Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad

The Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad was the final name of a system of railroads throughout Florida, becoming part of the Seaboard Air Line Railway in 1900. The system, including some of the first railroads in Florida, stretched from Jacksonville west through Tallahassee and south to Tampa. Much of the FC&P network is still in service under the ownership of CSX Transportation.

Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad
Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad network
1882 FT&PRR.jpg
1882 map
Dates of operation1837–1900
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge5 ft (1,524 mm) originally, converted to
4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm) in 1886[1]


1893 map (also showing the Richmond and Danville Railroad)

The Tallahassee Rail Road was first organized in 1832 as the Leon Railway, changing its name in 1834. It opened in 1837, connecting Tallahassee, Florida to the Gulf of Mexico port of St. Marks, Florida. This was the second steam railroad in Florida, opening just a year after the Lake Wimico and St. Joseph Canal and Railroad.

The Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Central Railroad was chartered January 24, 1851, to build west from Jacksonville, Florida, and construction began in 1857. The Pensacola and Georgia Railroad was chartered in January 1853,[2] to be built east from Pensacola, Florida, but started at Tallahassee. The two lines met at Lake City, Florida in 1860, and the latter also built from Tallahassee west to four miles (6 km) short of Quincy, Florida, stopping in 1863 in the middle of the American Civil War.

In 1855 the Pensacola and Georgia bought the Tallahassee. In 1869 the two merged to form the Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad, which obtained trackage rights over the Florida Central Railroad, the 1868 reorganization of the Florida, Atlantic and Gulf. The railroad eventually was built west to Chattahoochee, Florida, a major junction with the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad continuing west and the Chattahoochee and East Pass Railroad running northeast. In 1882, Sir Edward Reed purchased the Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile, absorbing the Florida Central and reorganizing the two as the Florida Central and Western Railroad.

The Florida Railroad was incorporated January 8, 1853, to build a line across the state, from Fernandina, Florida (north of Jacksonville, Florida) southwest to Cedar Key, Florida. The first train ran in 1861, but the line failed and the company was reorganized in 1866. In 1872 it was reorganized again as the Atlantic, Gulf and West India Transit Company. In 1881, Sir Edward Reed purchased the railroad and reorganized it as the Florida Transit Company, which in 1883 was reorganized again as the Florida Transit and Peninsular Railroad. The Florida Transit and Peninsular operated two subsidiaries, the Peninsula Railroad and Tropical Florida Railroad, organized to build lines respectively from the Florida Transit at Waldo, Florida to Ocala, Florida and beyond to Tampa, Florida.[3]

In 1884-85, Reed merged the Florida Transit and Peninsular Railroad with the Florida Central and Western Railroad, Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad, and Leesburg and Indian River Railroad as the Florida Railway and Navigation Company, which instantly became the largest railroad system in Florida.[4] The new company was placed in receivership in October 1885,[5] sold at foreclosure and reorganized as the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad Company in 1886.[6]

On May 1, 1889, the company was reorganized again, as the Florida Central and Peninsular Railway, and on January 16, 1893, the final reorganization produced the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad, along with a merger of the Florida Northern Railroad (a line from Yulee to Savannah, Georgia).[7] The Seaboard Air Line Railway leased the FC&P on July 1, 1900, and the latter was merged into the former on August 15, 1903. The FC&P tracks from Savannah, Georgia to Tampa, Florida via Jacksonville would become part of Seaboard's main line.[8]

Though various mergers, the Seaboard Air Line would become part of CSX Transportation. Much of the former FC&P network remains in service today.


Main Lines (Southern and Western Divisions)Edit

By the time the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad reached its greatest extent in 1893, it essentially had two main lines. One of the main lines (the Western Division) extended from Jacksonville west to Tallahassee and Chattahoochee, where it connected to the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad (a subsidiary of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad). The other main line (the Southern Division) was what was previously the Florida Railroad extending from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key. These two main lines intersected at Baldwin Junction just west of Jacksonville. The routes would continue operation after Seaboard acquired the lines in 1900, though Seaboard designated the route to Tampa as the main line south of Waldo instead of the route to Cedar Key.

Seaboard abandoned the former Southern Division from Archer to Cedar Key in 1932.[9] The line was abandoned between Callahan and Yulee in 1954.[10] The line from Archer to Waldo would be removed in the late 1980s. Today, State Road 24 runs along much of the former right of way of the route between Waldo and Cedar Key. The Waldo Road Greenway also runs along the former right of way between Gainesville and Waldo. South of Baldwin, it is part of CSX's S Line.

