Perry District Questions : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Hello again. I have a few more questions about the ACL south from Perry, FL, through Cross City and Chiefland. First of all, where did the crews work out of and change? Was there a yard at Perry? Can anyone help with track layouts/diagrams for Perry, Cross City, and Chiefland? And lastly, what kind of tonnage did this line handle other than forest products? Any notes/comments/suggestions to help build a model of this line would be appreciated.Thanks in advance, Tom Holley

-- Tom Holley (, June 26, 2001


From my experience working out of Waycross and Tampa, the Perry Cut- off was used by Pass trains and thru and locals from ST Pete/Tampa all the way to Albany for Pass trains (Ocala District) and Thomasville for Freights. Mostly, the line worked a local from Thomasville and turned at Perry/Bucell Jct. There was only a pass track and house track at Perry, but going farther south on the main, there was a switch at Bucell Jct. that led to the ACL yard for Buckeye Cellulose, a 4 track yard then led down into the plant itself. Past the plant was the LOP&G yard, about 6 track and the main line through Shady Grove to Quitman, GA (interchange with ACL Waycross - Montgomery line) then to Adel, GA where the NS sends its Perry local. The interchange at Quitman is now CSX entry to Perry on trackage rights. Would have to press my deep memory into gear to visualize the track diagrams, but with a little time, I may be able to help. Hope this bit of info helps you out a little more.

-- Walt Rogers (, July 03, 2001.

cant forget the large yard at high springs... it still has 2 storage tracks. empty grain cars are held there. After the ex-ACL lines (orlando-dunellon, and the perry cutoff, dupont and thomasville subs) were abandoned and removed, the high springs yard was used to store hundreds of unused and bad order cars. Lots of old reefers, etc. It was quite a place. such a shame too... csx could really use that line now to get thru freights from the west to tampa rather than go all the way over to baldwin and down the s-line, could have used quite a shortcut over the perry cutoff and down the acl to dunellon and then get on the ex-sal from there thru brooksville and on to tampa thru high springs, they could also use that line as a backup line to jacksonville (north from newberry to brooker, starke, and on north to baldwin) in case of disaster on the s-line or a-line

-- troy nolen (, July 01, 2001.

The Perry Cut-Off: During most of the 50's there was a through frieght that opperated on the line. # 236 and #237... Usually two F units headed up a train of 50 to 70 cars. Train was from Lakeland to Thomasville northbound and the reverse southbound. From 1928 until December 1, 1957 the Southland passenger train (#32 / # 33) operated on the line. There were frequent movements for football specials out of Tampa area to Florida Gator football games in New Orleans (Tulane) or Baton Rouge (LSU). There were also Circus trains, troop trains in the 40's, Shriners specials etc etc. During most of the 50's there was a Log Train of 40 to 50 cars loaded with cypress logs out of south Florida to the mills at Perry. It's my understanding that this ran about every 6 days or so. Local operations ran from Dunnelon to Wilcox and back, Newberry (probably High Springs) to Perry every other day, Northbound one day, southbound the next. And a local ran from Thomasville to Perry (Foley JCT.) and back everyday. The line was interesting to me because so much of it was along U.S. 19, it has very flat, and had long streches of track as straight as a arrow. Most of the local freight was wood products, pulpwood. However in the 50's there where what seemed like hundreds of water mellons boxcars. Every siding had pulpwood cars and watermellon boxcars! There was a large Dolomite facilty at Lebannon Station. There was anywhere from 10 to 15 boxcars of processed dolomite shipped there everyday. They would blow the stuff into a boxcar! The only yards of any size were at Thomasville and Dunellon. There were small yards at Wilcox, Cross City, and Perry. At one time in addition to the movements noted above, Cross City and Perry had their own switching jobs due the the number of mills there.

Thats about all I can think of now...Good Luck

Steve Manuel

-- Steve Manuel (, June 29, 2001.

I do not belive there was an ACL yard in Perry, but the old ACL depot/freight station is still standing. It has been moved north of town and had been used as a teen center. It looked abanded when I was there in the fall of last year and it was still in good shape at that time. You can still see where the old ACL crossed the LOGP and the Georgia Southern RR. Allen Wiener, Ocala, FL

-- Allen L. Wiener (, June 27, 2001.

the line had passenger trains thru amtrak... also had unit coal trains thru to the red level plant, also there were several GP and other wood-related plants on the line... also some grain

-- troy nolen (, June 26, 2001.

My Uncle, Sam Frazier, was a conductor on the Southland. I can't remember if the Southland came south out of Albany and through Thomasville, or if Thomasville was the crew change point.

His seniority was on the Ocala District. An old Ocala District timetable map may provide the answer. My dimming memory sure isn't much help.

My Dad, who hired out in 1924, said the ACL was either just building the line from Perry to Dunnellon, or had just completed it when he hired out.

Regardless of the accuracy of my answer, your question sure brought back fond memories. Thanks, I enjoyed that!

-- Curtis E. Denmark Jr. (, June 26, 2001.

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