- Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Infobox SG rail
railroad_name=Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
United States Atlantic Coast
July 1, 1967
successor_line=Seaboard Coast Line
Jacksonville, FLThe Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Reporting mark|ACL was an American railroad that existed between 1898 and July 1, 1967, when it merged with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, its long-time rival, to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. The company was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida( Wilmington, North Carolinabefore 1961). After several more mergers and consolidations, the former ACL is now part of CSX Transportation, also headquartered in Jacksonville.
The Atlantic Coast Line Company was organized on
May 29, 1889as a holding companyfor a system of railroads from Richmond and Norfolk, Virginiasouth and southwest to Augusta, Georgia.
Wilmington and Raleigh Railroadwas chartered in 1835, opening in 1840 from Wilmington, North Carolinanorth to Weldon, where the Petersburg Railroadcontinued to Petersburg, Virginia. The name was changed in 1855 to the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.
Wilmington and Manchester Railroadwas chartered in 1846 and opened in 1853 from Wilmington west to Camden Crossing, South Carolinaon the South Carolina Railroad's branch to Camden. After the American Civil War, the company was reorganized in 1870 as the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroad, opening an extension west to Columbia in 1873 but never reaching Augusta, Georgia.
In 1872 the
Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroadleased the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, forming a continuous line through Wilmington, which was advertised as the Atlantic Coast Line. That lease was canceled in 1878 due to the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta's bankruptcy; that company was sold in 1879 and reorganized in 1880 under the same name.
Over the years, the Wilmington and Weldon bought many other lines. Most notable among those was the
Wilson and Fayetteville Railroad, built as a cutoff from near Wilson to the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta at Pee Dee, South Carolina. This was chartered in South Carolina as the Florence Railroad.
The Northeastern Railroad was chartered in 1851 and opened in 1856 from Charleston north to the
Wilmington and Manchester Railroadat Florence. The Central Railroad, connecting this line at Lane northwest to the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroadat Sumter, was chartered in 1881 and opened in 1882. From opening it was leased by both railroads in connected to.
The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad of South Carolina was formed on
July 18, 1898as a consolidation of the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroadand Northeastern Railroad with several other lines:
Florence Railroadwas chartered in 1882, continuing the Wilson and Fayetteville Railroadfrom the North Carolinastate line south-southwest to the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta at Pee Dee. This was part of a shorter route avoiding Wilmington, North Carolina.
Cheraw and Darlington Railroadwas chartered in 1849 and opened in 1853, running from Florence north via Darlington to Cheraw. The Cheraw and Darlington acquired the Cheraw and Salisbury Railroad, an extension north to Wadesboro, North Carolina, in 1892.
Manchester and Augusta Railroadwas chartered in 1875, and built a line from Sumter southwest to Denmark. On June 30, 1899, the ACL opened a continuation west-southwest to the Charleston and Western Carolina Railwayat Robbins.
The Central Railroad stayed separate, leased but not merged.
Also involved in this was the
Charleston, Sumter and Northern Railroad, a failed plan to build a main line from Charleston through Sumter into North Carolina. That company went bankruptin 1892, and the bridge over the Santee Riverburned down. In 1895 the ACL bought and reorganized it as the Charleston and Northern Railroadto prevent it from being used by a competitor. The short Wilson and Summerton Railroadacquired a section south of Sumter, the Manchester and Augusta Railroadobtained the southernmost section (cut from the rest by the burned bridge) and the line from Sumter northeast to Darlington, extending the M&A's line to Darlington, and the Cheraw and Darlington Railroadwas assigned the rest of the line, from Darlington north to Gibson, North Carolina. All but the Wilson and Summerton became part of the ACL in 1898. That company was renamed to the Northwestern Railroad in 1899, and with help from the ACL built an extension northwest from Sumter to Camden, opened in 1901.
In August 1899 the ACL acquired a half interest in the
Georgia Railroad and Banking Company, fully owned by the Louisville and Nashville Railroadsince 1898. This gave the ACL access to Atlanta and Macon, Georgiavia the former Manchester and Augusta Railroadand the Georgia Railroad.
By 1899 the ACL also owned the
Charleston and Western Carolina Railway, running from Port Royal, South Carolinaat the south corner of the state northwest into the northwest part of the state, with lines ending at Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg.
Petersburg Railroadwas chartered in 1830 and opened in 1833, running from Petersburg, Virginiasouth to Garysburg, North Carolina, from which it ran to Weldon via trackage rightsover the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad(later eliminated with a new alignment). The Richmond and Petersburg Railroadwas chartered in 1836 and opened in 1838, continuing north from Petersburg to Richmond.
In March 1898, the Petersburg Railroad was merged into the Richmond and Petersburg, which was renamed to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad of Virginia on
Norfolk and Carolina Railroadwas chartered in 1887 as the Chowan and Southern Railroadand renamed in 1889, opening in 1890 as a connection from the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad's branch to Tarboro, North Carolinanortheast to Pinner's Point, Virginia, serving the Hampton Roadsarea.
