Gulf Wind : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I would like whatever info I can receive on the Gulf WWind passengere train. Did it operate between Jacksonville and New Orleans? Was it a joint project of the Seaboard and the L&N? How many and what kind of cars did it gnenerally have? Were the cars lettered for both the Seaboard and the L&N? Were the locomotives used both Seaboard and L&N? Did the locomotives run through or were they switched at Chatahootchee, Florida? Thanks!

-- Rick Milas (, March 09, 1999


I wrote an article published in 2001 in the DeFuniak Springs Herald which recounted a trip I took on the Gulf Wind as a child in 1956. Anyone wishing a copy can e-mail me .

-- Maunsel White (, December 22, 2004.

The next issue of Lines South (2nd quarter 2002), which will be mailed about mid-May, will have a detailed article on the Gulf Wind plus two more long features on Florida passenger trains. This special issue is 48 pages long, 16 more than usual, with additional color. Although the cover price will be $7.95 instead of the usual $5.95, members will receive this special issue at no extra charge. Join now and this will be your first issue - see the "Membership Form" link on the opening page.

-- Larry Goolsby (, April 29, 2002.

Just to add more info re: the Gulf Wind. In August 1967,the EB Wind left New Orleans with an L&N E, SAL and L&N HW coaches,and a HW L&N diner,plus a -Pine series L&N sleeper. In addition, the consist also included Crescent Limited equipment bound for New York,to be switched out at Flomaton,AL. As mentioned previously,the diner was removed at Mobile. Upon arriving at River Jct. the next morning,the E- unit was swapped out for a SDP-35,and a LW ACL diner was tacked on the rear. The train then continued on to Jax.

-- Paul Coe (, April 25, 2002.

I believe that as part of a service improvement negotiated for the Sunset Limited, sleepers were returned to the Wind just before its demise on Amtrak day. Both trains were reduced to tri-weekly schedules in exchange for more aminities (sleepers also began operating between LA and DC as part of this). The one and only time I saw the Wind, it was baking into Jacksonville Terminal with an Espee sleeper and a coach-lounge in addition to some head end equipment. This was a few months before Amtrak.

-- Nicholas Glisson (, August 03, 2001.

The equipment used on the Gulf Wind in the last years is quite confusing. The L&N timetable dated 4/27/69 states: Dining cars: Mobile-New Orleans, Chattachoochee-Jacksonville, Coaches: New Orleans--Jacksonville, and lists no sleepers. A November 1970 Official Guide lists a 10/6 sleeper in the SCL section for the Gulf Wind from New Orleans to JAX but in the L&N section there is no sleeper listed! The L&N timetable dated 12/10/70 shows a 4 section, 4 roomette, 5 double bedroom, 1 compartment from New Orleans to JAX ! A SCL timetable dated 12/11/70 shows the 4 sec,4 rmt, 5 dbrm, 1 cmpt listed. The questions is did they add back a sleeper sometime in 1970 to the Gulf Wind? I am not sure when the train came off, it must be sometime in early 1971. Bob Stewart 2/9/00

-- Robert J. Stewart (, February 09, 2000.

The power was always swapped out at River Jct. BTW I need any photos of this train.

-- Joseph Oates (, March 15, 1999.

The GULF WIND first ran on 7/31/49 and operated between Jacksonville and New Orleans as trains #'s 38 and 39. This was a joint operation between SAL and L&N, with the consist being handed over between railroads at Chattahoochee (River Jct.) FL. At Flomaton, AL, the westbound WIND was coupled onto the L&N PAN AMERICAN; Eastbound out of 'Nawlins', the WIND was combined with the northbound L&N PIEDMONT LIMITED to Flomaton, where it came off and continued to Jacksonville. I believe the train was initially all streamlined, consisting of both stainless SAL and dark blue L&N cars (about seven in all): coaches, diners (SAL between JAX and Tallahassee, L&N between Mobile and N.O.), 6 section-6 dbl bdrm sleeper, 10 section-buffet-lounge, and a 5 dbl bdrm. observation lounge on the rear. However, heavyweight cars crept in regularly. A heavyweight SAL diner operated between Jacksonville and Tallahassee for many years. An April 1965 public timetable also shows a "Passenger and Baggage Car" between those cities. By the time of the SCL merger, the timetable shows only coaches, one 6 section, 6 roomette, 4 dbl bdrm sleeper, and the diners mentioned above. By 1969, the consist had changed drastically. SAL diner was replaced by a Grill car, operating Jax to Chattahoochee. The sleeper was gone, and the coaches were unreserved seating. My last timetable (April 1970) shows the Grill car gone, leaving only baggage, coaches (how many isn't indicated), and the L&N Mobile-N.O. diner (although a symbol indicates "box breakfasts available at Tallahassee") Original scheduling had the GULF WIND running overnight, leaving around 5:00PM from each endpoint. This was done for feed to and from the SILVER METEOR at Jacksonville. Around 1966-67, the eastbound WIND began leaving New Orleans at 8:30PM, due to L&N service cutbacks, thus arriving in Jax at 1:30PM. Late in its career, it may have been cut back to three times a week operation, but I cannot verify this. Also it did not survive to see AMTRAK DAY. Does anyone know its final run date? On the point was usually a single E unit, but would later rate SDP35's at times. As far as locomotive run-through service, my guess would be no, but someone else will have to supply you with a better answer to this, as I don't know what the practice was between the two railroads. The GULF WIND replaced another train on the same run, The SEABOARD MAIL AND EXPRESS, which unlike the new WIND, didn't operate thru coaches between Jacksonville and New Orleans. Local passenger-mail-express No's 36 & 37 (the former NEW ORLEANS-FLORIDA LIMITED) remained in operation between Jax'ville and Flomaton AL until 10/66. You should get hold of Green Frog's video "Passenger Trains of the '60's" Vol. 2, which shows some nice scenes of the GULF WIND, mostly combined with it's sister trains along the L&N portion of it's route, all in color.

-- Bob Venditti (, March 14, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