and service cancellations will be in effect between Sept. 10 and 19.

On Sept. 10 through Sept. 13 the New York-Charlotte, North Carolina, Carolinian will operate between Raleigh, North Carolina, and Charlotte, only. Nos. 79 and 80 will be cancelled between New York and Raleigh with no alternate transportation provided.

On Sept. 16, the northbound Silver Star (Train 92) will operate as Train 1092 and depart Miami at 9:05 am, 2 hours and 45 minutes earlier than its normal schedule. Train 1092 will operate earlier through to New York.

On Sept. 17 the Carolinian will be cancelled with no alternate transportation provided between New York and Charlotte

Piedmont Service Trains 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78 will be cancelled with no alternate transportation provided between Raleigh and Charlotte.

The southbound Silver Star will operate normally the length of its route.

On Sep. 18 the Carolinian will operate between Raleigh and Charlotte with no alternate transportation provided between New York and Raleigh.

On Sept. 19 Piedmont Service Trains 74 and 75 will be cancelled with no alternate transportation provided between Raleigh and Charlotte.

North Carolina Track Work to Disrupt Service

July 11, 2018

Track work being done by CSX on July 17 in Selma, North Carolina, will affect operations of the Carolinian in both directions and the northbound Silver Star.

Nos. 79 and 80 will operate only between Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, with no alternate transportation being provided between Washington and Raleigh.

No. 92 will depart Miami two hours early on July 16 to avoid the track work window.

In a service advisory Amtrak said passengers needing to travel between the affected cities on July 17 may make reservations on the Palmetto or other Amtrak trains on this date.

Amtrak to Begin Using Raleigh Station July 10

July 7, 2018

Amtrak will begin using the new Raleigh Union Station on July 10, more than two months after a dedication ceremony was held for the new facility.

The $87 million station was to have opened last year, but was delayed due to a problem with the platforms being too steep for federal ADA regulations.

Raleigh is served by Amtrak’s New York-Miami Silver Star, the New York-Charlotte Carolinian and the Piedmont Service trains operating between Raleigh and Charlotte.

Amtrak said the last train to use the current Raleigh station will be Piedmont No. 78, due into Raleigh at 10:10 p.m. on July 9.

The first train to use the new station will be the 6:30 a.m. departure of Piedmont No. 73.

Raleigh Union Station is located at 510 West Martin Street, about a mile north of the current depot.

Amtrak said the new station has 26,000 square feet of which 9,200 square feet are devoted to passenger areas.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said all parking at Raleigh Union Station is paid.

Parking spots are available across the street from the station in a parking deck connected to a building called The Dillon.

Upon entering, take a ticket from the machine and have it ready when exiting. Parking costs $2 per hour or $18 maximum per day, paid by credit card only when exiting parking deck.

There is limited short-term and disability parking in front of the station. Enter from West Street and drive into the traffic circle. Parking spots are on the left. Parking costs $1.25 per hour and there is a two-hour limit. Pay by credit card or coins at the meter.

CSX Track Work to Disrupt North Carolina Service

June 1, 2018

CSX track work will disrupt operations of Amtrak’s Palmetto, Carolinian and Silver Star on June 4-5.

On June 5, Train No. 92 will be renumbered 1092 and depart Miami three hours later than the current schedule, at 2:50 p.m. It will operate on this later schedule through to New York.

On June 5, Trains 79 and 80 will operate only between Rocky Mount and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Service will be canceled between New York and Rocky Mount, with no alternate transportation provided.

Nos. 89 and 90 will operate only between New York and Washington. No alternative service is being provided between Washington and Savannah, Georgia.