FC&P's Southern Division is still active and in service as the following:

The Western Division remains operates as the following routes:

Tampa DivisionEdit

The Tampa Division ran from the Fernandina-Cedar Key line at Waldo south to Tampa. This had been chartered as the Peninsula Railroad north of Ocala and the Tropical Florida Railroad south of Ocala. After the Seaboard acquisition, this route became the southernmost segment of their main line. It would subsequently become part of CSX's S Line.

While mostly intact, a short 16-mile segment of the S Line has been abandoned between Lacoochee and Zephyrhills, where the line now briefly detours along a former Atlantic Coast Line route (using former South Florida Railroad and Tampa and Thonotosassa Railroad trackage). Despite not being part of the original line, this former Atlantic Coast Line segment is considered to be an unofficial part of the S Line since it carries all S Line traffic.[11][12][13]

The Tampa Division now operates as the following routes on the S Line:

Northern DivisionEdit

The Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad was organized in 1874 and opened in 1881, connecting Jacksonville north to the Southern Division at Yulee. It was consolidated into the Florida Railway and Navigation Company in 1885.

The South Bound Railroad was organized in 1887 and completed in 1891, connecting Columbia, South Carolina to Savannah, Georgia. The FC&P leased it in 1893. In 1892 the Florida Northern Railroad was chartered by the FC&P to continue the Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad north into Georgia, where the FC&P would continue the line to Savannah. This opened in 1894, forming a continuous line from Jacksonville to Columbia. In 1899 and 1900, the South Bound Railroad was extended north to Camden, South Carolina to meet the Seaboard Air Line Railway's Chesterfield and Kershaw Railroad. The Northern Division became part of the Seaboard main line after the Seaboard acquisition.

In 1925, the Gross Cutoff was built by Seaboard from the Northern Division near the Florida/Georgia state line southwest to the Southern Division at Callahan.

The Northern Division remains today in segments. The abandoned segment within Jacksonville is now the S-Line Urban Greenway.

After the Seaboard Coast Line became the CSX Corporation in the 1980s, CSX abandoned the S Line between Riceboro, Georgia (just southwest of Savannah) and Bladen, Georgia in 1986. Track between Bladen and Seals was removed in 1990.[14]

The Northern Division is now the following routes:

Orlando DivisionEdit

The Leesburg and Indian River Railroad was incorporated in 1884 and merged into the Florida Railway and Navigation Company in 1885. It built a line from the Tampa Division at Wildwood east to Tavares, with plans to continue east to Titusville. That extension was not built, but pieces were built by other companies.

The Tavares, Orlando and Atlantic Railroad was incorporated in 1883, and built an extension of line from Tavares to Orlando. The FC&P leased it in 1891.

The Orlando and Winter Park Railway was incorporated in 1886 and extended the line from Orlando to Winter Park. The Osceola and Lake Jesup Railway, incorporated 1888, continued the line past Oviedo to Lake Charm. In 1891 the two companies merged into the East Florida and Atlantic Railroad, which was leased by the FC&P in 1892. In the line's early days, passenger trains served the historic Church Street Station in Orlando, which belonged to the South Florida Railroad.[15] Trains would turn on to the South Florida Railroad (which would become the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the Seaboard Air Line's competitor) in Downtown Orlando just north of the station. In 1896, the FC&P would build its own Orlando station.[16]

The line west of Orlando remained intact under Seaboard and its successors until the 1970s when tracks were removed between Leesburg and Tavares.[17] Since 1986, the remaining line from Tavares to Orlando has been operated by the Florida Central Railroad, a short line that was run by the Pinsly Railroad Company from 1986 to 2019 and is now operated by Regional Rail, LLC.[18] The Florida Midland Railroad, another Pinsly-operated short line, operated the segment from Wildwood to Leesburg from 1987 until 2005, when most of that end of the line was abandoned. All that remains on the Wildwood end is a short wye which CSX uses to turn locomotives from Wildwood Yard.

East of Orlando, the abandoned right of way is now the Cady Way Trail and the southern extension of the Cross Seminole Trail.

Other BranchesEdit


The Monticello Branch ran from the Western Division at Drifton north to Monticello.

