Perry Subdivision Abandonment : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I was wondering if anyone had the specific year that the former ACL Perry Subdivision was abandoned. I have timetables from 1983 that show the line still in service, but I have no info from later years. Thanks in advance!

George Widener

-- George R. Widener (, November 22, 1999


in response to mark's question: the branch you describe was the access from bucell jct to the yard serving buckeye cellulose/procter & gamble. it produced cellulose "paper" in rolls and sheets for use by other finish manufacturers. the acl line is abandoned and the local accesses the plant via the ns from a connection in quitman. ga. on trackage rights. the ns also has a daily local that serves the plant coming from adel,ga. the csx used to share the switching duties with ns: each month onr crew would work the day shift and the other crew would work nights...i guess with the abandonment of the acl line, the ns has it all. that plant generates quite a bit of revenue for each rr. i used to be called to work there as the crew supply point was out of lakeland, fl,part of the territorial coverage afforded to the former use of the perry cutoff manned by lakeland district crews. i am now a yardmaster at yeoman yard, the "new" sal yard build adjacent to the acl uceta yard in tampa, fl. hope this is the answer, although a long one, to your question.

-- walt rogers (, March 29, 2001.

In August of this year (2000) I made my first trip in about 20 years from my home in Louisiana to Bradenton, Fla. Proceeded southward from Perry on Hwy. 19, paralleling the old Perry cutoff. Noticed a RR spur remains at Perry into a sawmill(?). Is this CSX or NS as I remember the Southern used to have a branch terminating at Perry?

Was saddened to see that nothing was left of the Perry Cutoff except embankment, some bridges and culverts. The stations at both Chiefland and Cross City remain however as sad reminders of the days when their telegraph keys and order boards were alive with train orders. The old roadbed in several locales has gone from rails to trails.

My first recollections of the "Cutoff" date back to the 1940's when as a boy of 10 I travelled alongside it in my Dad's car and kept a constant watch out for the Coast Line light pacifics that worked the line in those days. On several trips South we spent the night in the Inn at Shamrock. The sawmill there had a beautiful wood burner that worked the mill yard out to the ACL interchange. I only saw it from afar and, as near as I could tell, it was a 2-6-2; I could be wrong about this wheel arrangement but I do know that it burned sawmill slats. I understand that the "Loping Gopher" (Live Oak, Perry and Gulf)ocassionaly ran a cabbage stack wood burner onto the Perry Cutoff in this general vicinity but I never was fortunate enough to see it.

The sight of the abandoned Perry Cutoff was particularly nostalgic for me since my first train trip was on the Southland over that line during WWII. I've posted a message under the heading "Passenger Trains" - "Southland" describing some of my meomories of that journey.

-- Mark S. Foster (, November 17, 2000.

SAL never ran through Newberry, it's all former ACL.

-- Riley Kinney (, June 12, 2000.

I was in newberry today and saw the old ACL/SAL crossing, there is a CSX building there labeled NEWBERRY, i have no idea what this structure is, dont look like it was a station, but anyway the old ACL line in from the west (trenton, cross city, perry) does not even physically interchange with the other lines anymore, the + is gone and the SAL comes in from the south (from dunellon)and curves slightly to the northwest (to high springs). Also this line curves and joins the former ACL and heads northeast (to burnets lake, alachua and Gainesville). IM not sure what if any freight goes through there anymore... High springs and Gainesville are now dead ends... And since there is no longer an interchange with CSX, i dont see how the FWC can do any business... I did see a locomotive there, it was a GP7 painted in FWC purple and grey, dont know if it was operational though, also the track and ROW seemed in pretty bad shape...

-- troy nolen (, June 10, 2000.

The Perry Subdivision was tourn up between 1984-1985. The segments that were pulled up were between Bucell Jct to Shamrock and Lebanon Jct to Dunnellon. Last two trains that operated ween the line was steal intact were called pull jobs. One in October of 1984 and the other in 1985. The 1985 one I am gessing it because I have a book showing a train on the line at Dunnellon in 1985 with a string of boxcars. The jobs of these two trains were to clear all the bad order cars off the line. Today, virtually all of the Perry Subdivision is gone but a small segment between Thomasville and Metcalf Ga. A bad end to a great line.

-- Eric (, February 14, 2000.

All former ACL trackage west of Trenton has been removed. I am not sure the Florida West Coast (Shortline) is still in operation from Trenton to Newberry...I can't imagine much freight being shipped if any! Don't understand why they pulled up the trackage from Trenton through Wilcox to Cross City...There had been quite a bit of rail shipments out of Cross City. Georgia Pacific had a big plant there along with several other lumber compaines. Several years ago when the terpentine plant ceased operations at Shamrock that hurt the rail traffic to some degree.

-- Steve Manuel (, November 27, 1999.

George, My Feb, 1987 CSX system map shows the Perry Sub down to just two seperate segments- one between Shamrock, Wilcox, and Chiefland, with the other segment running to Perry south from Thomasville GA through the junction with the former SAL at Drifton.

The May 1990 system map shows the Shamrock-Chiefland section already farmed out to shortline FWCR (Fla. West Coast RR, I believe). The leg southward from Thomasville now ended in Monticello, with CSX gaining access to the city of Perry over NS trackage rights.

The 1995 map shows the FWCR running only as far as Cross City (just south of Shamrock). But Wilcox-Chiefland trackage is no longer shown. The line down from Georgia no longer crossed into Florida, instead terminating in Metcalf.

In Paul Carleton's book "Locomotives of the Seaboard System" (1987), a group of photos taken on the Perry sub at Rainbow Springs, FL on Oct 23 1984 show the "long inactive line being cleared of stored freight cars in preparation for rail removal". Hope this helps plug some of the holes.

-- Bob Venditti (, November 22, 1999.

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