Silver Star/Silver Meteor combined train (Jan - Oct 2022)

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Best solution if going to the northeast is to take AutoTrain from Sanford that has been running since several days after the storm.

We booked our trip next week during a sale and get traditional dining, cheaper fares (including auto) than a bedroom on a Silver train, plus save on transit/car rental at destination.
Hate to burst anyone's bubble but check this link. Time to ask for a federal directed service order for one silver service to operate on the CSX SAL line JAX - Lakeland. The other silver to Orlando.


I took Star down but switched to Auto Train north with rental as I know they’re going to extend the outage.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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I am scheduled to go later this month. The last full week in October. This might be a issue for me. I am hoping my previous book ticket southbound will stay a train, but a bus the last few miles would be fine too.
 

VentureForth

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I got off the train in JAX Friday and there were 2 buses waiting for us. One direct to Tampa and one to Orlando. Kissimmee and Lakeland. After St. Louis to Chicago to Washington DC to Jacksonville, I would consider the Florida travel would definitely feel like "a few more miles". Ha!
That's odd. Lakeland is directly enroute to Tampa whereas it's a LONG, crowded drive if you have to go through Kissimmee first.

Lakeland and Tampa on one bus and Orlando/Kissimmee on the other makes much more sense, even if it takes an extra bus because of headcount.
 

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That's odd. Lakeland is directly enroute to Tampa whereas it's a LONG, crowded drive if you have to go through Kissimmee first.

Lakeland and Tampa on one bus and Orlando/Kissimmee on the other makes much more sense, even if it takes an extra bus because of headcount.
Maybe there were too many Tampa passengers leaving not enough room for Lakeland passengers on the Tampa bus, and there was no third bus available? I have no idea what the situation was so I as an armchair expert, am unable to reach an absolute conclusion about what was the best way to handle the situation, and assume that those handling the situation had more information than I have, in order to decide what to do. 😁
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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Well the Meteor seem to have been canceled and only the Star is running. This is a problem for me.

Ok so confused Oct 13th is posted end date. But my ticket have bounced between train. With another update it when back to the Meteor. Yeah this getting weird.
 
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Well the Meteor seem to have been canceled and only the Star is running. This is a problem for me.

Ok so confused Oct 13th is posted end date. But my ticket have bounced between train. With another update it when back to the Meteor. Yeah this getting weird.
I'm confused. What is your travel date? What do you mean when you say your ticket has been bounced between trains? Are you traveling south of JAX? If you were in a sleeper, which train and car number?

The current advisory says the Meteor is canceled through at least 10/13, but Arrow shows it canceled thru 10/14. I think chances are nil that it will restart before that, but good that it will not start until a later date. IMHO chances are also nil that if you were moved from the Meteor to the Star, Amtrak will move you back to the Meteor without you initiating the change.

I don't know why you would have been bounced from the Meteor after 10/14, unless you were booked on the 12 sleeper which was deleted from the train.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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I am confused too. Head spinning confused. My ticket is the Meteor late October. It did show as the Star for a moment. They I hit refresh button and it when back to the Meteor. Coming from upstate I have to make a connection at NYP. It’s a different ticket purchase with cash, my sleeper to Florida is a AGR reward. The key is departing time out of NYP, doing the Sliver Star means a early morning start.
 
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I am confused too. Head spinning confused. My ticket is the Meteor late October. It did show as the Star for a moment. They I hit refresh button and it when back to the Meteor. Coming from upstate I have to make a connection at NYP. It’s a different ticket purchase with cash, my sleeper to Florida is a AGR reward. The key is departing time out of NYP, doing the Sliver Star means a early morning start.
Sounds to me like somebody was putting the hurricane affect into the computer, and either they made a mistake and backed it out, or you caught it while they were in the process of making the change before it was complete.

At this time, the Meteor is scheduled starting 10/15, and as I said above, AFAIK the only reason to be bumped is if you were in sleeper 12 (but that happened a month ago.)
 

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Sounds to me like somebody was putting the hurricane affect into the computer, and either they made a mistake and backed it out, or you caught it while they were in the process of making the change before it was complete.

At this time, the Meteor is scheduled starting 10/15, and as I said above, AFAIK the only reason to be bumped is if you were in sleeper 12 (but that happened a month ago.)
Well, getting bumped from Sleeper 12 after 11/17 happened yesterday, not a month ago :) Happened to me, leading to change of trains to 92 due to unavailability of Roomettes in the reduced Sleeper capacity Meteor on the day of travel.
 
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Well, getting bumped from Sleeper 12 after 11/17 happened yesterday, not a month ago :) Happened to me, leading to change of trains to 92 due to unavailability of Roomettes in the reduced Sleeper capacity Meteor on the day of travel.
That's news. I guess they've decided that they're not going to restore the sleeper by Thanksgiving. I was bumped from my October trip actually 2 months ago (I see after reviewing my emails.)
 
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No update to the advisory on the Amtrak site yet; it still says "through at least" today. Heading north out of Kissimmee, Arrow shows both Silvers canceled tomorrow, the Star "sold out" and the Meteor canceled on 10/15, and both Silvers bookable on 10/16.

