• NYC to Florida?

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by coalmine
Here's something from 1944 which might be of interest.

Florida Service

The New York Central’s not usually thought of as running to Florida, but they did operate a pair of Florida Pullman lines via their own tracks and those of the Southern Railway.

Let’s look at southbound service first.

The “Royal Palm” handled 10 section/ 2 drawing room Pullmans from Chicago to Jacksonville and Detroit to Jacksonville. The Chicago car departed at 1145 p.m. and arrived in Cincinnati at 755 am. The Detroit Pullman departed at 1145 pm with a 705 am arrival at Cincinnati. Passengers from Buffalo and Cleveland had overnight service to Cincinnati which connected with the “Palm” although there were no through Florida cars on these train. The Jacksonville cars were switched to the Southern Railway’s “Royal Palm” at Cincinnati. The Southern train also had a diner, a 10 section Cincinnati-Jacksonville Pullman, and Cincinnati-Jacksonville coaches. Departure from the Queen City was at 845 am with a 755 next morning arrival in Jacksonville. Connections to trains of the SAL and FEC were available at Jacksonville.

The “Ponce de Leon” was the other NYC-SOU service. This carried a Cleveland-Jacksonville sleeper. Passengers from Chicago and Buffalo had daylight service to Cincinnati (passengers from Buffalo connected with another NYC train at Cleveland). The Cleveland car departed at 305 pm and arrived in Cincinnati at 855pm where it was switched to the Southern Railway. A 10 section Cincinnati-Jacksonville sleeper, a diner and coaches filled out the consist. The “Ponce” was not a fast train as it left Cincinnati at 100 pm and arrived in Jacksonville at 955 pm. Connections to trains of the SAL and FEC were again available at Jacksonville.

People heading north had similar service.

The “Ponce” left Jacksonville at 800 am and arrived in Cincinnati at 755 am. The Jacksonville-Cleveland sleeper was switched to an NYC train which departed for Cleveland at 955 am with a 345 pm arrival at Cleveland (passengers for Buffalo changed trains at Cleveland). Chicago-bound passengers could catch a 915 am departure for the Windy City.

The “Royal Palm” left Jacksonville at 900 pm and arrived in Cincinnati at 955 the next night. It carried a 10 section sleeper from Jax to Cincinnati. The Jacksonville-Chicago sleeper, a 10 section 2 drawing room car, departed on train 437, the “Royal Palm” from Cincinnati at 1155 pm and arrived in Chicago at 735 am. There were a lot of other Cincinnati - Chicago Pullmans on this train. These included an 8 section buffet car. A 10 roomette/5 double bedroom car, and a 12 section/2 drawing room sleeper. Train 437 set out a Cincinnati-St Louis 10 section/2 double bedroom sleeper for #427 at Indianapolis and picked up a 14 section Indianapolis-Chicago car. The train also carried Cincinnat-Chicago coaches.

The Jacksonville-Detroit Pullman, also a 10 section 2 drawing room car headed out at 1130 pm. Passengers for Cleveland departed at 1155 pm. Those wishing to go to Buffalo could connect with another NYC train at Cleveland.

work safe

  by lbagg91833
1895 PSGR TT discloses that "WAGNER" cars were employed on several schedules between CINCI/GRAND RAPIDS from those locations, and I'll look into the schedules on return to my terminal---just enroute from the NYCSHS meetin....LARRY BAGGERLY
  by eddiebear
During World War II operation of most seasonal trains was forbidden. If you go to pre-Great Depression days, you'll find the Suwanee River Special which had through cars originating at Chicago and Detroit and turned over to the Southern Railway at Cincinnati. The Special was a solid train and ran via the various SOU components to the GS&F and SAL junction at Hampton, FLA. The Special then headed into Florida and probably at Wildwood was split into East and West Coast sections. About 1936 the Special was replaced by a similarly routed train named the Florida Sunbeam. The Sunbeam operated each season, with wartime exceptions, through the 1948 season. In 1949 it was replaced with a much faster, streamlined NEW ROYAL PALM on a changed routing. The NEW ROYAL went into Jacksonville and was turned over solid to the Florida East Coast for a through run to Miami. The NEW ROYAL was primarily a Detroit train with a close to midnight departure from MC Station there. It must have really taken some doing for shivering Midwesterners to board in the very small hours on very cold mornings in the likes of Toledo, Columbus, Dayton, Springfield, etc.
In the off-season the NEW ROYAL's equipment ran in the regular Royal Palm. After 1955 the NEW ROYAL PALM was elminated. The other trains, regular Royal Palm and Ponce had a smattering of Florida bound cars from NYC points. Various NYC timetables in the 1940s and 1950s show that the trains carried those names through to Chicago or Detroit at various times.
By the time the Auto Age was in full swing, the NYC Florida service was probably an also ran. It was teamed up with the Southern, which many people don't think of as an important link to Florida and the SAL which was a poor railroad compared to the ACL/FEC combination in Florida. Also, the NYC was not one of the participants in the coach streamliners that began operating on a one-night out schedule from Chicago about 1940.

  by lbagg91833
NOVEMBER 20, 1901 CCC&STL PSGR TT shows .."CHICAGO-FLORIDA SPECIAL." Commencing JANUARY 6, 1902. CHGO-FLORIDA SPECIAL, consisting of THROUGH PULLMAN SLEEPERS from CHICAGOto ST.AUGUSTINE, daily, except Sunday, leaving CHICAGO 1:00 p.m., arriving Cincinatti 9.05 p.m., arriving St.Augustine 9.15 next evening. Two 'thru' trains are scheduled...No. 16. "CHICAGO AND CINCINATTI EXPRESS", and No.34. ""NIGHT EXPRESS"..Vestibuled sleepers CINCI to Jacksonville via Chattanoga. Cafe dining Car CINCI to ROME, Ga. Interesting list of RRs that made-up the connecting service....LARRY BAGGERLY
  by coalmine
Makes me tired thinking of all the connections; but wouldn't have been a great ride!

I was looking through a June 7, 1942 Form 1001 in my collection recently. It mentioned that the "Florida Sunbeam" operated during the winter season only. The "Royal Palm" and the "Ponce de Leon" were still running.

The "Royal Palm" consist was a pair of 10 section/2 drawing room sleeping cars operating between Detroit and Jacksonville. and a 10 section lounge sleeper between Cincinnati and Jacksonville. Coaches operated from Detroit, Chicago and Celeveland to Cincinnati. Then there were coaches between Cincinnati and Jacksonville. The tt was a little less clear on diners as it said "Dining cars serving all meals."

The route was NYC from Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to Cincinnati Cincinnati-Jacksonville was via the Southern. Seaboard Air Line handled Jacksonville Miami, Jacksonville-St. Pete service; and the FEC had Jacksonville-Miami service.

The "Ponce de Leon" had a 10 section/2 drawing room car Cleveland-Jacsonville. a 10 section sleeper lounge Cincinnati-Jacksonville. Coaches from Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to Cincinnati. Additional coaches operated between Cincinnati and Jacksonville and Jacksonville-St. Pete/Miami. There were the usual "Dining cars serving all meals." The Ponce also handled parlor cars between Chicago and Cincinnati and Detroit and Cincinnati. Routing was NYC-SOU-SAL/FEC mentioned before.

Regularly assigned cars were air-conditioned (I wonder how often that happened during wartime?)

work safe

  by walt
All of those services from NYC were at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the routing PRR was able to use to send trains south through DC. I'm a little surprised that there were so many New York Central Routings.----Must have been a long trip!