Serving Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami or St. Petersburg, and intermediate points
Amtrak train numbers: 90-15-12-5-15 and 93-16-11-6-16
Predecessor railroad train numbers: Pennsylvania Railroad 90 and 93; Louisville & Nashville 15 and 16; Atlantic Coast Line 12-5 and 11-6; Florida East Coast 5 and 6
The South Wind was the Louisville and Nashville Railroad's meandering 3-times-a-week Chicago-Florida service, as opposed to the Southland which ran via Cincinnati and Atlanta or the Dixie Flyer, which ran via Evansville, Indiana and Atlanta.
The train ran over the Atlantic Coast Line's tracks from Montgomery, Alabama into Florida, and from there, it split into three sections, two operating over the ACL to Tampa and St. Petersburg, and one going via the Florida East Coast to Miami. After the Florida East Coast strike, the Miami section traveled over the Seaboard Air Line's tracks.
North of Louisville, the South Wind ran over the Pennsylvania Railroad, with the same schedule on the other four days of the week operated by an unnamed Chicago-Louisville train.
When Amtrak took over passenger train service in 1971, mainly in order to have as many different cities as possible on the route system, Chicago-Florida service was provided by the South Wind, now operating daily all the way. However, by that time, the Pennsylvania had become Penn Central, and while much of their trackage had become nearly unsuitable for passenger trains, the route between Chicago and Indianapolis was especially bad. The South Wind was soon rerouted over the former Monon Railroad route, and with Amtrak's second timetable on November 14, 1971, it was renamed the Floridian.
(By the way, the bizarre "Amtrak train numbers" at the top of this writeup are the result of Amtrak not having their own train numbers until that November 14 timetable change. The programmers of Amtrak's current computerized reservation system are no doubt happy they didn't have to deal with train numbers like that.)
Condensed historical timetables:
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8:45A Dp Chicago Ar 7:20P
12:40P Indianapolis 3:15P
3:00P Louisville 1:05P
6:22P Nashville 9:32A
10:10P Birmingham 5:27A
9:15A Jacksonville 8:30P
4:20P Ar St. Petersburg Dp 11:00A
5:15P Ar Miami Dp 12:40P
The Amtrak Train Names Project