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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Sunset Ltd east of NO to FL (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Sunset Ltd east of NO to FL
sojourner
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I just wanted to post a separate strand about this portion of the SL rumored to be revived. As I mentioned in my FL trip report (see which), Amtrak personnel in JAcksonville station to whom I spoke seemed to think it's going to happen, although WHEN is another story. Any input on this?
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Gilbert B Norman
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At a related topic, rresor noted:

quote:
I don't have any "inside" information on the eastern extension of the Sunset, but the PRIIA Act passed last November does require Amtrak to plan for its restoration (NOT study it), so maybe we will see the return of the Sunset to Tallahassee.
Regardless of the language within Division B of RSIIA '08, or otherwise PRIIA '08, there is still 'wiggle room'.

While the 'annulment' of Sunset East resulted in the release of one equipment set, such has been reassigned elsewhere - a fifth set for the Starlight, I believe. Even though Amtrak timekeeping has improved of late owing to the downturn in Class I freight traffic, there will still be the dilemma of where will another set of equipment come from. True, Mr. Ainsworth's site notes 41 Superliners of all flavors awaiting repairs, such represents $$$. Where will those $$$ come from? the ARIA '09 (Stimulus) legislation? Amtrak has funds allocated within the House version of the legislation, but the Republican minority has labeled such funds within the Bill as "fat'. Even if the majority has the votes to pass what they want, President Obama wants "bipartisanship' in any Stimulus legislation to be enacted - and those funds could well be pared before the legislation sees the gate at 1600.

Amtrak, let alone CSX that for now revels they 'are rid of it', has not shown much interest in restoring Sunset East. While Sunset East provided little in the way of meaningful transportation to the region it served, somehow the advocacy groups lobbying for its return caught at least one legislator's ear. While I personally see little likelihood of its return, who knows what will happen in a political environment.

Stay tuned.

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sojourner
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Why don't they cancel the Palmetto? What use is the Palmetto anyway? They already have 2 trains a day (with sleepers) to FL, stopping in the Palmetto stops, plus the trains from NC, a state that supports Amtrak. The Palmetto extends the route only to SC and GA, two states whose senators vote against Amtrak all the time! Why have 6 trains a day each way to Savannah? It doesn't seem that busy to me.
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Gilbert B Norman
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Likely the most in danger of getting whacked should there be an initiative to trim service through the Southeast is The Meteor. Since there is a second frequency over the entire route with The Palmetto, the Meteor could be gone without any 180 Day Notice under ARAA '97.

But as you note, Ms. Sojourner, the Palmetto could also be gone without Notice. In contrast, and to bring this discussion back to the intended subject matter, Amtrak did not give Notice with respect to Sunset East as they contend the train is only annulled account conditions beyond their control.

In the past, Amtrak has annulled the Meteor owing to CSX trackwork and in its place ran a "Meteor Star", i.e. the consist expanded to accommodate displaced Meteor passengers, over the Star's SAL (S-Line in official CSXese) route. If the Star were to be whacked, Notice would be required inasmuch as there is no other service over the SAL through Columbia.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Northeast to Florida is the only LD route that enjoys "two a day'. As such, it is easy prey for any 'trainwhacker' out there, be they from the Legislative or Executive branch.

So far as this "old Florida hand' who took his first trip "down below' during 1956, is concerned, allow me to heartilly concur with Mr. Resor's thought expressed over at the related topic. Those of us who "knew it when" would just as soon not have our memories compromised by this "excuse' of service Amtrak has today.

Finally Ms. Sojourner, if you want to experience what I consider "Amtrak's best LD foot forward', hop in the buggy and drive from 'Upstate New York' to Lorton for an Auto Train journey.

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notelvis
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quote:
Originally posted by sojourner:
Why don't they cancel the Palmetto? What use is the Palmetto anyway? They already have 2 trains a day (with sleepers) to FL, stopping in the Palmetto stops, plus the trains from NC, a state that supports Amtrak. The Palmetto extends the route only to SC and GA, two states whose senators vote against Amtrak all the time! Why have 6 trains a day each way to Savannah? It doesn't seem that busy to me.

