First Coast Railroad

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First Coast Railroad
First Coast Railroad logo.png
Reporting markFCRD
LocaleFlorida and Georgia, United States
Dates of operation2005–present
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
HeadquartersFernandina, Florida
Route map

former Seaboard Air Line Railroad
to Riceboro
S 593.4
Seals
S 598.9
Kingsland
St. Mary's Railroad
Georgia
Florida
former Gross-Callahan Cutoff (SAL)
to Callahan
SMA 47.2
Fernandina Beach
fmr. Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad (SAL)
to Callahan
S 613.5
SMA 35.1
Yulee
CSX

The First Coast Railroad (reporting mark FCRD) is a class III railroad operating in Florida and Georgia, owned by Genesee and Wyoming Inc. The name is derived from its area of operations around the First Coast of Florida.

The FCRD was founded in April 2005 to lease 32 miles of a former Seaboard Air Line Railroad from CSX. It stretches east from Yulee to Fernandina Beach, Florida and north from Yulee to Seals, with a connection at Yulee to CSX.

The north-south line, formerly the Seabaord Air Line main line before it was abandoned by the combined Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in favor of the ex-Atlantic Coast Line Railroad main line to the west, connects to the St. Marys Railroad at Kingsland. The line is abandoned north of Seals.[1]

History[edit]

The line from Yulee north into southern Georgia was built in 1894 by the Florida Northern Railroad. It was an extension of the Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad north to Savannah, Georgia to connect with the South Bound Railroad. The line from Yulee to Fernandina Beach was completed in 1861 by the Florida Railroad which connected Fernandina Beach with Cedar Key. The Florida Railroad, Florida Northern Railroad, Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad, and the South Bound Railroad were all eventually absorbed by the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad by 1893.[2]

In 1900, the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad became part of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, and the line into Georgia became Seaboard's main line.[3]

Seaboard Air Line became the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad after merging with the Atlantic Coast Line in 1967. The merged company became the CSX Corporation in the 1980s. CSX designated the former Seaboard Air Line mainline as the S Line and initially designated this segment of the S Line as the Everett Subdivision. The route to Fernandina Beach was designated the Fernandina Subdivision. CSX abandoned the S Line between Riceboro, Georgia (just southwest of Savannah) and Seals, Georgia gradually from 1985 to 1986 and redesignated the remaining track as part of the Kingsland Subdivision (a designation which remains on the CSX line south of Yulee).[4]

CSX leased the lines north of Yulee to the First Coast Railroad in 2005.[5] The remaining Seaboard track north of Riceboro is operated by the Riceboro Southern Railway, another subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ King, Leo (June 2006). "First Coast's First Days". Trains. Vol. 66 no. 6. pp. 34–39. ISSN 0041-0934.
  2. ^ "Peninsular Railroad routes to Tampa Bay". Tampa Bay Trains. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Turner, Gregg (2003). A Short History of Florida Railroads. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-2421-4.
  4. ^ "The Everett Subdivision". Abandoned Rails. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  5. ^ "First Coast Railroad". First Coast Railroad. Retrieved January 10, 2017.