According to Schafer and Welsh in Classic American Streamliners, Seaboard had proposed the idea of a New York-Birmingham streamliner in the late 1930s on the heels of the Silver Meteor's successful debut. Partner railroad Pennsylvania was cool to the idea, in part due to resistance from their powerful ally Southern. But after WWII, with new equipment again available, Seaboard launched its New York-Birmingham streamliner on May 18, 1947. The train would debut with older heavyweight sleeping cars; lightweight stainless-steel all-room sleepers were still on order. The new Silver Comet's schedule cut 4 hours from the time its heavyweight predecessor, the Cotton States Special, had offered in my next previous issue of the Guide (January 1946).

View Seaboard's ad for the new Silver Comet (PDF format, 535K).


From the pages of the Official Guide, June 1947

Pennsylvania RR keystone heraldRichmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR heraldSeaboard Air Line herald

The Silver Comet

Pennsylvania Railroad
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac
Seaboard Air Line
May 18, 1947

Connecting Train Number (New Haven) 176
0.0 Boston, MA (South Station) (ET) Ar 9 10P
43.8 Providence, RI 8 08P
156.8 New Haven, CT 5 45P
232.0 New York, NY (Penn Station) (ET) Dp 4 00P
197 Train Number 196
Daily Miles (Pennsylvania) Services Daily
12 45P Dp 0.0 New York, NY (Penn Station) (ET) C Ar 2 50P
R 1 00P 10.0 Newark, NJ C D 2 34P
R 1 49P 58.1 Trenton, NJ C D 1 45P
R 2 19P 85.9 North Philadelphia, PA C D 1 16P
R 2 30P Philadelphia, PA (30th St. Station) C D 1 06P
R 3 00P 118.1 Wilmington, DE C D12 32P
R 4 03P 186.5 Baltimore, MD C D11 30A
R 4 45P Ar 226.6 Washington, DC C Dp D10 45A
33 Continuing Train Number (Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac) 34
5 10P Dp 226.6 Washington, DC T C Ar 10 20A
F 6 27P 280.7 Fredericksburg, VA T C
7 54P Ar 343.1 Richmond, VA (Main St. Station) T C Dp 7 27A
(Seaboard Air Line)
7 58P Dp 343.1 Richmond, VA T C Ar 7 24A
8 25P 365.8 Petersburg, VA T C 6 58A
9 58P 456.5 Henderson, NC T C 5 22A
10 40P Ar 500.3 Raleigh, NC T C Dp 4 40A
10 45P Dp Ar 4 35A
12 30A Ar 596.9 Hamlet, NC T C Dp 2 50A
Through Cars Portsmouth-Atlanta
17 Connecting Train Number (Seaboard) 18
3 55P Dp Norfolk, VA (ET) (via Ferry) C Ar 10 30A
4 15P Dp 0.0 Portsmouth, VA T C Ar 10 15A
7 35P Ar 115.8 Norlina, NC T C Dp 6 45A
7 Connecting Train Number (Seaboard) 8
7 50P Dp 115.8 Norlina, NC T C Ar 6 40A
9 00P Ar 174.8 Raleigh, NC T C Dp 5 30A
9 10P Dp Ar 5 20A
10 28P Ar 242.8 Southern Pines, NC (Pinehurst) T C Dp 3 54A
11 10P Ar 271.4 Hamlet, NC T C Dp 3 20A
12 45A Dp 596.9 Hamlet, NC T C Ar 2 35A
1 50A Ar 649.5 Monroe, NC T C Dp 1 34A
1 55A Dp Ar 1 29A
2 50A 694.5 Chester, SC T C 12 33A
3 44A 740.2 Clinton, SC T C 11 40P
4 18A 768.0 Greenwood, SC T C 11 08P
4 40A 783.1 Abbeville, SC T C 10 50P
5 19A 814.4 Elberton, GA T C 10 08P
6 00A 848.8 Athens, GA T C 9 28P
7 15A 911.4 Emory, GA 8 15P
7 40A Ar 921.7 Atlanta, GA (Terminal Sta.) T C Dp 7 55P
7 55A Dp Ar 7 40P
9 02A 969.1 Rockmart, GA T C 6 25P
9 17A 981.9 Cedartown, GA (ET) T C 6 10P
8 45A 1005.7 Piedmont, AL (CT) T C 4 39P
9 04A 1024.3 Wellington, AL T C 4 10P
9 12A 1031.1 Ohatchee, AL T
9 28A 1041.0 Ragland, AL T 3 55P
1050.1 Wattsville, AL T 3 43P
10 45A Ar 1106.3 Birmingham, AL (CT) T C Dp 2 45P

Train 197-33: 28 stops, 23:00, 48.1 MPHTrain 34-196: 27 stops, 23:05, 47.9 MPH

(Pennsylvania RR Notes)

THROUGH CAR SERVICE NEW YORK, PHILADELPHIA, BALTIMORE, WASHINGTON AND RICHMOND

SOUTHWARD

No. 197—SILVER COMET (via S. A. L.)

