"North to Florida" Article

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  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Northern Florida
  • 1,403 posts
"North to Florida" Article
Posted by SALfan on Thursday, September 10, 2020 9:40 PM

Just finished reading the "North to Florida" article in the most recent Classic Trains.  I grew up about 40 miles north of Jesup (not on Mr. Gosney's trip, but on the map in the article), and thought I'd offer an update on some of the rail lines mentioned in the article.

Albany, GA to Waycross: Before Southern Railway took over Central of GA, Atlantic Coast Line used this line to reach CoG in Albany, a "friendly connection".  Once SR took over CoG, there was no more friendly connection, so the portion from Albany to Tifton, GA was sold to Southern, and from Tifton to Waycross was abandoned and pulled up before 1979.  Albany - Tifton was later run by a shortline.  Haven't been in that part of the world for many years, and don't know the current status.  The abandoned portion went thru Willacoochee (where it crossed the old Georgia & Florida), immediately in front of the No-Name Bar made somewhat famous by Lewis Grizzard.

Waycross - Folkston - Jacksonville: Still heavily used; Folkston to Jacksonville is the "Folkston Funnel".

Jacksonville - Thalmann - Savannah: Mostly abandoned and pulled up.  CSX and a shortline still use the stretch from Jacksonville to just across the St. Mary's River into GA, to a connection with the St. Mary's RR, which runs into St. Mary's, GA.  The last I knew, the portion from Riceboro to where the old SAL joined the ACL south of Savannah was still used to reach a paper mill in Riceboro.  Thalmann was the SAL's passenger stop for Brunswick, GA.

I haven't spent much time in those parts of the world in many years.  Made many trips from Tallahassee to Thomasville, GA and on to Waycross during 2009-2016, but was traveling with a purpose and didn't have time to wander around and see what was going on.  If you have corrections or additions to the status of the lines on Mr. Gosney's trip, please speak up. 


  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 5,158 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 11, 2020 9:51 AM

I read the "North to Florida" article myself, very enjoyable!

But what really caught my eye was the title.  "NORTH to Florida?"  What the heck's he talking about?

Then "Oh, THAT'S what he meant!"  Very clever indeed!

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • 105 posts
Posted by ghCBNS on Saturday, September 12, 2020 3:22 PM

Wow !!.....a 53 year flashback when I saw that interior shot of SCL's Diner 'Tarboro' on page 21.

Back in 1967 CN inaugurated the 'Cabot'.....a new through train between Montreal and Sydney NS. That summer CN leased ACL Diners 'Tarboro' 'Greenville' and 'Fitzgerald'...... and they were regulars on the 'Cabot'. We called them the 'Silver Diners' As a kid I remember hanging around the station and the distinct smell and smoke from the stoves as they passed. Would this have been presto-logs or coal?

The cars arrived from the Atlantic Coast Line for the Cabot's inaugural on June 1st but at the end of the season would have gone back to the Seaboard Coast Line after the ACL-SAL merger of July 1, 1967.

And coming from the Atlantic Coast Line was appropriate as they ran to Cape Breton Island on the Atlantic Coast.




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