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The Florida Trade

New York to Florida

Operations above Washington DC

General operations Wash DC to Jacksonville

Other Services




North of New York City

Above New York City, the Florida Trade thins out dramatically. A few Name Trains originate at Boston, although effectively these are sections that combine into full trains at NYCity or Washington. There are, however, many individual through cars and sections serving the northeast.

Sleepers originate at Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts via the New Haven over the Hell Gate Bridge route to Long Island and Penn Station, Manhattan. Further north, sleepers depart from Montreal and Quebec as well as remote Murray Bay via the Grand Trunk / Central Vermont / Boston & Maine to Springfield, where they join the New Haven exodus.


The Pennsylvania Railroad

For all practical purposes, the Northeast Corridor is the province of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Most Florida trains originate at New York City (with many receiving cars or sections from further north), departing Penn Station down the 6 track Corridor to Union Station, Washington.

Due to the intense traffic on this route, the Pennsy consolidates 2 or 3 trains into enormous 20+ car consists for the run. This leads to some interesting scheduling complexities: with competitors trains randomly joined with PRR short hauls, some of which make "scheduled stops" that the others do not - even though they are coupled together. (One has to be careful, when boarding a train, to select the right car lest a DC bound commuter find himself en route to Tampa.)

At Washington, the multiple consists are broken up, most trains receive more cars and proceed south independantly.

PRR does not originate any Florida service Name Trains as such, although they participate in many equipment pool operations under the nominal banner of the ACL, SAL or FEC. One disadvantage of this, to the smaller roads, is that PRR does not hesitate to use its clout to hog the lions share of the revenue sleepers: leaving coaches and non-revenue lounges and diners to the small fry.

Another problem in dealing with the Pennsy is that they do not hesitate to use their effective monopoly to dictate schedule times over the Corridor. The annual timetable negotiations are a sore test of diplomacy for the smaller roads.


Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac

With the single exception of the Southern Railway, every road up from the Deep South - and all of the eastern Florida Trade - funnels through Richmond, Virginia and on to Washington via the R F & P.


Southern Railway

The Southern Railway has had a curious record in the Florida Trade. They were among the first to offer service to Florida, as early as the 1880s, through a variety of interchange connections. One of these was a short lived route from the Lakes cities via the PRR: changing at Harrisburg to the Norfolk & Western Shenandoah Valley line then to the Southern at Winston- Salem. From there, the cars went to the Florida Central & Peninsular Railway (then a significant Florida player) at Columbia until that line was absorbed by the Seaboard in 1899.

More directly, the Southern offered connections from Washington to both coasts of Florida, but bowed out of this market by the turn of the century. As the north-south routes became rationalized, the Southern found their roundabout route, via Lynchburg, Danville and Columbia, was not competitive. In the 1900s, they began shifting their interests away from Florida and more toward the Deep South with their new targets being Atlanta and New Orleans.

In the gravy years of the Florida Trade, Southern Railway's eastern lines serve mainly to collect through sleepers from various Appalachian and Ohio River cities which they forward to the real Florida Trade players at Columbia or Savannah. In an interesting move, however, Lines East also carries western interchange cars from the L & N and C of Ga, as well as handing off the Chicago service "Dixie Flyer", "Dixie Limited" and "Flamingo" in southern Georgia.


Seaboard Air Line



Atlantic Coast Line



Florida East Coast

At the far end of the line is a small but solidly constructed railroad: one of only a few created primarily for the passenger trade.

Movements above Washington

Check map

General operations above Washington DC

Effective 2/35

 NYCity times   Quebec Montreal Boston NYCity Baltimore Wash DC  

tr # 

 C Mail / Havana


      6.35    < 1.40   

NOTE: refer to The Glossary for a summary of how to interpret the train listings below.

Note: the operations timeline in this Topic has been modified because most of the well known trains in Florida service are winter seasonal. We are indebted to Dana Driskel for generously providing copies of a rare and delicate February 1935 Official Guide which has made this Topic possible. Thank you Dana!

