|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|Locale||Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic (United States) and Southeastern United States|
|Predecessor||Palmetto (Atlantic Coast Line Railroad)|
|First service||June 15, 1976|
November 10, 1996
|Last service||February 1, 1995|
|Ridership||380,815 total (FY16)|
|Start||New York City|
|Stops||21 southbound, 20 northbound|
|Distance travelled||829 miles (1,334 km)|
|Seating arrangements||Airline-style coach seating|
|Catering facilities||Lounge car|
|Baggage facilities||Checked baggage available at select stations|
|Rolling stock||Amfleet coaches|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Track owner(s)||Amtrak, CSX|
The Palmetto is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 829-mile (1,334 km) route between New York City and Savannah, Georgia, via the Northeast Corridor, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. The Palmetto is a shorter version of the Silver Meteor, which continues south to Miami, Florida. Between 1996 and 2002 this service was called the Silver Palm. Although currently a day train, in the past the Palmetto provided overnight sleeper service to Florida.
During fiscal year 2019, the Palmetto carried 345,342 passengers, a decrease of 11% from FY2018. The train had a total revenue of $27,208,372 during FY2016, a 61.4% increase over FY2015.
The "Palmetto" name was first used by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1909 for the Palmetto Limited, which ran from New York City to Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, with a connection to Atlanta via the Georgia Railroad. The ACL train was discontinued in 1968.
Amtrak introduced the new Palmetto on June 15, 1976. The train drew its name from the Sabal palmetto, the state tree of South Carolina. The Palmetto was the first train in the Southern United States to receive the then-new Amfleet equipment, and the 828-mile (1,333 km) run was the longest at the time for the new coaches. At the time of introduction, Amtrak planned to run the Palmetto daily for the summer only, with service ending September 8. However, citing better-than-expected ridership, Amtrak extended the Palmetto to a year-round service indefinitely. In October 1976 the Florida Department of Transportation urged Amtrak to extend the Palmetto south to Miami.
In October 1984, Amtrak began operating operated the Carolinian, a North Carolina-focused regional train, as a section of the Palmetto. The two trains ran combined between New York and Richmond, Virginia. At Richmond the Carolinian continued separately to Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Carolinian was discontinued in September 1985, after the state of North Carolina refused to increase its support for the train, and then revived in 1990.
In December 1988 Amtrak extended the Palmetto south to Jacksonville, Florida. The train continued to be coach-only, without full dining service. Beginning on May 12, 1990, the Palmetto combined with a revived Carolinian, although this time the split occurred in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The two trains began running independently to New York in April 1991. In October 1994 the Palmetto became a full overnight with sleeper and dining car service, running through to Tampa, Florida. This replaced the Silver Meteor's Tampa section. This extension was short-lived: budget cuts under the Clinton administration led to the Palmetto's discontinuance on February 1, 1995.
See also: Silver Palm (train)
Amtrak added a third train from New York to Miami on November 10, 1996, known as the Silver Palm in line with the Silver Service brand for Amtrak's Florida trains. However, it used the same route as the former Palmetto and carried the same numbers (89 southbound and 90 northbound). While the Silver Star and Silver Meteor ran straight from Jacksonville to Miami, at Jacksonville the Silver Palm turned west and continued over the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad main line via Waldo, Ocala, Wildwood and Dade City to Tampa. At Tampa, it reversed and ran south to Miami. Amtrak restored the Palmetto name on May 1, 2002, after it removed the sleepers and dining car from the train, although it continued serving Florida.
On November 1, 2004, Amtrak truncated the Palmetto to Savannah, Georgia, operating a daytime schedule to and from New York (as it had prior to 1994). With the truncation to Savannah, the Silver Star was rerouted to serve Tampa; the old Jacksonville-Lakeland route is now served by a Thruway Motorcoach bus transfer from the Silver Star, which serves all the former stations as well as Gainesville.
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 2015, in an effort to reduce redundant trains, Amtrak temporarily cancelled one daily Northeast Regional round trip and allowed the Palmetto to take local passengers north of Washington. Stops at New Carrollton, BWI Airport, Princeton Junction, New Brunswick and Metropark were added to the Palmetto.
The Palmetto generally operates with a General Electric GE Genesis P42DC diesel locomotive, a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet I business class car, an Amfleet I cafe car, an Amfleet I coach, and three Amfleet II long-distance coach cars. North of Washington, D.C. a Siemens ACS-64 handles the train. Unlike most Amtrak long-distance trains, the Palmetto does not have sleeping cars.
The Palmetto's route has not changed significantly since it first ran in 1976. It parallels the Florida-bound Silver Meteor, making additional station stops. When introduced in 1976 it included two new stations: Dillon and Kingstree, South Carolina. As of 2011[update] Kingstree sees the Silver Meteor as well. The Palmetto added Selma, North Carolina (Smithfield) in October 1982. In October 2015, it added New Carrollton, BWI Airport, Princeton Junction, New Brunswick and Metropark.
Unlike other long-distance trains that operate on the Northeast Corridor, the Palmetto makes local stops as well as major city stops. It stops in Metropark and BWI Airport in both directions, and serves New Brunswick and Princeton Junction southbound and New Carrollton northbound.
Before 2019, the southbound Palmetto followed the practice of most medium- and long-distance trains running in the Northeast, and did not allow passengers to travel only between stations in the Northeast Corridor. It only stopped to receive passengers between Newark and Washington. This policy was intended to keep seats available for passengers making longer trips. Starting in 2019, the southbound Palmetto began allowing local travel along the Northeast Corridor. The northbound Palmetto has allowed such local travel since 2015.
