Postcard depiction of the Southern Railway System's streamliner, "The Southerner" which traveled between New York and New Orleans.

(Southern Railway System, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Southerner was a streamlined passenger train operated by the Southern Railway in the United States between New York City and New Orleans via Charlotte, Atlanta and Birmingham. It operated from 1941 to 1970.



The Southerner was one of two new streamliners put into operation by the Southern Railway in 1941, the other being the Tennessean. The new train made its first run on March 31, 1941, using new equipment delivered by Pullman-Standard. The Pennsylvania Railroad handled the train between New York and Washington, D.C.

The Southerner shared much of the same route as the Crescent, the Southern's other major New York-New Orleans sleeper, but diverged between Atlanta and New Orleans. While the Crescent took a more direct route via Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama, the Southerner stayed inland to serve Birmingham. The Southerner also traveled exclusively on Southern trackage south of Washington, while the Crescent used Atlanta and West Point Railroad, Western Railway of Alabama and Louisville and Nashville Railroad trackage south of Atlanta.

In 1970, the Southern Railway combined the Crescent with the Southerner to form the Southern Crescent. The merged train moved to the Birmingham route, allowing the train to run solely on Southern's right-of-way between New Orleans and Washington. This train became Amtrak's Crescent on February 1, 1979.



Pullman-Standard built three consists in 1941 for the new Southerner streamliner. Each consist included the following: baggage-dormitory-coach (22 seats), 52-seat coach (partitioned because of segregationist policies in the Southern United States), 56-seat coach, a dining car, two more 56-seat coaches, and a tavern-lounge-observation car. The front half of the observation car contained a tavern area with booths and tables. A bar area with a small buffet followed, then a rounded-off observation area. The Pennsylvania Railroad owned three of the 56-seat coaches. Motive power south of Washington, D.C. was provided by an EMD E6 diesel locomotive.



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Operating
Locale: Northeastern United States/Southeastern United States
First service: March 31, 1941
Last service: 1970
Former operator: Southern Railway
Route Termini: New Orleans, Louisiana / New York City
Distance traveled: 1,377 miles (2,216 km)
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 47 southbound, 48 northbound
On-board services
Seating arrangements: Reclining seat coaches
Sleeping arrangements: A single sleeping car of roomettes and double bedrooms (1952)
Catering facilities: Dining car
Observation facilities: Tavern-lounge car