The Silver Meteor arriving in Palatka, Florida in 2023.

(Seaboarder3023, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak Silver Meteor icon.


The Silver Meteor is a long-distance passenger train operated by Amtrak between New York City and Miami, Florida. Introduced in 1939 as the first diesel-powered streamliner between New York and Florida, it was the flagship train of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) and one of the flagship trains of its successor, the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL). The train was transferred to Amtrak when it took over intercity passenger rail service in 1971.

The train is part of Amtrak's Silver Service brand, along with its sister train, the Silver Star, SAL’s other former flagship streamliner. The two trains are the remnants of the numerous long-distance trains that operated between New York and Florida for most of the 20th century.

During fiscal year 2019, the Silver Meteor carried 353,466 passengers, an increase of 4.9% from FY2018. In FY2016, the train had a total revenue of $36,652,426, a decrease of 4.7% from FY2015.


The Silver Meteor passing through Odenton, Maryland in 2014.

(Ryan Stavely, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Arrival of Amtrak

Amtrak retained the Seaboard's Silver Meteor when it took over most intercity passenger trains on May 1, 1971From December 17, 1971, to April 15, 1972, and September 10, 1972, to April 27, 1973, the Silver Meteor bypassed Jacksonville, running over the Gross Cutoff between Gross near the Georgia state line and Baldwin. Between November 14, 1971 and January 16, 1972, the Silver Meteor made the major shift in its route, shifting from its traditional path on the old SAL mainline via Raleigh and Columbia to the old ACL mainline through Florence and Charleston, South Carolina. Between June 11 and September 10, 1972 the Silver Meteor was extended to Boston and called the Meteor. Service to St. Petersburg returned with the train splitting at Auburndale, Florida.

On several occasions during the 1970s, the Silver Meteor was combined with the Champion, the main rival of the Silver Meteor up until the SCL merger. In the summer of 1972, Amtrak split the trains in Savannah, with the Champion continuing to St. Petersburg and the Meteor continuing to Miami. They were combined again for the summers of 1975, 1976 and 1977, splitting in Jacksonville. Finally, in 1979, the Champion was permanently consolidated into the Silver Meteor as its St. Petersburg section. Although the Champion name was preserved for a time, it disappeared with the October 1, 1979 timetable.

On September 30, 1979 the Silver Meteor was rerouted between Savannah and Jacksonville over the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad route, due to the abandonment of the old SAL route. On January 31, 1984 the Silver Meteor's Florida west coast terminus was cut back from St. Petersburg to Tampa, ending almost 100 years of rail passenger service to St. Petersburg. By October 26, 1986 the Silver Meteor had shifted to the old ACL route north of Savannah, as the abandonment of the SAL route north of Raleigh affected only the Silver Star. On June 11, 1988 the tracks between Coleman and Auburndale, Florida were abandoned, then removed to create the General James A. Van Fleet State Trail, shifting the Miami section west to Lakeland.

By the end of 1988, the Silver Meteor's Miami section had train numbers 97 and 98, while the Tampa section had train numbers 87 and 88. The Tampa section (87 and 88) was discontinued in 1994, and the Miami section (97 and 98) was rerouted through Orlando, and are still used today.

The best timing for Amtrak's Silver Meteor between Miami and New York City was 27 hours in 2008; SAL's first edition took 25 hours in 1939. Late trains often add more hours to today's schedules, most often caused by freight delays.

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 (Sunset, Eagle, Zephyr, Capitol, and Cardinal) were examined in FY 2010.

In October 2019, the Silver Meteor's dining car discontinued serving freshly cooked meals in a traditional, restaurant-style setting, otherwise known as "traditional dining." Amtrak introduced the “flexible dining” system to the Silver Meteor, which consists of pre-prepared meals which are then heated in either a convection oven or a microwave oven at the time of purchase. In a Rail Passengers Association webinar that took place on November 16, 2022, Amtrak's vice president of long-distance service revealed that traditional dining service was planned to be reintroduced on the Silver Meteor and the Silver Star in early 2023. Following this announcement, beginning on northbound train 92 on March 15, 2023, traditional dining was reintroduced to the Silver Star in the form of a 3-month pilot program gauged to test the success of the service. Southbound train 91 received the pilot on March 17. On June 24, 2023, traditional dining service was formally launched on the Silver Meteor on northbound train 98, and the pilot program on the Silver Star was replaced by permanent service. Southbound train 97 received traditional dining on June 26. Unlike on Amtrak's western long-distance trains that feature traditional dining, neither the Silver Meteor or Silver Star allow Coach Class passengers access to the dining car as of July 2023. Shortly after the formal rollout, however, in another interview with the Rail Passengers Association, Amtrak's vice president of long-distance service stated that Coach Class access to the dining car is planned to be allowed by the end of 2023.

