pasenger service to jacksonville fl. : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

I will be modeling the FEC from Jax. south in the 1940-1950's and would like to know what pasenger trains came to JAX.steam (wheel arangment) or diesel with heavyweight or streamliners and also which roads passed coaches or sleepers onto Southern to Jacksoville. Also did any of the head end power go south to Miami like ACL's Champion or IC's City of Miami. Would Central of Georgia bring in freight or pasenger into JAX. Thank You for any info Jim.

-- James Holman (, July 04, 2003


James, this is quite an ambitious undertaking. Good luck with it. I hope what follows will help answer some of your questions.

Generally during this era Southern trains would have arrived in Jacksonville behind Pacific (4-6-2) and Mountain (4-8-2) steam locomotives, and Alco DL-109 and PA3 diesels. Some 4-axle diesels were probably in the mix. The new E units were used mostly on Southern's Washington-Atlanta main line and so would have been rare sightings in Jacksonville.

Rolling stock would have been exclusively heavyweight until 1949 when one of the trains took on lightweight, streamlined equipment.

There were five Southern passenger trains into and out of Jacksonville in this era, four from the midwest and one from the Carolinas.

Trains 1 & 2 "Ponce de Leone" from Cincinnati forwarded a New York Central Cleveland-Tampa car to the Seaboard

Trains 3 & 4 "The Royal Palm" from Cincinnati carried a Cincinnati- Jacksonville car and forwared two NYC cars (Chicago-JAX and Detroit- Jax)

Trains 5 & 6 "The New Royal Palm" (before 1949 a heavyweight called "Royal Palm Deluxe") was a winter-season only, all-Pullman train. It was Southern's only lightweight, streamlined Florida train at the time. It comprised lightweight, stainless steel Pullman Standard cars manufactured for the Southern, NYC and Florida East Coast railroads. Some Budd equipment and ACF equipment saw service in this train. This equipment began service in 1949. All of the following Pullman car lines operated thru to Miami as FEC trains 9 & 10:

Cincinnati (1 car), Detroit (5 cars), Cleveland (1 car), Buffalo (1 car), and Chicago (2 cars). All of these cars were delivered by the NYC to the Southern at Cincinnati for forwarding to Miami. The Detroit section usually included the unique "lookout lounge" sleeper observation. I have seen pictures of the FEC train and it included only the first-class sleepers as through cars. It is my understanding that coach passengers changed trains in Jacksonville.

Trains 7 & 8 "The Kansas City-Florida Special" from Birmingham forwarded two Frisco cars to Jacksonville (KC to Jacksonville and KC to Miami) The Miami car was forwarded at JAX to FEC train #73. An Atlanta to Jacksonville car also arrived on this train.

Trains 23 & 24 "The Skyland Special" from Charlotte, NC carried two cars into Jacksonville (Ashville, NC to JAX and Charlotte, NC to JAX)

I don't think any of the road power for these trains operated beyond Jacksonville.

The Central of Georgia didn't reach Jacksonville. I believe the diesels that they used for the Seminole (painted in Illinois Central colors with CofG lettering) were exchanged for ACL diesels at Albany, Georgia.

The car lines in the Southern trains would be just reversed for the service out of Jacksonville on the even-numbered trains.

The ACL was by far the largest operator of thru service to Miami and other Florida points. The book "Atlantic Coast Line Passenger Service" would be an excellent source for information about these many and varied trains.

Seaboard also operated to and thru Jacksonville, but not in connection with the FEC.

Hope that this is some help. This era was a great one for passenger operations.

-- Ray Brown (, July 24, 2003.

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