- Atlantic Seaboard and Florida Service
To a railfan the title of this section
has a clear
double meaning: The Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic Coast Line; one
of the fiercest rivalries during the entire streamliner era. Beginning
with the Silver Meteor
of 1939, the respective lines fought like tigers for their shares of
the lucrative market in passenger traffic from the Northeast to
Florida. Also in this section you will find trains which offered
through service from the Midwest to southern Florida (Miami/Tampa/St.
Petersburg). This section now includes trains which served northern
Florida and Jacksonville.
Atlantic Coast Line management
initially scoffed at Seaboard's Silver
Meteor, believing that the conservative Florida traffic
would never embrace such new and radical innovation. When the Meteor
turned out to be more of a success than even Seaboard had hoped, the A.
C. L. management pulled one of the fastest about-faces in the history
of railroading. New streamlined equipment was ordered, built, and
placed in service within that same year. Throughout most of its life,
operated in both East Coast (Miami) and West Coast (Tampa/St.
(East Coast) - June, 1941
(West Coast) - June, 1941
Champion - April,
The City of Miami
One of a trio (after 1957, a duo) of
placed in service in December 1940 which, combined, provided daily
service between Chicago and Florida.
- June, 1941
City of Miami -
The Del-Mar-Va Express
The Pennsylvania Railroad
operated this service through the Eastern Shore of Delaware, Maryland,
and Virginia between Philadelphia and Cape Charles, Virginia, with
connecting steamer service for Norfolk.
Express - October, 1943
The Dixie Flagler
The Dixie Flagler
was the second of the Chicago-Florida streamliner trio, operating every
third day via Nashville and Atlanta. Late in its life it would,
briefly, be renamed the Dixieland.
Dixie Flagler -
The Florida SpecialThis winter-season-only train was Atlantic Coast Line's answer to the Orange Blossom Special. Upgraded with streamlined equipment in 1949, it would continue operating during the winter seasons into the Amtrak era.
Florida Special - December 1949
The Gulf Wind
overnight train, a joint venture of the Louisville & Nashville
the Seaboard Air Line (later S.C.L.) completed the southern
transcontinental link between Jacksonville and New Orleans.
- December, 1949
Gulf Wind - April,
The Havana Special
completion of the Florida East Coast's Key West Extension, this through
train between New York and Key West became the flagship of Atlantic
Coast Line and FEC, with help from partners Pennsylvania and R. F.
& P. north of Richmond. After the line to Key West was damaged
abandoned in the wake of the 1935 hurricane, it continued to operate as
a premium train from New York to Miami.
Special - February 1933
The Kansas City-Florida Special
service between Kansas City and Jacksonville via Memphis, Birmingham
and Atlanta. Operated jointly by the Frisco and Southern Railway.
City-Florida Special - April, 1961
The New Royal Palm
A winter-season-only streamlined sibling of the Royal Palm,
which offered two-night-out through service between the Great Lakes
region and Miami from 1949 to 1955. Operated by the New York Central,
the Southern Railway, and Florida East Coast.
Royal Palm - March 1951
Orange Blossom Special
heavyweight train which inspired the classic bluegrass tune carried
vacationers from New York and the Northeast to Florida resorts in the
winter seasons between 1925 and 1953.
Blossom Special - December, 1941
Blossom Special - December, 1952
you re-equip your railroad's flagship train, what do you do with the
old but still serviceable equipment? If you're the Seaboard Air Line,
you inaugurate a whole new streamliner with it. Initially christened in
December 1947 as a winter season running mate to the Silver Meteor, by
late 1948 the Silver
Star was operating year-round.
Silver Star -
The South Wind
of the Chicago-Florida triplets, the South Wind,
operating via Louisville and Nashville, would become the only one of
the three to survive the coming of Amtrak - for eight years, at least.
South Wind - June,
South Wind - April,
5: The Silver
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and page design copyright 2006-2014 by Eric H. Bowen. Page updated 2014-11-18.