Sleeping Cars...New York to Birmingham—(10 Sections, 2 Compartments, Drawing-room).

New York to Birmingham—(8 Sections, 5 Double Bedrooms).

New York to Birmingham—(10 Sections, Lounge).

New York to Atlanta—(10 Sections, 2 Compartments, Drawing-room).

Dining Car—New York to Birmingham.

Reclining Seat Coaches. (All Seats Reserved.)

New York to Birmingham.

New York to Birmingham (Observation Lounge).


THROUGH CAR SERVICE RICHMOND, WASHINGTON, BALTIMORE, PHILADELPHIA AND NEW YORK

NORTHWARD

No. 196—SILVER COMET (via S. A. L.)

Sleeping Cars...Birmingham to New York—(10 Sections, 2 Compartments, Drawing-room).

Birmingham to New York—(8 Sections, 5 Double Bedrooms).

Birmingham to New York—(10 Sections, Lounge).

Atlanta to New York—(10 Sections, 2 Compartments, Drawing-room).

Dining Car—Birmingham to New York.

Reclining Seat Coaches (All Seats Reserved)...Birmingham to New York.

Birmingham to New York—(Observation Lounge).


(R. F. & P. Notes)

THROUGH CAR SERVICE
Coaches on all trains unless otherwise shown.

No. 33 and 34 (S. A. L. Silver Comet) - Sleeping Cars New York (via P. R. R.) and Atlanta-Birmingham, Washington and Atlanta. Reclining-Seat Coaches New York and Birmingham. Dining Car, Pullman-lounge and Coach-observation service. Sleeping Car Washington to Philadelphia (via B. & O.)

(Seaboard Air Line Notes)

EQUIPMENT OF THROUGH TRAINS BETWEEN EASTERN CITIES AND FLORIDA, ATLANTA, BIRMINGHAM AND THE SOUTHWEST

SOUTHBOUND

THE SILVER COMET—No. 33.

Baggage Service...Between all points.

SAL Dining Car...New York to Birmingham.

Sleeping Cars...New York to Birmingham—10-Section, 1-Drawing-room, 2-Compartment. (SA-12.)

New York to Birmingham—8-Section, 5 Double Bedroom. (SA-14.)

New York to Atlanta—10-Section, 1-Drawing-room, 2-Compartment. (SA-10.)

Washington to Atlanta—6-Section, 6 Double Bedroom. (R-100.)

Portsmouth to Atlanta—12-Section, 1-Drawing-room. (B-5.) (Handled on Train 7 Norlina to Hamlet.)

Lounge Car...New York to Birmingham—10-Section. (SA-15.)

Reclining Seat Coaches (Seats Reserved)...[21-B] New York to Birmingham. (18 Seats.)

[22-B] New York to Birmingham. (52 Seats.)

[23-B] New York to Birmingham. (52 Seats.)

[24-B] New York to Birmingham. (52 Seats.)

[25-B] New York to Birmingham. (52 Seats.)

[26-B] New York to Birmingham. (52 Seats.)

[28-B] Portsmouth to Atlanta. (52 Seats.) (Handled on Train 7 Norlina to Hamlet.)

Observation Coach...[27-B] New York to Birmingham. (48 Seats.)


NORTHBOUND

THE SILVER COMET—No. 34.

Baggage Service...Between all points.

SAL Dining Car...Birmingham to New York.

Sleeping Cars...Birmingham to New York—10-Section, 1-Drawing-room, 2-Compartment. (B-72.)

Birmingham to New York—8-Section, 5 Double Bedroom. (B-73.)

Atlanta to New York—10-Section, 1-Drawing-room, 2-Compartment. (B-71.)

Atlanta to Washington—6-Section, 6 Double Bedroom. (B-70.)

Atlanta to Portsmouth—12-Section, 1-Drawing-room. (B-5.) (Handled on Train 8 Hamlet to  Norlina.)

Lounge Car...Birmingham to New York—10-Section. (B-74.)

Reclining Seat Coaches (Seats Reserved)...[21-B] Birmingham to New York. (18 Seats.)

[22-B] Birmingham to New York. (52 Seats.)

[23-B] Birmingham to New York. (52 Seats.)

[24-B] Birmingham to New York. (52 Seats.)

[25-B] Birmingham to New York. (52 Seats.)

[26-B] Birmingham to New York. (52 Seats.)

[28-B] Atlanta to Portsmouth. (52 Seats.) (Handled on Train 8 Hamlet to  Norlina.)

Observation Coach...[27-B] Birmingham to New York. (48 Seats.)