The Palmetto actually does an incrdible amount of business in an area which has become accustomed to having the train as an option.....meaning that the long-distance passenger train never went away from the old SAL and ACL tracks. I expressed that poorly but there are many places where the passenger train totally went away that never quite re-learned the option well enough in the Amtrak era to stave off the train-whackers.

Being on a daylight schedule it really packs the passengers in at places like Florence and Charleston, Fayetteville, and Savannah. Also being on a daylight schedule it is much less costly to operate as there is no diner nor sleeping car service provided.

I concur with Mr. Norman that any further retrenchment in the southeast would likely be a move to combine the Star and Meteor on the SAL route through Columbia while leaving the Palmetto as is.

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Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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Ocala Mike
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So, why can't the Palmetto be extended to New Orleans, connecting with the Sunset, at the same time combining the Silver Service into one train?

That way, nobody "loses" much, and we have service along the Florida Panhandle and beyond.

Anybody?

--------------------
Ocala Mike

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palmland
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Sojourner - say it isn't so, that you would see the Palmetto disappear!

That is the only train that serves coastal Carolina during daylight hours. By the time it gets to Rocky Mount it is often standing room only for the reasons noted by Notelvis. That train really does serve a useful purpose to all the smaller communities along its route - and the very nice (2/1 leather seating adjacent to the cafe) business class is often filled with 'northerners' exploring the charms of Charleston and Savannah.

If Amtrak would do a little local advertising it clearly would attract riders for additional cars. In the day, its predecessors the Palmland and Gulf Coast Special often added coaches enroute with 10 or so by the time it arrived Washington.

Could that service be improved? Absolutely. The schedule is too close to that of the Carolinian to Charlotte. The train should be extended, again, to Jacksonville. Present schedule would work with a post 6am Jax departure and arrival before midnight.

If Amtrak must reduce trains, an improved combined Star and Meteor a la Empire Builder or Starlight would be my vote with the Palmetto handling the local business during daylight.

A connection in Jax to a New Orleans to Florida train as Ocala Mike suggests is another good possibility.

Next weekend I will again make use of the train for a college reunion in Ashland. I will be sure and count all the different varieties of pine trees for GBN.

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sojourner
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I'm sorry, I didn't realize the Silver Meteor was a bad schedule for those communities. I was thinking of the times I went, but I think I used that old Silver train, the one that became the Palmetto!

I don't think the Silver Meteor will go, it's quite busy with S FL traffic. I think they had better keep all 3, but also bring back a train to Tallahassee, Pensacola, etc. I would not start in JAcksonville, though; I'd start in Orlando. That is the busiest stop in FL now.

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George Harris
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i think the whole Sunset East issue has been beaten to a complete pulp. Waht it needs is the political will and nothing more.

1. the track is there
2. Stations? Amtrak stops at a lot of places that do not have stations worthy of the name if they have anything at all.
3. Equipment? can be found and fixed.

Call me when somebody with the ability to do something starts to do it.

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palmland
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Sojourner, you are correct that the Palmetto, as well as the whole southeast service, needs to be reviewed by Amtrak.

While we are thankful for more than our fair share of LD trains in the southeast, service could certainly be improved and attract a lot more riders with a little investment and innovation.

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SilverStar092
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I don't understand the talk of service cuts in this thread. It seems to have been started by Mr. GBN and I personally don't understand his desire to spout negativity toward passenger trains on a message board for people who enjoy them. The arguments are fine if that's his opinion but there should be a more productive place for such stuff.

The Meteor does good business such as any train today does. Amtrak's biggest flaw as I have seen it for years is a failure to look forward. They should push for more equipment either politically or by some other means and have a 5 year plan for expanding service to coincide with delivery of that new equipment. All the talk of restoring the North Coast Hiawatha, Pioneer, and Desert Wind is great but more cars are needed. The Sunset East could likely start up with cars scrounged together from the existing fleet. If they would extend the City of NOL to FL, only one more equipment set would be needed and it would be a timely train running daily east of NOL. I disagree that that train is irrelevant as it provides a key link from FL to the midwest and west without traveling via the northeast. I admit Amtrak ridership as a whole is statistically insignificant but that's not reason to ax the trains. Instead Amtrak should be promoted and expanded to become relevant. More sleepers on existing trains would drive down bedroom costs and attract more riders. Here in the FL Panhandle there are few transportation opinions other than driving as air fares are out of sight. It's easy to sit in a big city such as Chicago and say the train is irrelevant...I telling you that is not the case for many of us.

