perry cut off : LUSENET : Georgia Southern & Florida RR Historical Society : One Thread

I like some info for a school project about the perry cut off,1,why was called the perry cutoff 2. Did the southern go to perry 3.what other railroads where at the perry cutoff.4.Did any trains go south to cross city if so when wa the last one.thank you

-- bill merkel (, November 18, 2002


Bill, this answer is probably too late to be of help to you for your school project, but maybe for another semester. So, I'll try to answer your questions as best as possible, as follows:

1. Why was the line called the Perry Cutoff?

The Perry Cutoff extended between Atlantic Coast Line mainlines at Thomasville, Ga. on the north and Dunellon, Fl. on the south. The City of Perry, Fl. was the largest town on the line, thus, it was named the Perry Cutoff. The line was intended to be a shortcut for ACL rail traffic between Florida and the west and midwest. Before the Cutoff was constructed, ACL trains would have to go a junction at DuPont, Ga. to go south to Florida or to head northward to important interchange points at Montgomery, Al., Albany, Ga. and Atlanta, Ga. The Cutoff was supposed to result in a savings in mileage and train travel time. Unfortunately, the projected route usage didn't happen, so the Cutoff became more or less a local service route, particularly for the mills at Perry, Shamrock, Gulf Hammock, Cross City and Chiefland. However, the Cutoff was also the route of the Southland, a top-notch passenger train between Atlanta and Tampa, until it was cancelled in the late 1950's.

2. Did the Southern go to Perry?

Yes, after it acquired the South Georgia RR and the Live Oak Perry & Gulf RR. The South Georgia RR extended between a connection with Southern's Georgia Southern & Florida line at Adel, Ga. and Perry.

3. What other railroads were at the Perry Cutoff?

The South Georgia and Live Oak, Perry & Gulf railroads before being acquired by the Southern Rwy. Then, of course, the Southern Rwy., at Perry, Fl. The Seaboard Air Line RR. at Drifton, Fl. (near Monticello, Fl.)

4. Did any trains go south to Cross City? If so, when was the last one? The Perry Cutoff began to be abandoned in sections, beginning in the late l960's, with the earliest being the Perry - Cross City and the Chiefland - Dunnellon sections. Perry was served out of the ACL yard at Thomasville, Ga., and the Cross City/Shamrock - Chiefland segment was served by trains operating out of an ACL connection at Newberry, Fl. In 1987, CSX (ACL's successor entity) sold the Cross City - Chiefland segment to the Florida West Coast RR. The Florida West Coast abandoned the Chiefland - Wilcox segment in 1992. Because of a loss of business due to the closure of the Georgia-Pacific mill on the east side of Cross City, the Cross City - Wilcox segment was embargoed by the Florida West Coast. The only active segment of the old Perry Cutoff is a short section of the northern end at Thomasville, GA. The segment of the Cutoff north of Cross City was used as a storage track for retired railroad boxcars for several years after the last regular service freight train. My recollection is that regular freight train service between Perry and Cross City ended around 1966, with one or more trains of old stored boxcars occurring as late as 1969 or 1970.

I hope this information is of help to you. Best wishes! Aaron Dowling (

-- Aaron Dowling (, December 26, 2002.

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