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City of Miami: Wikis


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This article is about the streamliner. For the city in Florida, see Miami.

City of Miami
Service type Inter-city passenger train
Status Discontinued
First service 1940
Last service 1971
Former operator(s) Illinois Central Railroad:
  ChicagoBirmingham, AL,
Central of Georgia:
  Birmingham–Albany, GA,
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
(Seaboard Coast Line from July 1967):
  Albany–Jacksonville, FL,
Florida East Coast:
  Jacksonville–Miami, ACL/SCL (Jacksonville-Miami)
after FEC strike in 1963.
Start Chicago, Illinois
End Miami, Florida
Distance travelled 1,493.5 miles (2,403.6 km)
Average journey time Northbound: 31 hrs 00 min
Southbound: 32 hrs 25 min
Service frequency Every-other day
Train number(s) Northbound: 52
Southbound: 53
On-board services
Seating arrangements Coaches: Chicago–Miami;
Chicago –Tampa-Sarasota;
Chicago – St. Petersburg; St. Louis – Miami
Sleeping arrangements Sleeping cars: Chicago–Miami;
Chicago – Tampa-Sarasota;
Chicago – St. Petersburg; St. Louis – Miami
Catering facilities Diner: Chicago–Miami;
Diner-Counter-Lounge: Chicago–Jacksonville
Observation facilities Tavern-Lounge-Observation: Chicago–Miami
Rolling stock EMD E-unit locomotives,
Streamlined passenger cars by Pullman Standard
Gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Operating speed 48 mph (77 km/h) average

The City of Miami was a seven-car coach streamliner inaugurated by Illinois Central Railroad on December 18, 1940. Its route was from Chicago to Miami a total distance of 1,493 miles (2,403 km).

The City of Miami was powered by a single EMD E6A 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW) diesel passenger cab unit. The entire train was painted in an Orange and Palm Green scheme with Scarlet stripes and lettering. Up to and including this new train the Illinois Central seemed to have difficulty deciding on a paint scheme for their streamlined trains. The Green Diamond, Illini, Miss Lou, and now the City of Miami were all painted in their own distinct paint schemes.

Illinois Central was the key player in the City's long run from 1940 to 1971. Immaculately maintained equipment and perfectly matched consists in IC's familiar “Autumn Sunset” chocolate, orange, and yellow were traditional hallmarks of the ever popular Florida streamliner. Indeed, the City was a beautiful sight racing through the countryside between Lake Michigan and Biscayne Bay. During the peak winter season long trains carried several lounges and diners in addition to a sleeper lounge and tavern lounge observation on the rear. Domes were added in 1959. Courier Nurses were replaced by Passenger Service Reps in later years, but a high standard of service was maintained right up to May 1, 1971 when Amtrak took over and dropped the City of Miami.


The route of the new City of Miami took it south from Chicago to Miami by way of Champaign, Centralia, Fulton, Jackson, Birmingham, Columbus, Waycross, and Jacksonville. The route between Chicago and Birmingham was over IC rails. Between Birmingham and Albany, Georgia the train traversed the Central of Georgia Railroad, and from Albany to Jacksonville the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (Seaboard Coast Line Railroad from July 1967) was used. The Florida East Coast Railroad operated the train from Jacksonville to Miami. In 1957 the West Coast Champion [1] began hauling thru-cars for the City of Miami and South Wind [2] streamliners to and from Chicago on its Jacksonville-Tampa/Sarasota leg via Orlando and its Jacksonville-St. Petersburg section via Gainesville and Ocala.

The only engine change to occur on this route was at Jacksonville where the IC E6A 4000 was exchanged for the FEC E3A 1001 to Miami. The City of Miami was the only one of the three Chicago to Miami lightweight streamlined trains to operate with diesel power over the entire route from the beginning. The City of Miami route was 1,493 miles and the train made 25 stops in route, only one of which, the Jacksonville stop, was for an engine change. In spite of the number of stops the diesel proved more than capable of maintaining a 50 mph (80 km/h) average. The City of Miami consist was the only one of the three Chicago – Miami lightweight streamlined trains to operate with cars built by Pullman Standard and the only one of the three trains to be diesel powered end terminal to end terminal.

City of Miami Consist

  • IC 4000 EMD E6A 2,000 hp diesel passenger cab unit (Chicago – Jacksonville)
  • FEC 1001 EMC E3A 2,000 hp diesel passenger cab unit (Jacksonville – Miami)
  1. 1900 BOUGAINVILLEA baggage / 14 crew dormitory / 22 revenue seat coach combination car ("Colored" coach reserved for black passengers..)
  2. 2600 CAMELLIA 52-revenue seat coach with nurses quarters
  3. 2601 JAPONICA 60-revenue seat coach
  4. 4100 PALM GARDEN 48-seat dining car (Black passengers restricted to two tables behind a curtain partition next to the blazing hot kitchen..)
  5. 2602 HIBISCUS 60 revenue seat coach
  6. 2603 POINSETTIA 60 revenue seat coach
  7. 3300 BAMBOO GROVE 32-seat tavern lounge bar 22-seat lounge observation (African-Americans were not allowed to sit in this car.)

Beginning April 23, 1949 the City of Miami added sleeping cars to its consist. These cars were carried forward of the coaches in the City of Miami consist.


  • Streamlined Passenger Trains of the United States & Canada by Alan L. Pettet Unpublished
  • Anon.. Passenger Time Table, effective April 30, 1961. Illinois Central Railroad. 


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