Hampton-Part Deux-Schedule of Suwanee River Special

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In answereing the questions as to what trains were interchanged at Hampton, we mentioned the Suwanee River Special. Harry Bundy pointed out that Kratville in his book "Steam,Steel and Limiteds" showed a schedule which had this train operating tri-weekly. In Prince's book on the Seaboard, there is a reproduction of a schedule which shows the train operating daily. In Key's book, there is no mention of tri-weekly service. This train was abolished after the depression began. Since most of Kratville's schedules date from 1929-1930, would anyone know if the train in deed ran tri-weekly during the 1929-1930 season-its last? Or was the tri-weekly service one of the earlier services, say 1921-22? Come on you trivia fans out there-this is a question of earth shaking importance!

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), March 23, 2000


A clarification: The line in the Kratville timetime reprint refering to tri-weekly service and the Suwannee River Special applies only to the single Pullman car operated out of Buffalo, N.Y., which appears just above the "tri-weekly" disclaimer, not to the train in general. Looking at the Southern Ry's Jan.2,1930 timetable, the Special is shown as trains No.5&6, the same number used on the SAL south of Hampton, Fla. You may be interested in the through cars. There was one Pullman each from Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to St.Pete, these cars coming off the Big Four(NYC). There was also a through Pullman from DENVER(!) to Tampa which ran on the Rock Island to Chicago and Big Four to Cincinnati. Finally, there was diner from Cincinnati to St.Pete. This was the 1929-1930 season. In the 1930-1931 season the Cleveland sleeper run was extended to Buffalo and was only tri weekly. On the SAL, I've traced the Suwanee River Special back to 1925. In the mid to late '20's there was a Pullman from Chicago to Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice. This only ran to Sarasota in the '30-'31 season, and there was no longer a car from Denver. The Suwanee River Special, No's 5&6 are not shown in the 1931-1932 timetable.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), March 23, 2000.

I can't give a complete answer, but I happen to have a Southern Railway timetable dated 1/2/30. Nos. 5 and 6, Suwanee River Special, is listed as daily. The Suwanee River Special, served the west coast, Tampa-St. Petersburg. The all-Pullman, seasonal Royal Palm De Luxe, nos. 101 and 102 (in addition to nos. 3 and 4, Royal Palm, All Year Section) operated via Jacksonville.

I have a folder for Florida Service, Royal Palm - Ponce De leon - Suwanee River Special, for the 1930-31 Season. It showed a separate Suwanee River Special service via Hampton that was to be daily starting 1/4/31. I do not know if it actually ran that season, but a Southern timetable for 11/15/31 shows the west coast service for the 1931-1932 season to be part of a seasonal "Royal Palm Special" via Jacksonville.

-- Jack Wyatt (cjwyatt@wavegate.com), March 23, 2000.

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