Motive power used with Silver Star in January 1964 : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

When I was very young, my family and I traveled on the Silver Star from either Wilmington or 30th St. station to Miami in January 1964. Did the Silver Star start out with PRR electric GG1s then switch to SAL Diesels? If so, where did they switch over and what type of diesel power and how many were used on the Silver Star during this period. My guess is SAL used E8s. Any sources of photos are appreciated too.


-- Anthony Versaggi (, June 27, 2000


The SAL and the RF&P did not run through power in January 1964. The only time SAL engines normally went up to Washington DC was during the late 1930's-1940's when the RF&P would "hire" SAL E units on the Silver Meteor and run them through using its own crews. Similarly, RF&P units normally were taken off at Richmond and replaced with SAL units.

A similar arrangement existed with ACL, except that in 1964, ACL and RF&P instituted a pooling arrangement, where units from both owners would run between Washington and points South.

The PRR used GG-1 electrics on its line north from Washington, almost always-the only memorable exception was a snowstorm in 1958 where the snow was so fine that it passed through the traction motor ventilation filters and melted, shorting out the traction motors. Then, RF&P and ACL units ran to Philadelphia-30th Street, where they were exchanged for any PRR electric which was still running.

SAL E-4 and E-6 units were still running in January 1964. Most of the units were retired that summer as trade ins on the SDP 35 units. I remember seeing one of the E-6 units-3014 I believe, on display at the New York City Worlds Fair in 1965 at the General Motors exhibit where it was placed next to a GP-35(I believe-it has been 35 years and brain cells do deteriorate!)

Typicaly, if the Silver Star was running 15-18 cars, the SAL would use three E units. MIxed vintages were common-thus you could see E 4 units combined with the SAL's lone E-9, and any other combination of E-4, E-6, E-7, E-8 and E-9.

As for photos-try "Seaboard-Route of Courteous Service" by Griffin, "Orange Blossom Special Supplement" By Theodore Shrady (both available from the Society), "Streamliners to the South" by Joe Welsh is another excellent book. In terms of out of print books-Try to find the Seaboard locomotive book by Calloway and Withers, "All Lines North of Raleigh" by Griffin, "Seaboard Air Line Album" Calloway and others, etc. Back issues of Lines South and the Society's calendars are also sources of photos.

In 1964-I was riding the Palmland!! Of course, I was riding on a pass and pass passengers were not permitted on either the Star or the Meteor-except within the state of Florida. But that is another story and may be discussed in a future Lines South article.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, June 30, 2000.

It was NOT the SILVER STAR, but from notes I see that No. 57 (The SILVER METEOR) arrived Jacksonville on August 1, 1964 with SAL engines 3000-3005-3015. Nineteen cars and only 5" late. Indeed, it was late in their careers, but E4's and E6's were still turning out transportation on August 1, 1964 A.D.

-- Harry Bundy (, June 28, 2000.

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