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amtraxmaniac
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GBN,I believe, is a stockholder in two Class I freight railroads, so expanded long distance service is not in his own financial (and other stockholders) best interest. Expanding service would require applying pressure to the freight companies; something GBN as a stockholder would adamately oppose. Its capitalism at its best. All that's important is the almighty dollar and whether we retire with a Buick or a Cadillac.
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palmland
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There is nothing wrong for someone to express a view different than one we might have. In fact,we might actually learn something from hearing an opposing view. Keep them coming GBN.

The ability to get a return on our dollar is important not just to the so called 'fat cats' but to the average investor. As we can see now, when corporate earnings drop, bad things happen to the economy. Sure there is excess, but that doesn't mean making sure your investments do well is a bad thing. For those of us now in retirement and those that will get there one day, let's hope the 'almighty dollar' does well.

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Gilbert B Norman
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quote:
Originally posted by SilverStar092:
I don't understand the talk of service cuts in this thread. It seems to have been started by Mr. GBN and I personally don't understand his desire to spout negativity toward passenger trains on a message board for people who enjoy them. The arguments are fine if that's his opinion but there should be a more productive place for such stuff.

First allow me to thank Mr. Palmland for his support and for Patrick's understanding 'of where I come from".

As I've often noted, I was an entry level "Management Trainee' with the MILW on A-Day. It was my understanding that the LD system was 'given five years' and at that time after a 'spruce up' and marketing plan after which the inevitable "well we tried but this won't work', the trains would be discontinued in an orderly manner i.e. don't kill NY-CHI service first as such is the principal connection to the Western trains; kill the Floridian and National Limited as those really do not connect with 'all that much'.

I have often contended here that had the industry's managers of my day ever foreseen that forty some years later, LD trains still be on the rails providing little in the way of meaningful transportation and nothing towards "the bottom line' of an investor owned business enterprise, I'm certain those managers would have said "thanks but no thanks' to the invitation to join Amtrak and proceeded to progress the case for discontinuance of the trains before the regulatory agencies.

As I've noted here on many an occasion, on the day during 1980 that the Staggers Act was implemented and had the industry remained in the passenger business for their own account, there would have been "a mite few' Adios drumheads illuminated that day.

Finally, Mr Silver Star, a review of the discussion will show that I was not the first participant to suggest discontinuance of anything here. Most specifically I refer to the following;

quote:
Originally posted by sojourner:
Why don't they cancel the Palmetto? What use is the Palmetto anyway? They already have 2 trains a day (with sleepers) to FL, stopping in the Palmetto stops, plus the trains from NC, a state that supports Amtrak.

I only noted that IF there is to be an initiative to discontinue some LD services, either the Meteor or the Palmetto, is most vulnerable because no 180 Day Notice under ARAA '97 would be required.

disclaimer: author holds positions BNI NSC UNP

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Henry Kisor
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It should be emphasized that GBN has always been upfront about his railroad stock holdings, especially when advancing his arguments against expansion of long-distance routes. He clearly believes in full disclosure.
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sojourner
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I am sorry I suggested cancelling the Palmetto. I was wrong. I suggested it only because it pisses me off that Savannah Georgia has 6 trains a day and yet the senators for Georgia refuse to support Amtrak and keep voting against it! BUt hearing how many people use the Palmetto (many of whom are people who probably didn't vote for those senators), I take back my suggestion. Keep the Palmetto, keep ALL the trains, and add new ones!!!!

Clearly, there ought to be a train to from FL to the Midwest. In fact, there ought to be two, one to New Orleans (and beyond in some way--I myself like the idea of an overlap train Orlando to San Antonio, with a New Orleans connection to the CONO, and the Sunset Ltd from the west LA to New Orleans), and one through Chattanooga/Nashville.