Florida and Georgia
The Plant System was a system of
railroads and steamboats in the U.S. South, founded by Florida's west coast developer Henry B. Plant. After his death in 1899, the Plant system was taken over by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902. The original line of the system, named after its owner, Henry Plant, was the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway, running across southern Georgia.
forming the ACL by mergers and later history
The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was formed on
April 21, 1900as a merger of the two companies in Virginia and South Carolina, as well as the Wilmington and Weldon Railroadand Norfolk and Carolina Railroad.
In 1902 the ACL acquired the massive
Plant System, stretching from Charleston, South Carolinasouthwest via Savannah, Georgiato Waycross, with lines branching out from there to Albany, Georgia, Montgomery, Alabama, and many points in Florida(including the main line to Tampa). The Jacksonville and Southwestern Railroadwas bought July 28, 1904, running from Jacksonville, Floridasouthwest to Newberry. Around this time, the ACL built a new line from High Springs south to Juliette, Florida, connecting two Plant System lines and forming a shortcut around Gainesville down the west side of Florida.
The ACL bought the large
Louisville and Nashville Railroadsystem on November 1, 1902, but kept operations separate for its entire life.
A short branch from
Climax, Georgiasouth to Amsterdam opened in 1903.
The ACL bought the
Conway Coast and Western Railroadon July 1, 1912, giving it access to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
October 15, 1913, the ACL acquired the Sanford and Everglades Railroad, a short line near Sanford, Florida.
The Florida Central Railroad, bought
February 27, 1915, provided a spur to Fanlew, Florida.
In July 1922 the ACL acquired the
Rockingham Railroad, extending the former Charleston, Sumter and Northern Railroadfrom Gibson, North Carolinato Rockingham.
Also in 1922 the ACL leased the
Virginia and Carolina Southern Railroad, running from Fayetteville, North Carolinasouth to Lumberton with a spur to Elizabethtown.
The ACL acquired the
Moore Haven and Clewiston Railwayon July 1, 1925, and the Deep Lake Railroad, a short line from the Gulf of Mexicoport of Everglades City north to Deep Lake, Florida, on December 8, 1928. These formed short parts of a new line from the main line at Haines City south to Everglades City, with a branch to Lake Harbor on Lake Okeechobeevia Moore Haven and Clewiston.
Also in 1925, the ACL leased the
Fort Myers Southern Railroad, which continued the line of the Florida Southern Railroadsouth from Fort Myers to Marco. That same year, the Tampa Southern Railroadwas leased, running from Uceta Yardin eastern Tampa south via Sarasota to the Florida Southern at Fort Ogden.
In 1926 the ACL acquired the
Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad, running from the end of the old Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta Railroadat Columbia, South Carolinanorthwest to Laurens.
The ACL incorporated the
Atlanta, Birmingham and Coast Railroadon November 22, 1926as a reorganization of the Atlantic, Birmingham and Atlantic Railway. This gave the ACL lines from Waycross to Atlanta, Georgiaand Birmingham, Alabama, with a branch east to Brunswick
May 1, 1927the ACL leased the Washington and Vandemere Railroad, extending the old Wilmington and Weldon Railroadbranch to Washington southeast to Vandemere.
In 1928 the
Perry Cutoffwas finished, providing a new shortcut from Thomasville, Georgiavia Perry, Floridato Dunnellon, Florida, with a branch to Newberry, Florida. Additionally, the old Tampa and Thonotosassa Railroadline was extended northeast from Thonotosassa to Vitis, providing a shortcut between Tampa and the newly-important west Florida line.
The ACL acquired the
East Carolina Railwayat some point, running south from Tarboro to Hookerton.
eaboard Coast Line, CSX Transportation
July 1, 1967the ACL merged with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, its longtime rival, to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. CSX Transportationwas formed on July 1, 1986as a renaming of the Seaboard System Railroad, which had absorbed the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Louisville and Nashville Railroadand Seaboard Air Line Railroad, as well as several smaller subsidiaries. On August 31, 1987the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, which had absorbed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad April 30of that year, merged into CSX. The merger had been started in 1980 with the merger of Chessie Systemand Seaboard Coast Line Industriesto form the CSX Corporation.
For stations on the main line (now
CSX's "A" line), see the following articles:
*Richmond and Petersburg Railroad,
Richmond, Virginiato Petersburg, Virginia
*Petersburg Railroad, Petersburg to
Weldon, North Carolina
*Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, Weldon to
Wilson, North Carolina
*Wilson and Fayetteville Railroad, Wilson to North Carolina/South Carolina state line
*Florence Railroad, state line to
Pee Dee, South Carolina
*Wilmington and Manchester Railroad, Pee Dee to
Florence, South Carolina
*Northeastern Railroad, Florence to
Charleston, South Carolina
**Ashley River Railroad, around Charleston
**Charleston and Savannah Railroad, Charleston to
**Atlantic and Gulf Railroad, Savannah to
**Folkston Cutoff, Jesup to
**Waycross and Florida Railroad, Folkston to Georgia/Florida state line
**East Florida Railroad, state line to
**Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway, Jacksonville to
**South Florida Railroad, Sanford to
List of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad precursors
Seaboard Air Line Railroad
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad
* [http://www.earlpleasants.com/search_1.asp Railroad History Database]
* [http://www.csa-railroads.com/ Confederate Railroads]
* [http://abandonedrailroads.homestead.com/Sumter_Camden_SC.html St. Paul to Camden, Summerton to Wilson - North Western of SC]
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