The Silver Comet Train Story

The Silver Comet Train

Almost fifty miles of the Silver Comet Trail is built on an abandoned rail line, once owned by Seaboard Airline Railroad. The Trail is proudly named after the shiny, silver passenger train that traveled along this route from May 1947 until April 1969, carrying passengers and mail between New York and Birmingham.

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Luxury Travel

Throughout most of its service, the train consisted of two or three coaches, a tavern car, a dining car, and several sleeping cars. To make the 23-hour trip from New York to Birmingham a luxurious travel experience, each coach featured reserved seating, a porter, a customer service representative, and a nurse.

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In 1967, a ride on the Comet from Atlanta to Birmingham cost $5.06.

Travelers were treated to hearty meals in the dining car, and afterwards, drinks of their choice, all made on the spot by the bartender in the coach tavern car. Passengers could drink and eat as they were whisked through the countryside at 60 miles per hour. 

A Touch of the South

The eastbound Comet left Atlanta at 7:00 a.m. and made stops at Rockmart at 8:07 a.m. and Cedartown at 8:24 a.m. before arriving in Birmingham at 9:05 a.m. (Central Time)

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All of the sleeping cars on the trail were named after towns along the route. One of the sleeping cars on the Silver Comet was named the "Cedartown."

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The Decline of Rail Travel

Due to increased auto and air travel, passenger rail service between Atlanta and Birmingham was abandoned in April 1969. Later that year, the Silver Comet was also removed from service between Atlanta and New York, marking the end of luxury rail service to many smaller southern cities.

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The Spirit of Yesterday

Many west Georgians remember the excitement of embarking on a journey to the big city aboard the sleek, silver train. The Silver Comet was the link to sophistication for many small southern towns for over twenty years. This spirit lives today through the Silver Comet Trail, which provides thrills and excitement for cyclists and hikers who venture between these same cities.