Gulf Breeze at Montgomery, 1990.

The Gulf Breeze at Montgomery in June 1990.

(Hikki Nagasaki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak classic logo.


The Gulf Breeze was a daily passenger train operated by Amtrak between New York City and Mobile, Alabama, as a section of the Crescent. The two trains split in Birmingham, with the Gulf Breeze serving an additional seven stations in Alabama on a 275-mile (443 km) route south to the Gulf Coast. Service ran from 1989 until 1995.



Amtrak introduced the Gulf Breeze on October 27, 1989 as a section of the Crescent (New York City–New Orleans). Costs of operation were split between Amtrak and the state, with the latter contributing about $1.3 million per year. Annual ridership in FY 1994, the last full year of operation, was 7,737. In December 1994 Amtrak announced that the Gulf Breeze would be discontinued as part of a broad cost-cutting measure which saw other services eliminated or reduced. The last Gulf Breeze ran on 1 April 1995, and was replaced by bus service.

Later that year attempts were made under the auspices of the Southern High Speed Rail Commission to resurrect the Gulf Breeze as a Mobile–New Orleans service, sharing part of the Sunset Limited's route. This was eventually realized as the Gulf Coast Limited, a joint effort between Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana which operated 1996–1997.


Gulf Breeze at Montgomery, 1995.

The Gulf Breeze at Montgomery in March 1995, days before being discontinued.

(Hikki Nagasaki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Gulf Breeze split from the Crescent at Birmingham and ran south through Montgomery to Mobile on the Gulf of Mexico, while the Crescent continued southwest through Mississippi to New Orleans. At the time Mobile was served also by the Sunset Limited (Orlando, Florida–Los Angeles, California).

As of 2023, Birmingham (served by the Crescent) is the only Gulf Breeze station still in operation. Mobile and Atmore were served by the Gulf Coast Limited in 1996–1997, and by the Sunset Limited from 1993 to 2005. The remaining stations have not seen passenger rail service since the cancellation of the Gulf Breeze.


Route Stops

0 New York City–Penn Station

10 mi / 16 km Newark 
58 mi / 93 km Trenton
91 mi / 146 km Philadelphia–30th Street
116 mi / 187 km Wilmington
185 mi / 298 km Baltimore
225 mi / 362 km Washington, D.C. 
234 mi / 377 km Alexandria 
258 mi / 415 km Manassas
292 mi / 470 km Culpeper
337 mi / 542 km Charlottesville
398 mi / 641 km Lynchburg
461 mi / 742 km Danville
512 mi / 824 km Greensboro
524 mi / 843 km High Point
558 mi / 898 km Salisbury
601 mi / 967 km Charlotte
625 mi / 1006 km Gastonia
678 mi / 1091 km Spartanburg
709 mi / 1141 km Greenville
739 mi / 1189 km Clemson
772 mi / 1242 km Toccoa
810 mi / 1304 km Gainesville
858 mi / 1381 km Atlanta
960 mi / 1545 km Anniston
1024 mi / 1648 km Birmingham
1120 mi / 1802 km Montgomery
1164 mi / 1873 km Greenville
1201 mi / 1933 km Evergreen
1225 mi / 1971 km Brewton
1254 mi / 2018 km Atmore
1274 mi / 2050 km Bay Minette
1299 mi / 2091 km Mobile



Service type: Inter-city rail
System: Amtrak
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Eastern United States
First service: October 27, 1989
Last service: April 1, 1995
Former operator: Amtrak
Route Termini: New York, New York / Mobile, Alabama
Stops: 31
Distance traveled: 1,299 miles (2,091 km) (New York–Mobile); 275 miles (443 km) (Birmingham–Mobile)
Service frequency: Daily each way
Train number: 519, 520
On-board services
Classes: Standard and first class
Seating arrangements: Reserved Coach Seat
Sleeping arrangements: Roomette, Bedrooms
Catering facilities: Dining Car, Lounge Car
Baggage facilities: Checked baggage available at stations north of Birmingham
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner: CSX Transportation