Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway
|Dates of operation||1879–1899|
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Previous gauge||5 ft (1,524 mm) (1883–1886)|
The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway was a railroad and steamboat network in Florida, USA at the end of the 19th century. Most of its lines became part of the Plant System in 1899 and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902. The line remains in service today with a vast majority of it now being CSX Transportation's Sanford Subdivision.
The Tampa, Peace Creek and St. Johns River Railroad was incorporated in 1879, and received a charter to build a railroad from Jacksonville to Tampa. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway was incorporated in 1871, and acquired the railway charter from the Tampa, Peace Creek and St. Johns River Railroad. Construction of a rail line from Jacksonville to Palatka began in March 1883, and regular service between the cities began in March 1884. The railroad was built to the 5-foot gauge to match that of the Plant System Waycross and Florida Railroad, with which it connected in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway extended its line from Palatka to Sanford in 1885, using the right-of-way of the Palatka and Indian River Railway Company. The line crossed the St. Johns River a few miles south of Palatka and ran southward on the east side of the river to the northern end of Lake Monroe, crossed back over the river and then ran a few miles to Sanford, where it connected to the South Florida Railroad. The line to Sanford began regular service in February 1886.
The Atlantic Coast, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad completed a line from Titusville, on the Indian River, to Enterprise, on the eastern shore of Lake Monroe opposite Sanford, in early 1886. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway build a 3.9-mile (6.3 km) line to Enterprise from its mainline at Enterprise Junction. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway then leased the Atlantic Coast, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad, and purchased all of its rolling stock. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway operated the Enterprise to Titusville line as its Indian River Branch.
After leasing the Titusville–Enterprise line of the Atlantic Coast, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad, the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway began operating steamboats from its dock in Titusville down the Indian River to Jupiter. In December 1888, the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway established the Indian River Steamboat Company to operate the steamboats, with Mason Young, vice-president of the railway company, servicing as president of the steamboat company. The Jupiter and Lake Worth Railway opened in 1889 as a short connection between the Indian River Steamboat Company at Jupiter and the north end of Lake Worth, where steamers continued south. The line was abandoned by 1896 after the completion of the parallel Florida East Coast Railway.
The Orange Ridge, DeLand and Atlantic Railroad Company was a 3-foot gauge 6-mile (9.7 km) line built in 1885, connecting DeLand with DeLand Landing on the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West line intersected it 2 miles (3.2 km) from DeLand Landing at DeLand Junction. The railroad was reincorporated in 1886 as the Deland and St. Johns River Railroad Company and converted to 5-foot gauge to match the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway.
In 1893 the JT&KW went bankrupt. The Southeastern Railway bought the line from Enterprise to Titusville in 1899, and later that year sold it to the Florida East Coast Railway. Also that year, the rest of the system was reincorporated as the Jacksonville and St. Johns River Railway and sold to the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway (the Plant System). The Plant System became part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902. In 1967 the ACL merged into the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, eventually becoming part of CSX. The JT&KW is now part of the "A" Line, one of CSX's two main lines into Florida.
The Orange Ridge, DeLand and Atlantic Railroad was incorporated by Laws of Florida Chapter 3332, No. 114 on March 7, 1881, running from DeLand west across the JT&KW at DeLand Junction to the St. Johns River. It became the DeLand and St. Johns River Railroad in 1886, and the JT&KW bought it in 1890.
The Enterprise Branch ran from the main line at Benson Junction east to Enterprise. It continued to Titusville as the Atlantic Coast, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad, acquired in 1886. The Atlantic Coast, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad connected with the Florida East Coast Railway in Titusville. The Florida East Coast Railway later acquired the branch from Enterprise to Titusville in 1902.
The Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway remains in service and is today part of CSX's A Line. CSX has designated it as their Sanford Subdivision and Jacksonville Terminal Subdivision. Though as of 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation owns a short segment of the line south of Deland to Sanford and operates the SunRail commuter rail service over that segment. CSX still runs local freight on the line but all through freight trains have since been shifted to the S Line due to SunRail service. Prior to the sale of the southern portion of the line to FDOT, CSX's Sanford Subdivision continued south to Sanford and then along on the former South Florida Railroad as far as Auburndale.
|Milepost||City||Station||Connections and notes|
|A 643.7||Jacksonville||Jacksonville Terminal||union station|
|La Villa Junction||junction with:|
|A 654.0||Yukon||originally Black Point|
|A 658.6||Orange Park|
|A 665.1||Doctor's Inlet|
|A 668.5||Russell||originally Fleming|
|A 671.8||Magnolia Springs|
|A 672.6||Green Cove Springs|
|Melrose Crossing||junction with Green Cove Springs and Melrose Railroad|
|A 682.2||West Tocoi|
|A 698.0||Palatka||Amtrak Silver Meteor and Silver Star|
|A 706.3||Buffalo Bluff|
|A 712.2||Pomona Park||Pomona Park||originally Pomona|
|A 713.8||Lake Como|
|A 719.3||Crescent City||Crescent City|
|A 743.1||DeLeon Springs||originally Spring Garden|
|A 750.0||DeLand||Amtrak Silver Meteor and Silver Star|
originally DeLand Junction
junction with DeLand and St. Johns River Railroad (JT&KW)
|A 754.8||Orange City||Orange City Junction||junction with Atlantic and Western Railroad (FEC)|
|A 760.8||Enterprise Junction||later renamed Benson Junction|
junction with Enterprise Branch
|A 766.3||Sanford||Sanford||Amtrak Auto Train|
- Pettengill, George W., Jr. (1998) . The Story of the Florida Railroads 1834–1903. Bulletin of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Inc. 86 (Reprint ed.). Jacksonville, Florida: The Southeast Chapter of The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Inc. pp. 80–82.
- Railroad Commission of the State of Florida (1891). Annual Report. pp. 90–101.
- CSX Jacksonville Division Timetable
- Turner, Gregg (2003). A Short History of Florida Railroads. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-2421-4.