Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway

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Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway
Dates of operation1879–1899
SuccessorPlant System
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad
CSX Transportation
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

CSX A Line north
(fmr. East Florida Railway)
A 639.4
Jacksonville Amtrak
Norfolk Southern Railway
Valdosta District
Florida East Coast Railway
A 648.2
St. Johns
A 654.0
fmr. Green Cove Springs and Melrose Railroad
to Melrose
A 682.2
West Tocoi
A 690.8
fmr. Georgia Southern and Florida Railway (NS)
to Lake City
former Ocklawaha Valley Railroad
← fmr. Florida Southern Railway (ACL) •
fmr. Palatka Branch (FEC) →
A 698.0
Palatka Amtrak
A 708.1
A 716.7
A 726.6
A 732.0
A 736.9
Central Florida Rail Corridor
A 750.0
Deland Amtrak
CSX Deland Spur
(fmr. Orange Ridge, DeLand and Atlantic Railroad)
A 755.4
Orange City
A 759.8
Benson Junction
A 761.9
DeBary SunRail
former Enterprise branch
former Orange Belt Railway
A 766.3
Sanford SunRail
Central Florida Rail Corridor
(fmr. South Florida Railroad)
Sanford Auto Train Station Amtrak
CSX Aloma Spur
(fmr. Sanford and Indian River Railroad)

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 on June 27, 1881 the name was changed to the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway. The Palatka and Indian River Railroad was incorporated in 1881 to run from Palatka south past Sanford. The JT&KW bought it in 1887 by Robert H. Coleman as Financier with B.M.S trust holding beneficial interest. Eventually the JT&KW main line stretched from Jacksonville to the St. Johns River port of Sanford, where the separately-owned South Florida Railroad continued to Tampa. The full line opened on February 20, 1886.[1]

The Atlantic Coast, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad was organized in 1883 to build a connection from the JT&KW's branch to Enterprise, another St. Johns River port, southeast to Titusville on the Indian River. The JT&KW acquired the line in 1886.

The Jupiter and Lake Worth Railway opened in 1889 as a short connection between the JT&KW's 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.

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.[2]



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 De Land 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.

Lake Eustis

The Sanford and Lake Eustis Railroad was organized in 1886 and merged into the JT&KW on May 1, 1890. The line ran west from Sanford to Tavares on Lake Eustis.

Current operations[edit]

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.

Amtrak also uses the line for all of its Florida service including the Silver Meteor, Silver Star, and the Auto Train.