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SilverStar092
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I agree with Ms. Sojourner that there should be a train from FL to the Midwest as well as the NOL-FL routing. As for the railroads' belief that Amtrak would only last five years, I find it hard to believe such was a legal commitment by the government or one of the railroads would have sued by now to force Amtrak off its property. Amtrak is a paying customer and I find it hard to believe the freight railroads find it tangles up their lines by allowing one train per day each way over many of their routes. I certainly can understand their angst if Amtrak were to operate 6 or 8 per day. In many cases the freight companies have accepted government money for improvements and running meager Amtrak service is a small price to pay for what they get. I agree with GBN that Amtrak is irrelevant in terms of percentage of the traveling public carried. But to people in many communities along the way, this service is anything but irrelevant; instead it is a necessary utility. The bigger annoyance to me as a railroad stockholder is all the absurd lawsuits railroads face as a result of grade crossing accidents where the motorist is at fault.
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RRRICH
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I agree with Ms. Sojourner as well as with Jack T (aka "Silver Star") that we need direct service from Chicago to Florida again -- the only problem is that, no matter what route you take, it's going to be 2 nights from the Midwest to Florida, which is the same as what you get now by connecting in Washington or New York anyway. Do any of you "old-timers" know of any pre-AMTRAK Chicago to Florida service that made it in only one night instead of 2?

Concerning the "Sunset East," as much as many of us here (present writer included) would love to see it return, I'm afraid it's just not going to happen, unfortunately.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Rich, "one night out" was the "norm". The City of Miami left IC Station in Chi at about 830A and arrived Miami at about 8PM or some 35 hours later. The South Wind was on a similar schedule. Since even as "late' as A-Day, there were considerable "gaps' within the Interstates - most notable as I recall between Dalton and Atlanta. The "City' was quite time competitive with driving. The peak season consist included a Sleeper Dome, Sleeper Lounge, Twin unit Diner, Cafe Diner and an Obs-Lounge. I can recall observing seasonal consists at Champaign of 15 cars - and for those to whom aesthetics are of concern, the entire consist was liveried in IC Brown and Orange.
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20th Century
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RRRICH: Yes,started in 1940 there were Chicago morning departures which arrived Miami the following day. As stated in "Classic American Streamliners" by Mike Schafer and Joe Welsh, published in 1997,"All three trains operated on a stringent one-night-out schedule, southbound"..."On-time performance southbound was paramount, for the trains had to be promptly cleaned,restocked,and turned for a same-day early evening departure back to Chicago,which was reached late the following night."
The trains were the City of Miami(IC), the South Wind (Pennsy), and Dixie Flagler (Chicago & Eastern Illinois). The City of Miami was a coordinate effort with the IC to Birmingham, then the Central of Georgia to Albany, then ACL to Jacksonville. Florida East Coast took it from there to Miami.
The South Wind ( all coach) was taken by Pennsy to Louisville, then L&N to Montgomery via Nashville, and Birmingham,then ACL to Jacksonville, and finally Florida East Coast to Miami. The Dixie Flagler started its journey with the Chicago & Eastern Illinois to Evansville, Indiana where the Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis (an L&N affiliate) pulled it to Atlanta where ACL affiliate Atlanta, Birmingham & Coast pulled it to be picked up by the Florida East Coast to Miami.

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George Harris
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Initially all three of these trains were all-coach. Since they left from different Chicago stations the first common station for all three was Jacksonville, Florida. Both the South Wind and the Dixie Flagler stopped at Nashville Union Station. The Dixie Flagler and City of Miami both stopped at Plant Avenue station in Waycross GA, but the South Wind stopped at Oklahoma Avenue to avoid the need for a back up move. The City of Miami and South Wind both served Birmingham, but the City of Miami stopped at Southern's Terminal Staion and the South Wind at the L&N Station.

20th Century, some of your intermediate points are not quite right.

Dixie Flagler:
C&EI - Chicago-Evansville
L&N - Evansville-Nashville
NC&StL - Nashville-Atlanta
AB&C - Atlanta-Waycross
ACL - Waycross-Jacksonville
FEC - Jacksonville-Miami

South Wind:
Pennsy - Chicago-Louisville
L&N - Louisville-Montgomery
ACL - Mongtomery-Jacksonville
FEC - Jacksonville-Miami

City of Miami:
ICRR - Chicago-Birmingham
CofG - Birmingham-Albany GA
ACL - Albany-Jacksonville
FEC - Jacksonville-Miami

For the City of Miami, there was also the very interesting stitching together of trackage rights by the ICRR in 1908 between Jackson, Tennessee and Birmingham, which went:
ICRR - Jackson TN to Perry Switch TN (about 3 miles)
rights on GM&O - Perry Switch TN to Ruslor Jct. MS (near Corinth MS)
ICRR owned - Ruslor Jct. to Haleyville, Alabama
rights on Southern - Haleyville AL to Jasper AL
rights on SLSF (Frisco) - Jasper to Birmingham.