Amelia Beach

The Fernandina and Amelia Beach Railway was organized in 1883 to run from Fernandina at the end of the Southern Division south to Amelia Beach. The FC&P leased it in 1891, and it was abandoned around 1900.


The Wannee Branch was originally part of the Atlantic, Suwannee River and Gulf Railway. It branched off the Southern Division at Starke and headed west to Wannee. Construction of the line began in 1863. The line was bought by the FC&P in 1899 and it was completed to Wannee in 1902.[19] The branch remains in service as part of CSX's Brooker Subdivision from Starke to a point just west of LaCrosse. The branch's connection with the main line is still known as Wannee Junction.

Early Bird

The branch to Early Bird was built in 1890 and branched off the Southern Division in Archer. The line gained more prominence in the Seaboard era. Seaboard extended the branch south through Dunnellon and Hernando to Inverness in 1911. The Brooksville and Inverness Railway, a Seaboard subsidiary, would extend it further south to Brooksville in 1925 to connect with the Tampa Northern Railroad. This created an alternate route into Tampa, which the Seaboard Air Line designated as the Brooksville Subdivision.[20][21][page needed] Much of this line would be removed in the late 1970s.[22]

Silver Springs

The short Silver Springs branch from Ocala east to Silver Springs was built along with the Tampa Division. The Seaboard Air Line would later lease this branch to the Ocala Northern Railroad in 1909. The Ocala Northern would extend the line Palatka by 1912. The Ocala Northern was reorganized as the Ocklawaha Valley Railroad in 1915, but the line would be abandoned by 1922.[23]

Lake Weir

The Lake Weir Branch ran from Summerfield east to South Lake Weir, and was built along with the Tampa Division.


The short Sumterville branch from Sumterville Junction to Sumterville was built with the Tampa Division.

St. Marks

The St. Mark's branch was built by the Tallahassee Railroad ran from Tallahassee south. It was one of the first operating railroads in Florida. It's become the longest-operating railroad in Florida at 147 years. It was abandoned in 1983. The Florida Park Service currently maintains it as the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail.


Station ListingEdit

Southern Division

Milepost City/Location Station[24] Connections and notes
SMA 47.2 Fernandina Fernandina
Buena Vista
Yulee Hart's Road
SMA 35.1 Yulee originally Hart's Road Junction
junction with Northern Division
SM 20.0 Callahan Callahan junction with:
SM 12.3 Crawford junction with Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Railway (SOU)
St. Mary's
SM 0.0
S 653.0
Baldwin Baldwin junction with:
S 656.5 Fiftone
S 659.0 Maxville
S 661.4 Hugh
S 665.7 Highland
Trail Ridge
S 669.3 Lawtey Lawtey
S 672.1 Saxton
S 678.4 Starke Starke
S 679.1 Wannee Junction junction with Wannee Branch
S 684.6 Hampton Hampton junction with Georgia Southern and Florida Railway (SOU)
S 690.0 Waldo Waldo junction with Tampa Division
SR 697.2 Fairbanks
SR 704.0 Gainesville Gainesville junction with:
Hammock Ridge
SR 710.8 Kanapaha
Peach Orchard
SR 718.4 Archer Archer junction with Early Bird Branch
727.7 Bronson Bronson
739.5 Otter Creek Otter Creek
760.9 Cedar Key Cedar Key

