The two services follow the same general path between New York City and Miami, but diverge between Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. The Silver Meteor takes a coastal route through Fayetteville, North Carolina, Florence and Charleston, South Carolina, while the Silver Star takes an inland route through Raleigh and Cary, North Carolina, and Camden and Columbia, South Carolina. The Silver Star also makes a detour to service Tampa, Florida.
The two trains were inherited from Seaboard Coast Line Railroad when Amtrak took over most intercity rail service in 1971.
Between 1996 and 2002 Amtrak operated a third New York-Miami train under this brand named the Silver Palm.