Florida East Coast Railroad

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Was the Florida East Coast Railroad ever part of the ACL, SAL, or SCL?

-- Jim Kramer (jakramer@nefcom.net), January 28, 2001


When Henry Flagler began his hobby of building luxury hotels, he utilized the Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Halifax River Railroad between South Jacksonville and St. Augustine to bring in some of his material. When the president of the railroad (a friend of Flagler's) died suddenly, Flagler acquired the railroad, mostly to ensure a reliable line. He was not really interested in running it, so he added it to the Jacksonville, Tampa & Key West, which was busily over-extending itself to build a transportation system throughout Florida. By 1889 the JT&KW system also included the Sanford & Lake Eustis, the De Land & St. Johns River (originally the Orange Ridge, De Land & Atlantic), the Florida Southern, the Jupiter & Lake Worth, the Atlantic Coast, St. Johns & Indian River (which became the Indian River Division) and the Indian River Steamship Company, besides Flagler's purchases- the St. Johns Railway, the St. Augustine & Palatka, the St. Johns, the St. Johns & Halifax, besides his JStA&HR. The JT&KW was a shaky operation, however, and was soon constantly involved in litigation with various creditors. Flagler was getting grand ideas, however, and the JT&KW was something he no longer needed. He had been upgrading his properties, standard gauging the narrow and bridging the St. Johns. By 1892 he had pulled out of the tottering JT&KW, putting together the Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Indian River (re-named Florida East Coast in 1895) from his various properties and taking the JT&KW's Indian River division between Enterprise and Titusville, too. The FEC operated into Sanford with trackage rights for years afterward. The JT&KW was left hanging for most of the 1890s (a bad time, especially after the Panic of 1893), essentially a part of the Plant System without Henry Plant's having to buy it (and its many problems). He finally picked it up in 1899

-- Larry Brennan (lpbrennan@aol.com), April 04, 2001.

The ACL tried actively to acquire the FEC during the 1940s and 1950s, but was unsuccessful.

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), January 29, 2001.

NO! NEVER! The closest it ever came was in the 1890's when a predecessor of the FEC was leased to a predecesser of the ACL, but that fell apart and they went their seperate ways.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), January 28, 2001.

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