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Through the Night from Palatka to Southern Pines – US Rail Journeys Series 3 Episode 6
As ‘Through the Night from Palatka to Southern Pines’ begins I’m sat with other passengers in the dining car where the crew are working hard to keep people fed.
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Palatka station dates from 1908. Amtrak‘s Silver Service trains stop here and 7,171 passengers used the station in 2021. The station building is also home to the Palatka Railroad Preservation Society and the David Browning Railroad Museum.
Note: The museum and the preservation society share the same website.
It is getting late and we are behind schedule when we reach Jacksonville.
Amtrak’s station opened in January 1974 when it replaced the Jacksonville Union Terminal situated in the downtown area. At the time of opening the station served 8 trains each day. They were the Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Champion, and Floridian. The Floridian and Champion were discontinued because of the 1979 budget cuts.
In 1993, the Sunset Limited extended east from its New Orleans terminus to Miami, with a stop at Jacksonville. Today the Sunset Limited again terminates at New Orleans. You can listen to my journey on the Sunset Limited here.
Normally the Silver Star doesn’t stop at Jesup, however whilst the Silver Meteor is not running we have a stop here.
The station dates from 1899. A fire in February 2003 results in significant damage and the station being boarded up. A federal grant in 2005 enables the building to be refurbished to its early 20th-century appearance.
Through the night:
As we travel through the darkness we stop at Savannah in Georgia, and then Denmark, Columbia, and Camden in South Carolina.
We are running late so I’m up by the time we reach Hamlet – I wonder whether a Shakespeare lover had a hand in naming Denmark and Hamlet, it’s Prince.
We continue our journey through woodland towards Southern Pines.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. Please join me in a couple of weeks for the next part of my journey on the Silver Star to New York.
To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.
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