As a college studen at UT-Martin Branch in Martin TN in 1962-1964, I frequently saw the City of Miami come through with 4 E-units and 20 cars or more in the winter.

Apparently the City of Miami had the easiest to make schedule, evidenced in part by more stops along the way and a scheduled 30 minute pause in Birmingham. So far as I know, neither of the other trains had a scheduled pause of over 10 minutes at any intermediate point.

The only route that is still intact end to end is that of the Dixie Flagler. For the South Wind, all south of Indianapolis is still there, with Indy to Louisville needing major work. For the City of Miami, which always carried the biggest load, part of the Corinth MS to Haleyville Al section has been abandoned, and I think also part of Albany Ga ot Waycross is no more. Fulton KY to Corinth MS is now a secondary branch, probably unsignaled. Therefore, restoration of the City of Miami is no longer in the realm of the possible.

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bill haithcoat
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All the above, and then some, per George Harris and others.

The rightful stars of the show, for one night out trains, were the three streamliners as already noted: Dixie Flagler, South Wind and City of Miami. But--as pointed out--they were originally all coach.

There were also heavyweight winter season only trains one night to Florida on each route.These trains were largely pullman. They were the Dixieland on the Dixie Flagler's route (not to be confused with the "new" Dixeland in 1954), the Sunchaser on the City of Miami route and the Florida Arrow on the South Wind route.They also ran every third day.

It was about the winter season of 1949 (winter season back then meant approximately Dec.16 of one year to April 24 of the following) that the 3 noted heavyweight trains were discontinued and their sleepers transferred to the big three streamliners. So for awhile the 3 streamliners had heavyweight sleepers but that did not keep them from being considered steamliners. The South WInd and the City of Miami received lightweight sleepers first. The Flagler lagged behind at least in the winter, and did not get consistently year round streamlined sleepers unitl it was re-equipped and renamed the Dixieland Dec. 16 1954. Sadly, so very sadly, it was discontinued just under three years later.

I have not mentioned the various trains--admittedly the lesser lights-- which did take two nights since they are out of scope of the original thought.

I have left much out. But one can see the whole story of midwest Florida pre-Amtrak service is rich, so very rich indeed, and all gone today!!

--------------------
bill haithcoat

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notelvis
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Did I miss it or has no one mentioned that these three competing streamliners initially departed their endpoints once every third day? The schedules were coordinated so that there was one southbound streamliner departing Chicago every day.

Sleepers came on line as these new streamliners gained in popularity.

By the late 60's the Dixie Flagler was gone but the City of Miami and Southwind continued to operate with departures on alternate days.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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bill haithcoat
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notelvis,in my post just ahead of yours (you may not have seen it, you may have been posting yours just after I posted)I did mention the winter season heavyweight trains were every third day, I forgot to note the 3 streamliners were. As noted above the Dixie Flagler was renamed the Dixielan d Dec 16, 1954,and was discontinued just under three years later, actually it was about Nov 29, 1957.

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bill haithcoat

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George Harris
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Guess the every third day / every other day in later years was not mentioned because those of us talking about it all knew it. It was part of our given.

These trains were the pride of the fleet for all concerned. But, as Bill Haithcoat says, up through the 1950's while these trains were the cream, they were only the top layer af quite a few ways to get between the Midwest and Florida. Just counting the different Ohio River crossing points, you had five possibilities, Cairo IL, Evansville IN, Louisville KY, and either Southern or L&N out of Cincinatti. Bound for Florida, you could go through Atlanta any of four ways from the North and West, three toward the Ohio River and the fourth being the KC-Florida Special, and south of Atlanta, go out on the AB&C, CofG-ACL, Southern through Valdosta, or Southern through Jesup, and even skip Jacksonville altogether if Tampa or St. Pete was your destination.