In 2021, Amtrak reached out to FDOT to begin negotiations again for utilization of the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), the replacement for Amtrak's current Miami station. This comes after years of disagreement over the platform length at the MIC, as Amtrak normally adds cars to the Silver Meteor and Silver Star during the winter season to accommodate increased demand. In February 2022, negotiations restarted between FDOT and Amtrak. Later in March 2022, a test train operated into and out of the station and proved that the platforms are sufficient in length to hold a standard 10 car train. However, the platforms are not long enough to accommodate an 11 to 12 car train, which could be possible in the winter months. In September 2022, Amtrak management announced that it had restarted lease negotiations with FDOT regarding use and maintenance of the terminal. One issue however, is the deadheading move that will need to take place between the MIC and Hialeah. Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner has stated that "the company is evaluating technical and operational aspects of the move." In an Amtrak Public Board Meeting Q&A on December 1, 2022, it was revealed that Amtrak is in the final stages of its preparations for relocating from their current Miami station, and plans to officially relocate to the MIC in 2023.


COVID-19 pandemic

On July 6, 2020, Amtrak reduced the frequency of this train to four times per week as opposed to daily due to the impact of ridership from the worldwide COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Southbound Silver Meteor trains departed New York Monday through Thursday, while Silver Star trains departed Friday through Sunday. Similarly, northbound Silver Meteor trains departed Miami Sunday through Wednesday, while Silver Star trains departed Miami on Thursday through Saturday. Both trains resumed daily services on June 7, 2021, after additional Amtrak funding was included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

From January 24 to October 14, 2022, the Silver Meteor was suspended due to the Omicron variant surge of the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on staffing and equipment availability. During this period, the Silver Meteor's sister train, the Silver Star, continued to operate. Additional coach and sleeping car capacity was added to the Silver Star, creating a train that carried as many as six coaches and five sleepers. The Silver Star provided once-daily service to stations normally served by both trains between New York and Rocky Mount, NC as well as between Savannah and Miami during this period. Furthermore, a stop was temporarily added at Jesup, Georgia, which is usually only served by the Silver Meteor. Once-daily service remained available to Silver Meteor stations between Rocky Mount, North Carolina and Savannah via the daily daytime Palmetto, which operates between New York and Savannah. The Silver Meteor's resumption date was pushed back a total of six times. Originally scheduled to return on March 27, it was pushed back to May 23, then September 11, and finally October 3. However, Hurricane Ian caused extensive damage to the Central Florida Rail Corridor in late September, which Amtrak uses to get to central and southern Florida. Amtrak in response pushed the suspension back to October 6, then to October 11, and finally October 14 after the full extent of the damage became apparent.



The train began using rebuilt Heritage Fleet equipment in 1981. 

 The Silver Meteor now uses Amtrak's standard long-distance single-level equipment: Viewliner baggage cars, Viewliner sleeping cars, Viewliner dining cars, Amfleet café-lounges and Amfleet coaches. An ACS-64 electric locomotive is used between New York City and Washington, D.C, while two GE P42DC diesel electric locomotives are used for power south of Washington, D.C.

A typical Silver Meteor consist as of July 2023 is made up of:

  • ACS-64 locomotive (New York–Washington)
  • P42DC locomotive (Washington–Miami)
  • P42DC locomotive (Washington–Miami)
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Coach
  • Amfleet II Café/Lounge Car
  • Viewliner II Dining Car
  • Viewliner I Sleeping Car
  • Viewliner II Sleeping Car
  • Viewliner II Baggage Car


Amtrak Silver Service route map.

