Silver Star (Amtrak train)

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Silver Star
Silver Star 2019.png
Southbound Silver Star near Baltimore in 2019
Service type Inter-city rail
Locale East 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]
Start New York City
Stops38 [2]
End Miami, Florida
Distance travelled1,522 miles (2,449 km)
Service frequency3 Days a Week
Train number(s)91–92
On-board services
Class(es)Reserved Coach and First-class Sleeper
Seating arrangementsAirline-style coach seating
Sleeping arrangements Viewliner Roomette (2 beds)
Viewliner Bedroom (2 beds)
Viewliner Bedroom Suite (4 beds)
Viewliner Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
Catering facilitiesLounge car
Baggage facilitiesChecked baggage available at selected stations
Rolling stock
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 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. [2]

The Silver Star shares much of its route with the Silver Meteor; however, the two trains diverge between Selma, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia and between Kissimmee and Winter Haven, Florida. [3] [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 Florence 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. [3] [2] The two trains are the remnants of the 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. [4] In FY16, it earned a total revenue of $29,261,496, an 11.6% decrease from FY2010. [5]


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. [6] By 1949, however, it was a year-round train. [7] 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. [8] 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

With the exception of 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. [9] [10] 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. [11] 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, killing both the engineer and a conductor and injuring 116 more. [12] [13]

Effective July 6, 2020, Amtrak has reduced the frequency of this train to three times per week as opposed to daily. [14] Southbound Silver Star trains depart New York Friday through Sunday, while Silver Meteor trains depart Monday through Thursday. Similarly, northbound Silver Star trains depart Miami on Thursday through Saturday, while Silver Meteor trains depart Sunday through Wednesday. [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 its 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 pulls 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. [2]

A typical Silver Star consist is:

  • 1 ACS-64 engine (New York–Washington)
  • 1-2 P42 engines (Washington–Miami)
  • 3-4 Amfleet II coaches
  • Amfleet II lounge
  • 2 Viewliner sleepers
  • Viewliner Baggage car

During the winter months, the Silver Star sometimes adds additional cars to accommodate increased demand. These longer trains forced delays in 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:[ citation needed]

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.

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, [18] 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. [19]

Station stops

State Town/City Station Connections
New York New York City Penn Station Amtrak: 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 Jersey Newark Newark Penn Station Amtrak: 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
Trenton Trenton Amtrak: 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
Pennsylvania Philadelphia 30th Street Station Amtrak: 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
Delaware Wilmington Wilmington Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Vermonter
Greyhound Lines
DART First State: 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25, 28, 31, 33, 35, 40, 45, 47, 47X, 48, 52, 54, 55, 301, 305 (seasonal)
SEPTA Regional Rail: Wilmington/Newark Line
Maryland Baltimore Penn Station Amtrak: 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 Columbia Washington Washington Union Station Amtrak: 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
Virginia Alexandria Alexandria Amtrak: 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
Richmond Richmond Staples Mill Road Amtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia
GRTC: Route 18
Ettrick Petersburg Amtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
North Carolina Rocky Mount Rocky Mount Amtrak: Carolinian, Palmetto, Silver Meteor
Greyhound Lines
Tar River Transit: all routes
Raleigh Raleigh Amtrak: Carolinian, Piedmont
GoRaleigh: R-Line, inbound 13,
 outbounds 7, 11
GoTriangle: outbounds 301, 303, 305
Cary Cary Amtrak: Carolinian, Piedmont
GoCary: 3, 4, 5, 6
GoTriangle: 300, 301
Southern Pines Southern Pines none
Hamlet Hamlet none
South Carolina Camden Camden none
Columbia Columbia none
Denmark Denmark none
Georgia Savannah Savannah Amtrak: Palmetto, Silver Meteor
Florida Jacksonville Jacksonville Amtrak: Silver Star, Thruway Motorcoach to Waldo, Ocala, Gainesville, The Villages, Wildwood, Dade City and Lakeland, Florida
JTA Bus: 3
Palatka Palatka Amtrak: Silver Meteor
The Ride Solution
DeLand DeLand Amtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Daytona Beach, Florida
Winter Park Winter Park Amtrak: Silver Meteor
LYNX: 9, 102, 443
Orlando Orlando Amtrak: Silver Meteor, Thruway Motorcoach to Lakeland, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers, Florida
LYNX: 40
Kissimmee Kissimmee Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Greyhound Lines
LYNX: 10, 18, 26, 55, 56, 57, 108, 208, 407, 441, 632
Lakeland Lakeland Amtrak: 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
Tampa Tampa Amtrak: 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 Haven Winter Haven Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Sebring Sebring Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Okeechobee Okeechobee none
West Palm Beach West Palm Beach Amtrak: Silver Meteor
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 Beach Delray Beach Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Palm Tran: 2, 70, 81, 88
Downtown Connector
Deerfield Beach Deerfield Beach Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Broward County Transit: 48, Deerfield Beach Express I
Tri-Rail Commuter Connector: DB-1, DB-2
Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Amtrak: Silver Meteor
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
Hollywood Hollywood Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Broward County Transit: 7
Hallandale Beach Community Bus: 3
Miami Miami Amtrak: Silver Meteor
Metrobus: 42, 112

In popular culture

  • In the movie Carlito's Way (1993), Al Pacino's character is killed just before boarding the Silver Star. [20]
  • In Tim Dorsey’s novel The Stingray Shuffle, the climactic scenes take place aboard a fictional version of the Silver Star called “The Silver Stingray”, running from New York City to Miami.


  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 f "Atlantic Coast Timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. March 4, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Silver Service / Palmetto Train". Amtrak. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Amtrak FY16 Ridership & Revenue Fact Sheet" (PDF). Amtrak. April 17, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Seaboard Aire Line Railroad Timetables, June 15, 1948
  7. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways, August 1949, Seaboard Air Line Railroad section, Tables 1, 3, 6
  8. ^ 'Official Guide of the Railways, December 1954, Seaboard Air Line Railroad section, Condensed Table and Tables 1, 3, 6, 7
  9. ^ "April 6, 2004 (System Timetable) Page 71". The Museum of Railway Timetables.
  10. ^ "Atlantic Coast Service Timetable - Effective November 8, 2010" (PDF). Amtrak.
  11. ^ "Amtrak's Improvement Wish List". Trains. January 2011. pp. 20–21.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Tate, Curtis. "Amtrak to reduce New York-Florida trains starting July 6, with more cuts coming Oct. 1". USA TODAY. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "Silver Star and Silver Meteor Schedule Changes effective July 6, 2020". Amtrak. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  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. ^ Luisi, Vincent (2010). Railroading in Pinellas County. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN  978-0-7385-8550-5.
  19. ^ Amtrak Website
  20. ^ "All reserved on the 11:30 Amtrak Silver Star bound for Tampa and Miami - Carlito's Way". Subzin.

External links