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George Harris
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Distance of these three Chicago to Jacksonville:
City of Miami: 1128 miles
Dixie Flagler: 1090 miles
South Wind: 1193 miles, by timetable. Actually about 1190 because the L&N always showed their Nashville to Birmingham distance via Columbia TN, but the through traffic always went on the 1912 opened line through Lewisburg TN.

Despite its shorter distance, the Dixie Flager appears to have had the most difficult schedule because of the route being "cross grain" to the Appalachians which the other routes touched more lightly.

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bill haithcoat
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Should anyone be interested in any completely useless, outdated pre-Amtrak trivia, I have a suggestion.

This would be the train known as the Dixiana.It was on the Dixie Flagler route. I know neither its schedule or it's day of operation.

It would have been due to begin operation about Dec. 16, 1941.

And it did make two or three round trips to Florida.

Problem is, Pearl Harbor had been attacked just a few days before.

The U.S. government quickly adoped a policy of dropping as many pullmans for civilian pleasure travel as possible so equipment could carry our military.

The Dixiana was a perect example of unneeded travel, carrying the snow birds to Florida. Its equipment was quickly reassigned to more important duties and it disappeared from the timetables, never to return under that name.

The trivia point is this: it had possibly the all time shortest lifespan of any named passenger train in the U. S.

--------------------
bill haithcoat

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RRRICH
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WOW, guys!! Thanks a lot for all the info on "Pre-AMTRAK" Chicago-Florida service!!!!!!
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20th Century
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Mr. Harris, thank you for clarifying the intermediate points. To me the operation of all 3 trains required a determined effort of all involved. I guess Amtrak can put a train on the Flagler route. Would they name it The City of Miami? It would probably require 2 and 1/2 days of travel. It seems the City of Miami was the most popular, or favorite. I know it had quite a paint scheme on those streamlined slanted (EMD E-6?) IC diesels. I also discovered that the Budd Co. did not like when a RR painted their stainless fluted steel cars as the tuscan red Pennsy did with the South Wind.
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bill haithcoat
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I, too, 20th Century, have read that Budd did not like for its stainless steel trains to be painted.

Of the big three streamliners, only the Dixie Flagler remained in its unpainted silver stage. Aside from some heavyweight sleepers for a few years as I noted in an above post. Kind of strange, then, that the unpainted silvertrain was the first to go!!

As to names, people have probably forgotten who Mr. Flagler was, and the words "Dixie" and "South" might not work very well today. Thus, City of Miami would be a great name. We would not want to revive the Floridian name, the Amtrak train, since it became such a pitifuly poor operation.

But I would kind of like the name "Royal Palm" to be brought back, I like the sound of it. This, even though in large measure it would be untrue to its original route, having only Chattanooga and Atlanta in common with the Dixie Flagler, and not the same trackage between them. Furthur it came more out of Detroit, Cleveland,Cincinnati, etc rather than Chicago.

Of course it is all moot since few people living today, including a lot of younger railfans, have heard of any of them.

--------------------
bill haithcoat

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Gilbert B Norman
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OK, from the one who penned the "if you've seen one Pine Tree....' bit around here, be it noted I'm not quite as blase about Palm Trees. They have a beauty and grace of their own.

Incidentially, if you want a directory of Palm Trees, poke around this subdivision within Boca (a client of mine once resided there) and every varietal of such will be shown.

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notelvis
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Hi Bill,

I had seen your post and it, in fact, is what reminded me of the every third day service pattern for the streamliners.

George......very interesting the timetable mileage quirk you point out for the L&N south of Nashville. CSX has a similar quirk on their former Clinchfield route north of Erwin, TN and again around Johnson City also caused by 'modern-era' (say.....post 1950) track realignments. It was easier to note a couple or three miles fewer track than redo nearly 300 miles of mileposts.

Let me note for those of you not familiar with my 'track record' that I am a relative youngster who took an interest in pre-Amtrak passenger railroading and studied backwards by reading books, looking at photos and route maps, and collecting 1950's and 60's timetables.

I am a fan of the Southern Railway because their passenger trains in the 1970's gave me the opportunity to experience 'pre-Amtrak' passenger service after it was gone most everywhere else.

My direct experiences with actual 'pre-Amtrak' passenger trains are these -

1) A sighting in Marshall, NC of what was left of the Carolina Special in Fall 1968 (I was 6 and with my mother on an errand to the County Seat). It was, by then, a single F unit, a baggage car, and a coach.

