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The Florida Trade

Operations below Jacksonville

General Timetable
Atlantic Coast Line
Seaboard Air Line
Florida East Coast
 

Once you hit Jacksonville, things start to get complicated. Long haul traffic arriving from the north comes in on several roads from several points of origin: each train with cars destined for various points on both Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Because of this, most trains are broken up at Jacksonville. The consists are reshuffled and the larger parts continue to primary destinations such as Miami and Tampa.

In the Jacksonville maelstrom, the relatively few east coast trains are inundated by connections of their more numerous western counterparts - a car or two from each - so that the proud Limiteds become veritable begger's caravans that trundle through central Florida spinning cars off left and right with reckless abandon.

As the flow spreads out through central and southern Florida, we find a completely different sort of railroading than the glamorous Limiteds that left Penn Station or LaSalle. Passengers are bemused by the meandering journeys of these 2 and 3 car connecting runs, often pulled by doodlebugs or ten wheelers, down lightly laid branches with pine forests looming overhead and saw grass sprouting up through the ties.

Where the great resorts of Miami and Tampa cater to the elite, there are a host of smaller towns - vacation spots of modest means - that cater to the middle class who are arriving in ever increasing numbers. With the increasing flow of tourist traffic, the connecting short hauls and locals take on a major role in the traffic pattern. In essence, each of the long haul Limiteds, having already been piled on at Jacksonville, Wildwood or Albany, Georgia, make a series of deliveries en route to these dedicated short hauls.

There is also an indigenous short haul traffic - coach, generally, for the locals - parlors for vacationers transferring from one vacation spot to another or out to take in the scenery, as well as plenty of head end. Florida is one of the few places where one may find parlor observation cars in any numbers. Many of the alleged connecting sleeper routes are actually individual cars tucked on the back of a coach and RPO/express combo bound for such remote points as Boca Grande or Clewiston, on Lake Okeechobee.

Finally there is Cuba. Not every train is advertised as making Cuban connections (the "Havana Special" is the only train that runs all the way down to Key West as Flagler had envisioned). But most of them will get you to the embarkation points at Miami Beach or Tampa Bay. Prior to Castro's revolution in 1959, scheduled service by both steamship and air operated daily from Miami and Tampa.

All things considered, Florida is an interesting and complex operating environment that is far removed from - but echoes - the big time railroading that brought vacationers here.

See map

General Timetable

 Jacksonville times  

Jacksonville

Wildwood

 St Pete

Tampa

Miami
via Sebring

Miami

 Notes
 train

 #

ACL - SAL

SAL

ACL - SAL

ACL

SAL

FEC

 
 Havana Special 76  < 6.30      10.45       mid Fla sect
 NY-Fla Limited 2  < 6.40  3.00  9.00         1st NY-F Ltd
 Havana Special 76  < 6.55    9.15         Gulf coast sect
 Miamian 71  > 7.10          2.25   
 Royal Poinciana 36  < 7.15          9.30   
 NY-Fla Limited 192  < 7.35  4.40      9.00     2nd NY-F Ltd
 Havana Special 76  < 7.50          10.50   lv Key West 5.40
 Gulf Stream 33  > 8.30          5.00   
 So States Special 107  > 8.45  11.40  3.50         1st So States Sp
 So States Special 807    > 11.47      6.20     2nd So States Sp
 Orange Blossom Sp 7    > 12.51      6.50     1st OBS
 Orange Blossom Sp 307    > 12.51  5.00         2nd OBS
 Tampa Special 91  > 10.00      4.00       
 Gulf Coast Limited 73  > 10.05    4.45         via Ocala
 Florida Special 87  > 10.35          5.50   
 Gulf Coast Limited 74  < 11.05    5.50         
 Tampa Special 92  < 5.55      11.55       
 Orange Blossom Sp 8    < 4.25      10.20     1st OBS
 Orange Blossom Sp 308    < 4.25  12.10         2nd OBS
 Miamian 72  < 6.20          11.05   
 So States Special 108  < 7.00  3.50  11.45         1st So States Sp
 Florida Special 808    < 3.25      9.00     2nd So States Sp
 Gulf Stream 34  < 8.00          11.30   
 Florida Special 88  < 9.20          2.05   
 Havana Special 75  > 9.30          7.00   ar Key West 11.50
 NY-F Limited 191  < 9.30  12.20      7.15     2nd NY-F Ltd
 NY-F Limited 1  > 10.00  1.45  8.00         1st NY-F Ltd
 Havana Special 75  > 10.35      6.10       mid Fla sect
 Havana Special 75  > 10.40    7.25         Gulf coast sect
 Royal Poinciana 35  > 11.00          8.50   


Refer to The Glossary for a summary of how to interpret the train listings below.