Tampa Division

Milepost City/Location Station[24] Connections and notes
S 690.0 Waldo Waldo junction with Southern Division
S 696.6 Orange Heights
S 700.1 Campville
S 703.3 Hawthorne Hawthorne junction with Florida Southern Railway Palatka Branch (ACL)
S 712.3 Lochloosa
S 714.5 Island Grove
S 716.9 Citra
S 722.4 Sparr
S 725.8 Anthony
S 728.2 Oak
S 731.5 Silver Springs Junction junction with Silver Springs Branch
Silver Springs located on Silver Springs Branch
junction with Ocklawaha Valley Railroad
S 735.3 Ocala Ocala replaced by Ocala Union Station in 1917
junction with:
S 743.5 Santos
S 747.1 Belleview
S 752.0 Summerfield junction with Lake Weir Branch
Lake Weir located on Lake Weir Branch
S 753.7 Dallas
S 756.8 Oxford
S 761.5 Wildwood Wildwood junction with Orlando Division
S 766.1 Coleman Coleman junction with Seaboard Air Line Railroad Miami Subdivision
S 766.7 Warnell
S 770.4 Panasoffkee
S 771.0 Ekal also known as Sumterville Junction
junction with Sumterville Branch
Sumterville located on Sumterville Branch
S 775.1 Bushnell Bushnell
S 778.9 St. Catherine junction with Florida Southern Railway (ACL)
S 783.2 Rerdell
S 784.2 Terrell
S 791.2 Lacoochee junction with Orange Belt Railway (ACL)
S 791.9 Owensboro junction with South Florida Railroad Pemberton Ferry Branch (ACL)
S 797.9 Dade City Dade City
S 808.0 Zephyrhills Zephyrhills junction with Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Vitis–Tampa Line
S 811.4 Crystal Springs
S 818.5 Knights
S 823.1 Plant City Plant City replaced by Plant City Union Depot in 1909
junction with:
S 827.4 Turkey Creek junction with Seaboard Air Line Railroad Sarasota Subdivision
S 829.5 Sydney
S 832.5 Valrico junction with Valrico Cutoff (SAL)
S 834.8 Brandon
S 835.8 Limona
Tampa South Tampa
S 840.9 Yeoman
S 843.5 Tampa Northern Junction later known as Gary
junction with Tampa Northern Railroad (SAL)
S 844.9 Tampa original station was located at Franklin and Whiting Streets
replaced by Tampa Union Station in 1912
Seddon Island Terminal Freight terminal built by the Seaboard Air Line in 1909

Western Division

Milepost City/Location Station[24] Connections and notes
SP 635.4 Jacksonville Jacksonville junction with:
West Jacksonville
SP 641.6 Marietta
SP 652.5 Baldwin Baldwin junction with Southern Division
SP 656.3 Mattox junction with Jacksonville and Southwestern Railroad (ACL)
SP 661.4 Macclenny Macclenny known as Darbyville prior to 1890
SP 663.8 Glen St. Mary Glen St. Mary
Taliaferros Junction
SP 670.7 Sanderson
Mann's Spur
SP 680.6 Olustee
SP 685.1 Mount Carrie
SP 690.7 Watertown
SP 693.1 Lake City Lake City junction with:
SP 704.5 Wellborn
SP 709.9 Houston
SP 715.3 Live Oak Live Oak junction with:
SP 721.5 Dickert
SP 728.7 Ellaville
SP 736.3 Lee Lee
West Farm
SP 743.7 Madison Madison
SP 757.4 Greenville Greenville
SP 764.9 Aucilla
SP 772.3 Drifton junction with:
Monticello Monticello located on Monticello Branch
SP 781.2 Lloyd
SP 787.8 Chaires
SP 799.3 Tallahassee Tallahassee junction with:
SP 811.4 Midway Midway
SP 823.3 Quincy Quincy
SP 828.7 Gretna Gretna
SP 832.0 Mount Pleasant
Chattahoochee Chattahoochee
SP 841.9 River Junction junction with:

Orlando Division

Milepost City/Location Station[24] Connections and notes
ST 761.2 Wildwood Wildwood junction with Tampa Division
Orange Home
ST 768.9 Whitney
ST 770.4 Montclair
ST 772.8 Leesburg Leesburg junction with:
El Dorado
Eustis Transfer
ST 783.2 Tavares Tavares junction with St. Johns and Lake Eustis Railway (ACL)
ST 786.8 Ellsworth
ST 790.8 Lake Jem
ST 794.7 Zellwood
ST 796.2 McDonald
ST 798.7 Plymouth
ST 802.0 Apopka Apopka junction with Florida Midland Railway (ACL)
ST 805.7 Toronto junction with Orange Belt Railway (ACL)
ST 807.7 Lockhart
ST 811.4 Fairvilla
ST 812.1 Modello Park
ST 815.0 Orlando Orlando Built in 1896. FC&P trains previously used Church Street Station.[16]
junction with South Florida Railroad (ACL)
Fair Oaks
Lake Mabel
Bonnie Burn
College Station
ST 819.4 Winter Park Winter Park
ST 823.8 Lakemont
Lake Howell
ST 822.0 Aloma
ST 823.8 Goldenrod
ST 830.1 Oviedo Oviedo junction with Sanford and Indian River Railroad (SFRR/ACL)
ST 831.0 Lake Charm