2) A sighting one year later of what was left of the Royal Palm arriving at the station in Georgetown, KY (my dad had returned to graduate school at the University of Kentucky). It was, by this time, a local running Cincinnati to Somerset, KY and return only. The consist was a dusty E unit, a baggage car, and two very attractive streamlined coaches.

3) An outing with a favorite aunt who wanted to show her nephew Louisville Union Station in the spring of 1970. By that time passenger service here was the daily Pan American (Cincinnati-New Orleans) and the alternate day South Wind (Chicago-Florida). The two trains ran as a combined train between Louisville and Montgomery. I got to see one of them arrive (I forget which and the other was already in the station) and then got to see the combined train depart. It seems like each train was a single E unit and four or five passenger cars. I recall seeing one sleeping car for certain but am unsure what the rest of the consists were......remember, sleepers and diners were still a foreign concept to me at this point.

By the time I was out riding Amtrak trains and had a chance to board a train in Louisville, Amtrak's 'Floridian' was using the Auto-Train warehouse way south of town. It took until 2001 and the short-lived 'Kentucky Cardinal' before I actually got to board a passenger train from Louisville Union Station......something that was important to me.

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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George Harris
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Bill: as a born Tennessean with relatives all over the state, and a long gone before my time relative that worked for the NC&StL out of Decherd, I thought I knew a lot about the old NC, but I had never before heard of the Dixiana.

David: Railroads sometimes do re-milepost lines to the consternation and confusion of the engineering and maintenance people from that point on. In fact, L&N did re-milepost their main south of Calera Alabama and all branches out of the Birmingham area due to the massive line straightening between Nashville, birmingham and Calera AL that occurred in the 1910 to 1914 era. The Valuation maps showed both.

A much more modern day re-mileposting was done by ICRR on the line between Jackson MS and Mobile AL Simply put, the ex GM&N mileposting out of Mobile was continued northwest from Beaumont MS on the ex B&HS to Hattiesburg and then the ex G&SI to Jackson. I think this actually reversed the direction of mileposting on the B&HS.

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Floridian
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What train(s) served the route from St. Louis to Tampa, FL between 1952 and 1969? After my family moved to Tampa in 1951, my aunt used to visit just about every year. She lived in St. Louis and would only travel by train.

Also would the locomotive have been steam or diesel during the '50's? I faintly remember seeing steam trails around locomotives in Tampa Station, but that may be just imagination.

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Ocala Mike
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My 1956 Official Guide lists the Seminole (35 hours) and the City of Miami (29 hours) as two possible trains that covered this route. Probably more with various connections. Steam was obviously phasing out all during the '50's, but you could have definitely seen some steam in Tampa, especially during the early part of the decade.

--------------------
Ocala Mike

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bill haithcoat
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George Harris, The Dixiana (Flagler route), the Jacksonian (South Wind route) and the Floridan spelled without an "i"between the "d" and the "a" in the City of Miami route,were a threesome just like the others, i.e. DF, SW CofMi, also Dixieland,Sunchaser, Florida Arrow.Exacly how they fit into the overall picture of winter service, not sure.

I do know for a fact that the Dixiana just ran a few times. What I do not know is if the Floridan and the Jacksonian were jerked out of service as well.

The thing about the Dixiana reminds me of the way the Humming Bird was aborted mid-run while folks were eating breakfast in the diner while parked in the BHM station.

The Dixiana can be found by googling but I could not find anything about its short lifespan. I am looking for references in my books at home but so far nothing. The train is mentioned ever so briefly in the NC&StL book by Dain Schult. If I find anything more defintive I will let you know.I have lots of books and lots of timetables.

--------------------
bill haithcoat

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bill haithcoat
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George, I got my clarification.

My paraphrasing is from "Louisville & Nashville Passenger Trains" by Chsster, Chapman, Dorin.It does not deal specifically with Illinois Central trains, so that is my speculation.

I found out that the Dixiana ran about two weeks abd then was gone. The Jacksonian and the Floridan were allowed to finish the winter season running on into spring 1942.

Here was the line up for the winter 1941 season, as arranged before anyone knew Pearl Harbor would be attacked.

