Amtrak History in an Iconic Train Photo

Silver Meteor

This Throwback Thursday we're going all the way back to the early 1970s when Amtrak took over operating the Silver Meteor, which connects New York City and Miami. In this retro train photo, the Silver Meteor is  traveling through Hollywood, Fla., after having been upgraded to accommodate the surge in Northeastern travelers heading to warmer weather for the winter.

Today, the Silver Meteor still travels the length of the East Coast via Charleston, S.C., Savannah, G.A., and Orlando. But most people don't know that it's actually the descendant of a train originally operated by the Seaboard Airline Railroad, which was placed in service all the way back in 1939.

This train is more than just a way to get to sunshine and blue skies this winter. In fact, it serves Charleston, home of several well-known celebrities. Who knew?! Yep, comedians Stephen Colbert and Andy Dick and singer Darius Rucker are all one-time residents of Charleston.

For today's travelers, the Silver Meteor can offer quick weekend trips to either the Big Apple or the Southern coast. When travel blogger Jeffrey and his fiancee recently rode from Charleston to NYC, they had a blast!

“The time goes by very fast,” he says. “There’s plenty to do on the train. If you’re comparing it to driving, it is just a way better experience. You can sit back, grab a beer if you want, play on the computer, and just kick back and relax.”

What are some of your favorite memories aboard the Silver MeteorLet us know in the comments below!

Read More Amtrak History: History.Amtrak.com

5 comments
chucktill
chucktill

Jimgrunwell, you are correct. Other named ACL trains on this route were the Everglades, the Miamian, and the Vacationer. Seaboard's Silver Comet ran Birmingham-Atlanta-Raleigh-Richmond-Washington-NY and did not serve Columbia.

jimgrunwell
jimgrunwell

The "Silver" trains were indeed Seaboard, but I believe the north-south trains serving Charleston back before Amtrak were Atlantic Coast Line trains such as "Palmetto Limited", "Havana Special",  and "Champion". I think the "Silvers" ran through Columbia (not sure about Silver Comet; that may have been a Midwest to Florida train).   I used to ride the West Coast Champion between my home town on Florida's west coast and Baltimore.


eric_dwhite
eric_dwhite

So much history with Amtrak. You guys rock!

chucktill
chucktill

The article reads "In fact, it's Amtrak's only train that serves Charleston." Have you not looked at your own Amtrak map? The Palmetto serves Charleston. 

CJWalker
CJWalker

@chucktill Shocking, huh? Normally it's the other way around and Amtrak fails to acknowledge that long distance trains exist. 

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