(jkan997, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Star, Silver Meteor and Palmetto (this applies to north
  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Meteor and Palmetto
  • ━━━  Route of Silver Star
  • ━━━  Common route of Silver Star, Silver Meteor (Palmetto finish route at Savannah)


Route details

The Silver Meteor operates over a combination of Amtrak and CSX Transportation trackage:

• New York – Washington D.C. (Amtrak)
    • Northeast Corridor:
• Washington D.C. – DeLand, Florida (CSXT)
    • RF&P Subdivision
    • Richmond Terminal Subdivision
    • North End Subdivision
    • South End Subdivision
    • Charleston Subdivision
    • Savannah Subdivision
    • Nahunta Subdivision
    • Jacksonville Terminal Subdivision
    • Sanford Subdivision
• DeLand - Poinciana, Florida (SunRail)
    • Central Florida Rail Corridor
• Poinciana - Mangonia Park, Florida (CSXT)
    • Carters Subdivision
    • Auburndale Subdivision
    • Miami Subdivision
• Mangonia Park - Miami, Florida (Tri-Rail)
    • South Florida Rail Corridor


With the Viewliners back on the front, AEM-7 No. 919 leads train 97, the Silver Meteor, through Odenton.

(Ryan Stavely, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Route and Operation

The Silver Meteor uses the same route as the Silver Star – the other train in the Silver Service brand – excluding two segments: Selma, North Carolina – Savannah, Georgia, and Kissimmee, Florida – Winter Haven, Florida. Between Selma and Savannah, the Silver Star travels inland over the CSX S-Line to serve the Carolinas' state capitals of Raleigh and Columbia, while the Silver Meteor travels closer to the coast on the CSX A-Line and serves Fayetteville, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. Between Kissimmee and Winter Haven, the Silver Meteor turns south to go directly to Miami at Auburndale, Florida, while the Silver Star continues west to Lakeland, Florida and Tampa, before coming back to Auburndale and turning south to Miami. In addition to these diversions, between Sebring, Florida and West Palm Beach, Florida, the Silver Meteor makes no intermediate stops, while the Silver Star makes an additional stop at Okeechobee, Florida. Inversely, between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, the Silver Meteor makes an additional stop at Jesup, Georgia, while the Silver Star makes no intermediate stops. The daytime Palmetto operates from New York to Savannah over the same route as the Silver Meteor, allowing cities in the Carolinas and Virginia on the Silver Meteor's route to have service during the day.

In its present form, the southbound Silver Meteor leaves New York in mid-afternoon, arriving in Washington at dinner time and traveling overnight through Virginia and the Carolinas for arrival at breakfast time the following morning in Savannah, rush hour in Jacksonville, lunchtime in Orlando, and early evening in Miami. Northbound trains leave Miami just before rush hour, arriving in central Florida at lunchtime and Jacksonville in late afternoon and dinner time in Savannah, then passing through the Carolinas and Virginia overnight for arrival at breakfast time in Washington, mid-morning in Philadelphia and lunchtime in New York.

Like other long-distance trains operating on the Northeast Corridor, local travel between NEC stations is not allowed on the Silver Meteor. Northbound trains only stop to discharge passengers from Alexandria, Virginia northward, and southbound trains only stop to receive passengers from Newark, New Jersey to Washington. 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 Meteor, like the Silver Star, 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.


Station stops

To see a list of Station Stops and Connections, click HERE.



For ridership statistics click HERE.



Service type: Inter-city rail
Locale: East Coast of the United States
First service: February 2, 1939 (SAL)
Current operator: Amtrak (1971–present)
Former operators: Seaboard Air Line Railroad (1939–1967), Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (1967–1971),
Pennsylvania Railroad (1939–1968, haulage agreement), Penn Central Transportation (1968–1971, haulage agreement)
Annual ridership: 79,196 (FY22) Decrease -57.7%
Route Termini: New York City / Miami
Stops: 33
Distance traveled: 1,389 miles (2,235 km)
Average journey time: 27h 44m
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 97, 98
On-board services
Classes: Coach Class, Sleeper Service
Disabled access: All train cars, all stations
Sleeping arrangements: Roomette (2 beds), Bedroom (2 beds), Bedroom Suite (4 beds), Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
Catering facilities: Dining car, Café
Baggage facilities: Overhead racks, checked baggage available at selected stations
Rolling stock: Amfleet, Viewliner
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed: Up to 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) (Northeast Corridor)
Track owners: Amtrak, CSXT, CFRC, SFRTA