I believe the strongest end point to end point LD markets are between the NEC and CHI and the NEC and Florida. In addition to the NEC losing a daily to CHI back in 2004 they also lost a daily to Florida when the Palmetto was truncated in SAV. Losing the TR took away some schedule flexibility in travel between NYP and CHI but a lot more schedule flexibility between NYP and Florida.
From April 2004:
89: NYP 7:15am, PHL 9:40am, WAS 12:20pm, JAX 1:50am, TPA 6:50am, MIA 12:20pm
91: NYP 11:30am, PHL 1:35pm, WAS 4:35pm, JAX 8:15am, ORL 11:32am, MIA 5:20pm
97: NYP 7:10pm, PHL 8:41pm, WAS 10:59pm, JAX 12:30pm, ORL 3:29pm, MIA 9:35pm
98: MIA 7:00am, ORL 12:22pm, JAX 3:46pm, WAS 5:45am, PHL 8:25am, NYP 10:12am
92: MIA 10:35am, ORL 3:56pm, JAX 7:13pm, WAS 11:04am, PHL 1:20pm. NYP 3:28pm
90: MIA 3:00pm, TPA 8:45pm, JAX 12:38am, WAS 2:45pm, PHL 5:10pm, NYP 7:31pm
To answer one of dogbert617's questions, the Palmetto served Waldo-Ocala-Wildwood in 2004 before they truncated it to SAV (http://www.timetable...40426&item=0076)
Back then there was no TPA-ORL service (the Palmetto was the TPA-MIA train) and the Palmetto didn't serve ORL so ORL still has the same two trains it does now (MIA/South Florida and JAX went from three to two).
I believe people at AU have said they would have liked a train from the NEC to south Florida to catch cruises. Back in 2004, that was the Palmetto, arriving in MIA slightly after noon and leaving MIA at 3pm as opposed to the later arrivals to and earlier departures from MIA in 2017. Also, you could have left NYP after the evening rush today which you can't today. The arrivals into MIA had a great variety where in 2017 the two trains arrive in MIA less than an hour apart. They also said the SM used to require 3 sets back then with the departure from NYP later.
It makes absolutely no sense for me to truncate the Palmetto in SAV. That's like truncating the LSL in ALB. I say you run it to Florida or get rid of it altogether. Back then the SM, SS, and Palmetto combined required 11 sets. Today, they require 10. So you've saved a grand one set and you now have to have turning facilities in Savannah which you didn't need before (and you could have gotten down to 10 sets by having the Palmetto go from TPA to ORL and terminate there (approx. 9am arrival into ORL and 6:30pm departure from ORL) so no extra sets and no new service facilities in Savannah would be required (you could still have rerouted the SS to serve TPA-MIA). You'd lose a trip to South Florida (the ideal cruise schedule train) but you'd add a train to ORL and if you rerouted the SS then two trains would serve TPA instead of one). On the other hand, you could keep the late departure out of the NEC to Florida which would help people from NYP/PHL/WAS. If they had to keep only two NYP-Florida trains, they could have just had the SS use the Palmetto schedule up to JAX and then travel its current route ORL-TPA-MIA so at least it still arrived into/left from south Florida in time for the cruises and you wouldn't have the SS and SM within an hour of each other northbound. I think most of us agree the early arrival into Florida and the later departure from the NEC were beneficial as opposed to two trains within an hour of each other.
So just like NEC-Chicago, losing a train not only takes a train away it also inconveniences the schedules of the trains that do remain. The two service cuts in 2004-2005 don't seem important to people outside of PHL/HAR/Lancaster but they hurt others more than you think.
Trains Traveled: Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA), Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI), Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS), Lake Shore Limited (NYP-CHI), , Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL), Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX), California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY), City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL), Texas Eagle (CHI-DAL)
Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!