The Palmetto operates over Amtrak and CSX Transportation trackage:
In October 2012, Amtrak began operating Thruway bus routes in eastern North Carolina that connect to the northbound and southbound Palmetto at Wilson, North Carolina. One route serves Greenville, New Bern, Havelock, and Morehead City; the other route serves Goldsboro, Kinston, Jacksonville, and Wilmington.
|New York||New York City||Penn Station||Amtrak: Acela, Adirondack, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter|
LIRR: Main Line, Port Washington Branch
NJ Transit: North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, Gladstone Branch, Montclair-Boonton Line, Morristown Line
NYC Subway: 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, B, D, F, <F>, M, N, Q, R, and W trains
NYC Transit buses: M7, M20, M34 / M34A Select Bus Service, Q32
PATH: Hoboken–33rd Street, Journal Square–33rd Street, Journal Square–33rd Street (via Hoboken)
|New Jersey||Newark||Newark Penn Station||Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter|
NJ Transit: Newark City Subway, Newark Light Rail, North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, Raritan Valley Line, 1, 5, 11*, 21, 25, 28*, 29*, 30*, 34, 39, 40, 41* 62, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 78*, 79*, 108, 308*, 319, 361*, 375*, 378*, go25* *Limited service
PATH: Newark–World Trade Center
Coach USA: 31, 44
|Iselin||Metropark||Amtrak: Acela, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Vermonter|
NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line 48, 801, 802, 803, 804, 805
|New Brunswick||New Brunswick||Amtrak: Keystone Service, Northeast Regional|
NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line, 810, 811, 814, 815, 818, 980
|West Windsor||Princeton Junction||Amtrak: Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian|
NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line, Princeton Branch, 600, 612
|Trenton||Trenton||Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Vermonter|
NJ Transit: Northeast Corridor Line, River Line, 409, 418, 600, 601, 604, 606, 608, 609, 611, 619
SEPTA Regional Rail: Trenton Line
SEPTA Suburban Transit Division: 127
|Pennsylvania||Philadelphia||30th Street Station||Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter|
NJ Transit: Atlantic City Line
SEPTA City Transit Division: Market–Frankford Line, SEPTA Subway–Surface Trolley Lines (Route 10, Route 11, Route 13, Route 34, Route 36), 9, 12, 21, 30, 31, 42, 44, 49, 62, LUCY
SEPTA Suburban Transit Division: 124, 125
SEPTA Regional Rail: Airport Line, Warminster Line, Wilmington/Newark Line, West Trenton Line, Media/Elwyn Line, Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Paoli/Thorndale Line, Manayunk/Norristown Line, Cynwyd Line, Trenton Line, Chestnut Hill East Line, Chestnut Hill West Line, Fox Chase Line
|Delaware||Wilmington||Wilmington||Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter|
DART First State: 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 28, 31, 33, 35, 37, 40, 47, 52, 301, 305 (seasonal)
SEPTA Regional Rail: Wilmington/Newark Line
|Maryland||Baltimore||Penn Station||Amtrak: Acela, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter|
MARC Train: Penn Line
MTA Maryland: Light RailLink, 3, 11, 61, 64
Charm City Circulator: Purple Route, Artscape Shuttle
|BWI Airport||Amtrak: Acela, Northeast Regional, Vermonter|
MARC Train: Penn Line
Park BWI Shuttle
MTA Maryland: 17, 201
Howard Transit: Silver
UMBC Transit: Halethorpe Line
|New Carrollton||New Carrollton||Amtrak: Northeast Regional, Vermonter|
MARC Train: Penn Line
Metro: Orange Line
Metrobus: 87, B21, B22, B24, B27, B29, B31, C28, F12, F13, F14, F4, F6, G12, G14, L99, R12, T14, T18
The Bus: 15X, 16, 21, 21X
MTA Maryland: 921
|District of Columbia||Washington||Washington Union Station||Amtrak: Acela, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Vermonter, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia|
MARC Train: Brunswick Line, Camden Line, Penn Line
VRE: Manassas Line, Fredericksburg Line
Metro: Red Line
Metrobus: D3, D6, D8, X1, X2, X8, X9, 80, 96, 97
DC Circulator: Georgetown, Navy Yard
DC Streetcar: H Street/Benning Road Line
MTA Maryland: 903, 922
Loudoun County Transit: Loudoun County
PRTC: Dale City
|Virginia||Alexandria||Alexandria||Amtrak: Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star|
VRE: Fredericksburg Line, Manassas Line
Metro: Blue Line, Yellow Line
Metrobus: REX, 28A, 29K, 29N
DASH: AT2, AT5, AT6, AT7, AT8, AT10
|Richmond||Richmond Staples Mill Road||Amtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Thruway Motorcoach to Charlottesville, Virginia|
GRTC: Route 18
|Ettrick||Petersburg||Amtrak: Carolinian, Northeast Regional, Silver Meteor, Silver Star|
|North Carolina||Rocky Mount||Rocky Mount||Amtrak: Carolinian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star|
Tar River Transit: all routes
|Wilson||Wilson||Amtrak: Carolinian, Thruway Motorcoach to Greenville, New Bern, Havelock, Morehead City, Goldsboro, Kinston, Jacksonville, and Wilmington, North Carolina|
|Fayetteville||Fayetteville||Amtrak: Silver Meteor|
|Florence||Florence||Amtrak: Silver Meteor|
|Kingstree||Kingstree||Amtrak: Silver Meteor|
|North Charleston||Charleston||Amtrak: Silver Meteor|
|Yemassee||Yemassee||Amtrak: Silver Meteor|
|Georgia||Savannah||Savannah||Amtrak: Silver Meteor, Silver Star|