Dixie Flagler, all coach
Dixieland, all pullman
Dixiana, coach and pullman


South Wind, all coach
Jacksonian, all pullman
Florida Arrow, coach and pullman

City of Miami, all coach
Sunchaser and Floridan, not sure of equipment.

During the above schedule it meant that one train left each day on each of the three routes.

It seems during the war years just the 3 sreamliners and the regular year round trains like the Dixie Flyer and the Dixie Limited ran.

For the 1945-47 season the Dixieland,Florida Arrow and Sunchaser were restored.I have the timetable for that.

It think it must have been about two more winter seasons after that that the heavyweight sleepers were put on the lightweight trains.eventually replaced with streamlined sleepers, this much I have already noted.

When the Dixie Flagler was re-equipped and renamed the Dixieland Dec. 16,1954, I recall it was sometimes referred to as the "new" Dixieland precisely because it had not been that long since a heavyweight Dixieland operated.

--------------------
bill haithcoat

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ehbowen
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quote:
Originally posted by bill haithcoat:
Should anyone be interested in any completely useless, outdated pre-Amtrak trivia, I have a suggestion.

This would be the train known as the Dixiana.It was on the Dixie Flagler route. I know neither its schedule or it's day of operation.

It would have been due to begin operation about Dec. 16, 1941.

And it did make two or three round trips to Florida.

Problem is, Pearl Harbor had been attacked just a few days before.

The U.S. government quickly adoped a policy of dropping as many pullmans for civilian pleasure travel as possible so equipment could carry our military.

The Dixiana was a perect example of unneeded travel, carrying the snow birds to Florida. Its equipment was quickly reassigned to more important duties and it disappeared from the timetables, never to return under that name.

The trivia point is this: it had possibly the all time shortest lifespan of any named passenger train in the U. S.

Hey, Bill, that's a great bit of trivia. And guess what: I have a schedule for the Dixiana in my December 1941 OG [scanned copy]!

Just for the record, it was due to begin operations Jan. 1, 1942 and operate every third day. It left Dearborn Station at 8:00 p.m. and arrived Miami bright and early at 7:00 a.m. (two nights out).

Anyone think it ought to be posted?

--------------------
--------Eric H. Bowen

Stop by my website: Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables of the great trains of the past!

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notelvis
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quote:
Originally posted by ehbowen:
quote:
Originally posted by bill haithcoat:
Should anyone be interested in any completely useless, outdated pre-Amtrak trivia, I have a suggestion.

This would be the train known as the Dixiana.It was on the Dixie Flagler route. I know neither its schedule or it's day of operation.

It would have been due to begin operation about Dec. 16, 1941.

And it did make two or three round trips to Florida.

Problem is, Pearl Harbor had been attacked just a few days before.

The U.S. government quickly adoped a policy of dropping as many pullmans for civilian pleasure travel as possible so equipment could carry our military.

The Dixiana was a perect example of unneeded travel, carrying the snow birds to Florida. Its equipment was quickly reassigned to more important duties and it disappeared from the timetables, never to return under that name.

The trivia point is this: it had possibly the all time shortest lifespan of any named passenger train in the U. S.

Hey, Bill, that's a great bit of trivia. And guess what: I have a schedule for the Dixiana in my December 1941 OG [scanned copy]!

Just for the record, it was due to begin operations Jan. 1, 1942 and operate every third day. It left Dearborn Station at 8:00 p.m. and arrived Miami bright and early at 7:00 a.m. (two nights out).

Anyone think it ought to be posted?

Sure.

You're Streamliner Schedules website has become a favorite of mine! It would be cool if you were able to add maps as well!

--------------------
David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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ehbowen
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quote:
Originally posted by notelvis:
Sure.

You're Streamliner Schedules website has become a favorite of mine! It would be cool if you were able to add maps as well! [/QB]

Thanks, David. You're right, maps would be cool. However, I'm not enough of a cartographer (or graphic artist) to come up with them on my own, and I don't know if map data for lines which may have been abandoned 30 or 40 years ago is even available anywhere on line. However, if anyone has any helpful suggestions—no promises now, but suggestions are always welcome.

--------------------
--------Eric H. Bowen

Stop by my website: Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables of the great trains of the past!

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