Northern Division

State Milepost City/Location Station[25][26][24] Connections and notes
For stations north of Savannah, see South Bound Railroad
GA S 501.8 Savannah Savannah junction with:
S 512.4 Burroughs junction with Savannah, Florida and Western Railway (ACL)
S 514.4 Ogechee
S 515.6 Richmond Hill Richmond Hill
S 522.1 Limerick
S 527.2 Midway Midway also known as Dorchester
S 529.1 Riceboro Riceboro
S 534.0 Lecount
S 537.1 Jones
S 538.1 Brickston
S 540.1 Warsaw
S 544.1 Townsend
S 550.4 Cox
S 556.8 Everett junction with Macon and Brunswick Railroad (SOU)
S 564.4 Thalmann
S 568.4 Bladen junction with Brunswick and Western Railroad (ACL)
S 573.8 Hayner
S 575.5 Glencoe
S 578.3 Waverly
S 582.6 White Oak
S 587.7 Woodbine Woodbine
S 591.2 Colesburg
S 593.4 Seals
S 598.9 Kingsland Kingsland junction with St. Mary's Railroad
FL S 605.4 Gross junction with Gross Cutoff (SAL)
S 609.6 Becker
S 613.5 Yulee junction with Southern Division
S 614.2 Hedges
S 619.1 Tisonia
S 621.1 Duval
S 623.3 Broward
S 629.5 Jacksonville Panama Park junction with Jacksonville and Southwestern Railroad (ACL)
S 638.0 Jacksonville junction with:


  1. ^ "The Days They Changed the Gauge". Southern Railfan.
  2. ^ Turner 2003, p. 61.
  3. ^ Tucker. 50[full citation needed]
  4. ^ Turner 2003, p. 52.
  5. ^ "Affairs of the railways; a receiver for Florida lines" (PDF). New York Times. October 30, 1885. Retrieved July 25, 2008.[dead link]
  6. ^ Tucker. 53[full citation needed]
  7. ^ Pettengill, Jr., George W. (1998) [1952]. The Story of the Florida Railroads (Reprint ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society. p. 56.
  8. ^ "Peninsular Railroad routes to Tampa Bay". Tampa Bay Trains. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Roberts, Bruce. "Florida's Forgotten Railroad". The Florida Railroad Company - Fernandina & Cedar Key. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "Yulee to Callahan, FL". Abandoned Rails. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Tampa Bay Lines in CSX Era". Tampa Bay Trains. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  12. ^ Harmon, Danny. "Railfanning With Danny - Dade City May 3, 2012". YouTube. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  13. ^ "CSX Jacksonville Division Timetable" (PDF). Multimodalways.
  14. ^ "The Everett Subdivision". Abandoned Rails. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  15. ^ "CHURCH STREET STATION/OLD ORLANDO RAILROAD DEPOT". Riches Mosaic Interface. University of Central Florida. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  16. ^ a b Mulligan, Michael (2008). Railroad Depots of Central Florida. Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Wildwood to Tavares". Abandoned Rails. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Florida Central, Midland, and Northern Railroads". Pinsly Railroad Company. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  19. ^ Pettengill, George W., Jr. (July 1952). "The Story of the Florida Railroads". Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin. Boston, Mass.: Railway and Locomotive Historical Society. 86: 1–133. JSTOR 43517668.
  20. ^ Seaboard Air Line Railroad South Florida Division Timetable (1940)
  21. ^ Turner 2003.
  22. ^ "Peninsular Railroad Routes to Tampa Bay". Tampa Bay Trains. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  23. ^ Florida Railroad Commission Records, 1924 yearbook, railroad comments.[full citation needed]
  24. ^ a b c d e "Florida Railroads: Passenger Stations & Stops" (PDF). Jim Fergusson's Railway and Tramway Station Lists (Florida). Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  25. ^ "South Carolina Railroads: Passenger Stations & Stops" (PDF). Jim Fergusson's Railway and Tramway Station Lists (South Carolina). Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Georgia Railroads: Passenger Stations & Stops" (PDF). Jim Fergusson's Railway and Tramway Station Lists (Georgia). Retrieved 5 June 2020.


  • Turner, Gregg M. (2008). A Journey into Florida Railroad History. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-3233-7.
  • Turner, Gregg (2003). A Short History of Florida Railroads. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2421-2.

External linksEdit