Southern and Florida Branch Line : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I am looking for the name of the railroad company which ran freight and passenger trains through Valdosta, Georgia and Palatka, Starke, Theresa, Brooker, and Keystone Heights, Florida in 1949.

-- Jeannie Davis (, October 18, 2000


There had been through passenger service via Hampton in the 1920s. The Southern connected with the Big Four (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis- a New York Central subsidiary) at Cincinnati and handed the Suwanee River Special over to the Seaboard at Hampton for forwarding to West Coast points. In the Thirties this route was briefly revived as the Florida Sunbeam, which served both coasts. The SAL had little participation in the Midwest-Florida service; that was split between the Southern and the Coast Line's many connections northward- and the ACL was involved with more of these trains than the Southern.

Shortly after 1900, the Jacksonville & Southwestern also ran through coaches on the GS&F, too, to Lake City and Palatka- at least, I have found J&SW advertisements s

-- Larry Brennan (, April 03, 2001.

yea, i guess it would have been kinda wasteful to take a train down to tampa, then back up to brooksville and then over to crystal river... not much traffic at all goes over that line anymore... especially the ex-sal from approx dunellin to brooksville to tampa...

-- oh well (, October 20, 2000.

The Georgia Southern & Florida (Southern Rwy) had a line from Valdosta to Hampton, FL (south of Starke)where it crossed the Seaboard Air Line on the way to Palatka. There was a interchange with the SAL on Southern's passenger service, until they stated to go to Jacksonville for the change over. Until the late 1940's there was a local both from Valdosta and Palatka. It is in a 1948 Southern Passenger Time Table. I am not sure when this was discontinued. Hope this information helps. The SAL had the Wannee Branch from Starke to Wannee, FL on the Sauwannee River, 57 miles long. This line was taken up from Wannee to Bell, and then to Booker. After SCL removed the Dupont Line (ex ACL) from Georgia, the line from Booker had to be extended to back to Alachua, to reconnet to the old ACL line south to the Crystal River power plant. Allen L. Wiener, Ocala, FL

-- Allen L. Wiener (, October 18, 2000.

Jeannie - Your list of stations are on two different railroad companies in 1949. Starke was on the mainline of the Seaboard Air Line Railway, 44 miles southwest of Jacksonville. There was passenger & freight service through Starke on this line. Brooker was 15 miles west of Starke on a branch of the SAL which ran from Starke to Bell. This branch was for freight trains only in 1949. The other stations you list were on the mainline of the Georgia Southern & Florida R.R., a subsidiary of the Southern Railway System. The GS&F ran from Valdosta to Palatka and their line passed Starke about six miles south The GS&F had both freight and passenger service at this time.

-- Tom Underwood (, October 18, 2000.

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