Seasonal Services

NH / PRR (ACL) trains #76-80, (Washington DC) NYCity to Boston, daily.
sleeper- coach
tr #76 (n) lv Washington 1.40 am - arr NYCity 6.35 am.
tr #80 (n) lv Washington 12.25 am - arr NYCity 5.50 am.
tr #76-80 (n) lv NYCity 9.40 am - arr Boston 3.15 pm.
Notes: these trains operate independantly from Washington to NYCity, then are joined together into Boston. On the southbound trips, these trains operate independantly above Washington as part of PRR short hauls.
NH / PRR (ACL) train #175-87, Boston to Washington DC, daily.
rm sleeper- sleeper- coach- diner
tr #175-87 (s) lv Boston 9.00 am - arr Wash DC 7.08 pm.
Notes: coach service is local between Boston and Washington. Sleepers are for Miami only. Passengers for other points make sleeper connections at Washington. "Palmetto Limited" is a general service train between Quebec and Savannah, Ga. Northbound "Florida Special" runs with various PRR short hauls.

Check map - See DC north timetable

NH / PRR (ACL) train #72-74, NYCity to Boston, daily.
tr # (n) lv NYCity 4.30 pm - arr Boston 8.40 pm.
Notes: long haul trains are consolidated at Washington and proceed to New York City, where the combined through sections are placed in the New Haven "Senator" to Boston. The "Miamian" does not run a southbound section from Boston (the northbound cars are returned on other trains as equipment balancing moves). The southbound "Limited" is listed in general operations, below.
CN / CV / B&M / NH / PRR (ACL) train #71-73-83 / #72-74-82 Quebec to Washington DC, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner
tr #71-73-83 (s) lv Quebec 1.30 pm- Montreal 8.20 pm - NYCity - arr Wash DC 1.00 pm
tr #72-74-82 (n) lv Wash DC 2.00 pm - NYCity - Montreal 8.40 am - arr Quebec 4.25 pm
Notes: this is a connecting regional providing through connections to points north. Coach service is local between Quebec and Washington.
NH / PRR (ACL) train #75 / #76, Boston to Washington DC, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner
tr #71-73-83 (s) lv Boston 4.00 pm- NYCity 10.05 pm - arr Washington DC 1.00 pm.
tr #72-74-82 (n) lv Washington DC 2.00 pm - Montreal 8.40 am arr Quebec 4.25 pm
Notes: this is a c

General Notes:

Only combined movements are listed here. Through trains operating independantly above Washington are listed in General Operations, below. Presently all Seaboard Florida trains terminate at New York City and passengers for points north must make local connections.

Check map - See DC north timetable

Washington to Jacksonville

Check map

General operations Washington DC to Jacksonville, Fla

Effective 2/35

 Washington DC times   Wash DC Richmond Columbia Charleston Savannah Jacksonville  
      RF&P SAL ACL    Notes

NOTE: refer to The Glossary for a summary of how to interpret the train listings below.

All year services

Trains #141-75 / #76-110 Washington DC to Jacksonville, part A/C, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner- lounge car- parlor obs.
tr #141-75 (s) lv Boston 4.00 pm - NYCity 10.05 pm - Jacksonville 8.45 pm.
tr #76-110 (n) lv Jacksonville 6.55 am - NYCity 6.35 am - arr Boston 3.15 pm.
Notes: only lounge car presently A/C: additional A/C cars to be added as soon as they arrive from the builder. Short haul coaches between all points. Through coaches NYCity to Jacksonville. Parlor obs Miami to Key West. Connections from Miami to Havana by air, from Key West to Havana by boat (see Part 3).
PRR / RF&P / SAL (SAL) trains # / #, Washington DC to Jacksonville, A/C, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner- obs
tr # (n) lv Boston 12.00 noon - NYCity 6.45 pm

Check map - See Wash DC to Jacksonville timetable

PRR / RF&P / SAL (SAL) trains # / #, NYCity to Miami (Havana), A/C, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner- obs
tr # (n) lv