I couldn't find any new info on SunRail site either, just the original advisory about a bus bridge into Kissimmee.

I did get a phone number for the Kissimmee station, and I called and confirmed that the ticket office is open as normal despite there being no trains running.
 
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I guess related to this is a question I had about how CSX freight traffic that would normally go over to their Ocala line would be handled.

Waiting for our 3 hour late AutoTrain yesterday in Sanford the answer isn’t surprising. I saw a freight crossing the St John’s bridge in Sanford that was a sizable length including a number of auto racks. Normally the line only sees an occasional short local that serves the area (plus Amtrak). So CSX is routing it through Jax, as it used to.

Since the Kissimmee repairs are taking a while, I do wonder why Amtrak doesn’t turn the Star in Orlando rather than Jax.
 
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I guess related to this is a question I had about how CSX freight traffic that would normally go over to their Ocala line would be handled.

Waiting for our 3 hour late AutoTrain yesterday in Sanford the answer isn’t surprising. I saw a freight crossing the St John’s bridge in Sanford that was a sizable length including a number of auto racks. Normally the line only sees an occasional short local that serves the area (plus Amtrak). So CSX is routing it through Jax, as it used to.

Since the Kissimmee repairs are taking a while, I do wonder why Amtrak doesn’t turn the Star in Orlando rather than Jax.
Crew is out of Tampa is it not?
 

TEREB

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We have reservations on train 97 for October 15th. We have yet to be notified of this train being cancelled. Can I be optimist? Or should I find other living accommodations?
 

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We have reservations on train 97 for October 15th. We have yet to be notified of this train being cancelled. Can I be optimist? Or should I find other living accommodations?
How far are you going?

The website still shows it running all the way to Miami on the 15th. I see 3 possibilities:
  1. The tracks will be repaired by then, and 97 will run to Miami. (But it seems likely that we would have heard something from Amtrak, SunRail, or the Orlando news media by now if that were likely.)
  2. Train 97 will run as far as JAX, with a bus to Orlando & Kissimmee.
  3. Train 97 will be canceled, but there should be room to accommodate you on Train 91, with the bus bridge to Orlando if you're going that far.
If you're going no further than Orlando or Kissimmee, I would wait and see what develops, but check your trip on the app a few times a day to see if there are any changes, and phone Amtrak immediately if you're canceled and not rebooked on 91.

If you're going further south, you might want to consider alternatives, or you can hang on and hope for the best. IMHO, the odds of trains running south of Orlando by Saturday are pretty slim.
 

TEREB

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No update to the advisory on the Amtrak site yet; it still says "through at least" today. Heading north out of Kissimmee, Arrow shows both Silvers canceled tomorrow, the Star "sold out" and the Meteor canceled on 10/15, and both Silvers bookable on 10/16.

I couldn't find any new info on SunRail site either, just the original advisory about a bus bridge into Kissimmee.

I did get a phone number for the Kissimmee station, and I called and confirmed that the ticket office is open as normal despite there being no
How far are you going?

The website still shows it running all the way to Miami on the 15th. I see 3 possibilities:
  1. The tracks will be repaired by then, and 97 will run to Miami. (But it seems likely that we would have heard something from Amtrak, SunRail, or the Orlando news media by now if that were likely.)
  2. Train 97 will run as far as JAX, with a bus to Orlando & Kissimmee.
  3. Train 97 will be canceled, but there should be room to accommodate you on Train 91, with the bus bridge to Orlando if you're going that far.
If you're going no further than Orlando or Kissimmee, I would wait and see what develops, but check your trip on the app a few times a day to see if there are any changes, and phone Amtrak immediately if you're canceled and not rebooked on 91.

If you're going further south, you might want to consider alternatives, or you can hang on and hope for the best. IMHO, the odds of trains running south of Orlando by Saturday are pretty slim.
Thank you for your input. Yes, we’re going all the way to HOL.
I don’t understand why the Silver is running but not the Meteor? They both go to HOL. What am I missing?
 

bonzoesc

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Thank you for your input. Yes, we’re going all the way to HOL.
I don’t understand why the Silver is running but not the Meteor? They both go to HOL. What am I missing?
If you're on the Silver Star, you're missing Tampa, Lakeland, and everything between Yemassee SC and Fayetteville NC. If you're on the Silver Meteor, you're missing everything from Denmark SC to Raleigh NC.
 
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Thank you for your input. Yes, we’re going all the way to HOL.
I don’t understand why the Silver is running but not the Meteor? They both go to HOL. What am I missing?
The Meteor was combined into the Star around the beginning of this year. It had to do with Amtrak's labor shortage post-pandemic. Although the number of passenger cars on the combined train was the same as the total number usually used by the Star & the Meteor together, running them as a single train used less onboard staff and train crew. The Star was selected to run because it serves more stations than the Meteor.

They had announced at least twice that they would start running both trains again but then postponed it. It was finally supposed to start again at the beginning of October, but then tracks around Kissimmee were damaged by Hurricane Ian, so no trains are running south of Jacksonville now. We're just waiting for the tracks to be repaired, and then Amtrak is expected to resume running both trains. Until that happens, you won't be able to get to South Florida on Amtrak.
 
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