Jacksonville’s

Trails to Rails

 

Part I

Seaboard

 

Edgewood Ave Jacksonville

Former FA&G Line between Jacksonville and Tallahassee

Waldo

Former FRR Line between Fernandina and Cedar Key

                       

Jacksonville’s first railroad was the Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Railroad, which started construction in 1857. This line was completed in 1861 between Jacksonville to Tallahassee crossing the Florida Railroad in Baldwin. The Florida Railroad ran between Fernandina to Cedar Key. The Florida, Atlantic and Gulf was sold several times and by 1900 became a part of the Seaboard and exists today as the CSX mainline from the old Jacksonville Terminal area along US 90 west to Baldwin. The Florida Railroad also became a part of Seaboard; portions still survive today as a short line between Fernandina and Yulee, and is the CSX mainline between Callahan and Waldo, all the rest has been pulled up.

     The Fernandina and Jacksonville was constructed in 1880-81 with the Jacksonville Yards running between King Edward Cigar and Maxwell House Coffee on the St Johns River with Yulee to the north. The Jacksonville Belt Railroad was organized in 1886 to connect the F&J to the Florida, Atlantic & Gulf Railroad in the Jacksonville Terminal area. Both the Fernandina and Jacksonville and Jacksonville Belt Railroads became Seaboard properties. The F&J survives today as a CSX Branch from King Edward Cigar north were it connects with the former ACL Milldale line from Moncrief Yard. The diamond was removed at this point ending north south through service.  A new leg was also added from the Milldale line out of Moncrief to the north connecting with the old F&J along US90 (Main St) to Yulee. The Belt Line was removed entirely in the mid 1980’s upon the completion of the new Milldale Junction. Both Lines made up Seaboards Mainline Between Savannah and Jacksonville. The F&J hosted Southern’s Trains into Jacksonville from Everett (GA) until Seaboard took over in 1899, a trackage agreement with ACL was reached between Hardeeville (SC) and Jesup (GA) into Jacksonville until the SCL merge in 1967.

 

21st Street Jacksonville

Former F&J Line from Jacksonville to Yulee

Liberty St. Jacksonville

Former belt line from F&J to Terminal Area

 

 

Part II

 

  Atlantic Coast Line

 

Boulogne Florida

Former SF&W line from Jacksonville to Waycross

Edgewood AVE and Rosevelt BLVD

Former JT&KW line from Jacksonville to Sanford

     The Savannah, Florida & Western Rwy was organized by Henry Plant in 1879, by 1881 its Jacksonville connection from Waycross was completed. The line was absorbed into the Atlantic Coast Line in 1902. Southern Railway had trackage rights on this line from Hardeeville (SC) and Jesup (GA) into Jacksonville until the SCL merge. Today this line is CSX’s only remaining north-south mainline into Florida.

     The Jacksonville, Tampa, & Key West Railway built a 5’ gauge between Jacksonville and Palatka in 1884. In 1886 the line was standard gauged, and by 1902 was merged into the Atlantic Coast Line. Today this line is a CSX mainline along US17 towards Orlando and points south.

     The Jacksonville & Southwestern Railroad was completed in 1899 as a sawmill line between Milldale (North Jacksonville) to Newberry FL. In 1904 the line was taken over by the Atlantic Coast Line to create the Ocala Division with several connections towards St. Petersburg. Today this CSX branch line runs from north Moncrief to Milldale Jct and connects with the old F&J north to Yulee and south to Export Yard. The line also runs west from Moncrief to CSX Jax Ramp, all the rest is pulled up in North Florida and from Jax Ramp to Baldwin is a Rails to Trails.

 

 

Part III

Jacksonville, Mayport, & Pablo Railroad

 

     The JM&P was a standard gauge railroad that ran between Arlington to Mayport completed in 1888. The line was extended to South Jacksonville in 1893, but ended operations in 1895. A portion remained for mail delivery by handcar until around 1900. The Wonderwood Expressway is built on much of this right-of-way.

 

Part IV

 Florida East Coast

South Jacksonville

Former JStA&H from Jacksonville to Daytona

1st St. Johns River Bridge Jacksonville

First Bridge Across St. Johns River

 

     In 1881 the Jacksonville, St Augustine & Halifax Railway Co. was formed to build a narrow gauge railroad from the South Bank of the St Johns River in Jacksonville to St Augustine and opened on 1883. Henry Flagler purchased the line in 1890 and was rebuilt to Standard gauge. The Jacksonville Bridge Company was incorporated in 1888 to build the first bridge across the St Johns River. Construction was started in 1889 and opened in 1890. In 1892 the JStA&HR gained ownership of the bridge and both became part of the Florida East Coast in 1896. Today’s Florida East Coast continues to use this line.

   The Arlington & Atlantic Railway Co was formed in 1882 to build a narrow gauge railroad near Arlington towards the Atlantic. By 1883 the line had changed names to the Jacksonville & Atlantic Railroad.  In 1893 the line was reorganized as the Jacksonville & Atlantic Railway Co. and extended the line to Pablo Beach and gained trackage rights over the JStA&HR into South Jacksonville.  Flagler purchased the line in 1899 and rebuilt it to standard gauge and was extended north from Pablo to Mayport. This entire line was abandoned in 1932 and Beach Blvd is built on its right-of-way.

Mayport Florida

FEC Beaches Railroad

 

Part V

Jacksonville Terminal Co.

1894 Flagler's Union Station

1919 Jacksonville Terminal

 

     Organized in 1894, Henry Flagler built the first Union Station, a Mission Style Depot with train shed in the same location as our Jacksonville Terminal.  It opened in 1897 and served the Seaboard, Atlantic Coast Line, Florida East Coast, Southern and Georgia, Southern & Florida Railroads and their predecessor’s. It was out-grown and in 1919 the Jacksonville Terminal was constructed with 1/5th ownership between the 5 railroads. Closed in 1974 the Terminal Building is now Jacksonville’s Prime Osborne Convention Center. 

 

Part VI

Georgia, Southern & Florida

GS&F Train at Myrtle AVE

Train arriving from former AV&W line between Jacksonville and Valdosta

StJTCo crossing New Kings Road Jacksonville

StJTCo Beltline between Simpson Yard and F&J Junction

     The last rail line built into Jacksonville was the Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Rwy. from Valdosta GA in 1898. The A,V&W was acquired by the Georgia, Southern & Florida a subsidiary of the Southern Rwy in 1902. In 1901 the St Johns Terminal Co.  was formed to connect the A,V&W with a 6 mile mainline from Grand Crossing to the Terminal and connecting railroads after a dispute with ACL about entry into the Terminal. A belt line was also built from Grand Crossing east to Springfield and the old F&J and shipyards. This line operated around 21 miles of industrial trackage with additional trackage rights on both the ACL & SAL. The StJTCo. performed all freight switching duties for both the Southern (via ACL) and GS&F. These lines continued as Southern subsidies until the Norfolk Southern merge and remain today as NS’s only entry into Jacksonville.   

 

 

 

 

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