South Central Florida Express, Inc.
|South Central Florida Express|
|Dates of operation||1994–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
South Central Florida Express, Incorporated (reporting mark SCXF) (originally known as the South Central Florida Railroad (reporting mark SCFE) and run by the Brandywine Valley Railroad until September 17, 1994) is a short line railroad in southern Florida run by U.S. Sugar. It serves customers at 26 locations.
U.S. Sugar, the only sugar company in the continental U.S. to transport sugarcane by rail, owns private trackage to take the cane to the SCFE. From there, the SCFE runs around both sides of Lake Okeechobee. The west side connects to CSX's Auburndale Subdivision at Sebring, and the east side crosses CSX at Marcy and interchanges with the Florida East Coast Railway at Fort Pierce, with haulage rights to CSX and Norfolk Southern at Jacksonville, Florida.
The 87 miles (140 km) west connection, west of Lake Harbor, was a CSX line (Sebring Subdivision along the mainline to the sugar fields, and Okeelanta Subdivision on the spur to Lake Harbor), originally part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. It was bought on June 2, 1990, by the Brandywine Valley Railroad, a Lukens Steel Company subsidiary, and sold to U.S. Sugar on September 17, 1994. U.S. Sugar set up the railroad as a separate company with its own board of directors to operate independently from the 119 miles (192 km) branch line U.S. Sugar already owned.
The 71 miles (114 km) east connection, east of Lake Harbor, is still owned by the Florida East Coast Railway as its Fort Pierce-Lake Harbor Branch (also known as the K-Branch). It was part of the original Kissimmee Valley Line to Lake Okeechobee south of near Marcy, and a newer cutoff north of there. On March 2, 1998, South Central Florida Express and the Florida East Coast Railway entered into a car haulage arrangement, allowing SCFE to use the branch and the mainline to interchange with CSX and Norfolk Southern at Jacksonville.
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