Seasonal services

NH / PRR / RF&P / ACL / FEC (ACL)(trains #89 / #80) Boston to Miami (Havana), daily.
sleeper- coach
tr #80 (n) lv Miami - arr Jacksonville
tr #80 (combined)(n) lv Jacksonville
tr #89 (combined)(s) lv Boston 8.00 pm - NYCity 10.35 am - Richmond 11.10 am - arr Jacksonville6.45 am.
tr #89 (s) lv Jacksonville 8.30 am - arr Miami 5.00 pm.
Notes: west coast section combined with "Gulf Coast Limited" at Jacksonville. Connection to Havana via air (see below). Coach is local service connection for Pullman passengers taking accommodations at NYCity.
trains #87 / #88, (Boston / NYCity) Wash DC to Key West (Havana), daily.
rm sleeper- sleeper- coach- diner- recreation car- rm obs
tr #87 (s) lv Wash DC - Richmond - Jacksonville - arr Miami 5.50 pm.
tr #88 (n) lv Miami - Jacksonville - Richmond - arr Wash DC .
Notes: now in its 48th consecutive season, this is one of the oldest of the Florida Service trains and the premiere Florida train of the Atlantic Coast Line. The southbound train originates at New York City after receiving a section from Boston (see above). The northbound train terminates at New York City. Through cars are forwarded to Boston on other trains.
sleeper- coach- diner- obs
tr #87 (n) lv

Check map - See Wash DC to Jacksonville timetable

NH / PRR / RF&P / ACL / FEC (ACL) trains #71 / #72, NYCity to Miami (Havana), daily.
rm sleeper- sleeper- coach- diner- rm obs
tr #71 (s) lv NYCity 10.30 am - Richmond 6.10 pm - Jackonville 6.55 am - arr Miami 2.25 pm.
tr #72 (n) lv Miami 11.05 am - Jacksonville 6.20 pm - Richmond 7.15 am - arr NYCity 2.55 pm.
Notes: Connecting cars from Springfield, Mass via NH "Washingtonian" and Boston via NH "Senator". Receives connecting cars from Norfolk at Richmond via N&W. NYCity to Miami 12-1 sleeper via FEC #33 below Jacksonville. Connections from Miami to Havana by boat (see Part 3).
PRR / RF&P / SAL (SAL) trains #7-307 / #308-8, NYCity to Miami (St Petersburg / Venice), A/C, daily.
rm sleeper- sleeper- diner- bag club- section obs
tr# 7-307 ()
tr #308-8 ()
Notes: this is the premiere Seaboard Air Line train on the Florida Service run, which the SAL has gone to great lengths to promote as their deluxe accommodation. (Potential passengers have been heard to comment that they are "not good enough" to ride this train - something the railroad vigorously denies - opting for secondary trains instead.) For connecting trains to St Petersburg and Venice, see Part 3.

Check map - See Wash DC to Jacksonville timetable

General notes:

Other Services

Effective 2/35

Sou Ry trains #10-23 / #24-9, Knoxville via Winston-Salem to Jacksonville, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner
tr #10-23 (s) lv Knoxville 9.20 am - Columbia 9.00 pm - arr Jacksonville 6.35 am.
tr #24-9 (n) lv Jacksonville9.05 pm - Columbia 4.50 am - arr Knoxville 5.55 pm
Connection via FEC to Miami: with "Gulf Stream".
Connection via SAL to St Petersburg: with "Southern States Special".
Notes: this is, without doubt, the most obscure of all Florida trains, being in fact a regional down from Knoxville which transfers a 12-1 sleeper at Jacksonville for Miami and (in season) another for St. Petersburg via the SAL. Despite its humble status, however, the originating train at Knoxville does make connections from the Ohio Valley, so it could technically be considered part of the Florida Trade.

Check map - See Wash DC to Jacksonville timetable

Refer to Topic Index

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North East Rails  Clint Chamberlin.
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