Atlantic Coast Line

In an interesting matter of style, many of the ACL connecting locals are, themselves, Name Trains.

Effective 2/35

The "Southland"

ACL (trains #32 / #33)(Chicago) Albany via Perry Cutoff to Sarasota, part-A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner- section obs
#33 (s) lv Albany 3.10 am - Trilby 9.43 am - Tampa 11.10 am- arr Sarasota 12.55 pm.
#32 (n) lv Sarasota 4.15 pm - Tampa 6.00 pm - Trilby 7.00 pm - arr Albany 2.15 am.
Notes: this is a pickup connecting train which receives cars from the northwest destined for Bradenton / Sarasota via the Perry Cutoff. The individual trains do not operate as distinct sections, but are simply individual cars. Other cars of these trains also travel via Jacksonville and make connections for mid Florida. This is presently the only through train operating via the Perry Cutoff. The diner is cut off at Tampa for servicing.
 
ACL (trains #32 / #33)(Chicago via Perry Cutoff) Trilby to St Petersburg, part-A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach
#33 (s) lv Trilby 10.00 am - arr St Petersburg 12.10 pm.
#32 (n) lv St Petersburg 4.45 pm - arr Trilby 6.45 pm.
Notes: this is a connecting local that splits off the #32 / #33 (above) at Trilby for the short jog around Tampa Bay to St Petersburg. This train specifically makes a stop at the Belleview Hilton resort hotel at Bellaire, just north of St. Petersburg.

See map - General Timetable

General notes:

The other part of these trains continue from Albany, Ga to Jacksonville where they are included in the "Gulf Coast Limited" with routings via both Ocala and Orlando. See below.


The "Havana Special"

ACL (trains #75 / #76) Jacksonville via Ocala to St Petersburg, A/C, service varies.
sleeper- coach
tr #75 (s) lv Jacksonville 10.40 pm - arr St Petersburg 7.25 am.
tr #76 (n) lv St Petersburg 9.15 pm - arr Jacksonville 6.55 am.
Notes: this is the primary routing of the west coast section of the "Special" which makes a direct run via the western right of way through Ocala. Coach service is local between Jacksonville and St Petersburg. The connecting cars listed here run on various dates so that the consist is constantly changing:

See map - General Timetable

ACL (trains #75 / #76) Jacksonville via Orlando to Tampa, A/C, service varies.
sleeper- coach
tr #75 (s) lv Jacksonville 10.35 pm - Haines City 4.03 am - Lake Alfred 4.25 am - arr Tampa 6.10 am.
tr #76 (n) lv Tampa 10.45 pm -Lake Alfred 12.25 am - Haines City 12.45 am - arr Jacksonville 6.30 am.
Notes: this is the local service section of the "Special" et al, via Orlando to Tampa. At Haines City, connections are made to Clewiston; at Lake Alfred to Fort Myers; and at Tampa to Sarasota (see below). Coach service is local between Jacksonville and Orlando. As with the Ocala section, this train has a rotating consist:
 
ACL Haines City to Clewiston, daily (all year).
sleeper- coach
#175 (s) lv Haines City 6.15 am Lake Wales 6.47 am - arr Clewiston 9.50 am.
#176 (n) lv Clewiston 6.00 pm - Lake Wales 9.29 pm - arr Haines City 12.45 am.
Notes: this is a connecting local which splits off the #75 / #76 at Haines City forwarding traffic to Clewiston. Presently, this is the only scheduled service to this town at the lower end of Lake Okeechobee.

See map - General Timetable

ACL Lake Alfred / Tampa to Ft Myers, daily (all year).
sleeper- coach
#75-275 (s) lv Lake Alfred 4.50 am - Bartow 5.30 am - arr Ft. Myers 8.25 am.
#96-275 (s) lv Tampa 3.00 am - arr Bartow 5.31 am
#276-76 (n) lv Ft Myers 6.40 pm - Bartow 10.00 pm - arr Lake Alfred 10.50 pm.
#276-97 (n) lv Bartow 9.23 pm - arr Tampa 11.40 pm.
Notes: this movement actually involves two locals: one heading east from Tampa via Lakeland, the other coming west from Jacksonville via lake Alfred. They meet at Bartow (where the two branch lines connect) and proceed south to Ft Myers. Service to Naples will be provided except Sunday by a local sleeper from Jacksonville via the "Havana Special" westward section and connecting train #75-275 when carrying through passengers.
 
ACL Tampa to Sarasota, daily (all year).
sleeper- coach
#375 (s) lv Tampa 7.00 am - arr Sarasota 8.40 am.
#376 (n) lv Sarasota 8.15 pm - arr Tampa 9.55 pm.
Notes: this is a local that meets #75 / #76 at Tampa and proceeds southwest past the lower end of Tampa Bay.

See map - General Timetable


The "Gulf Coast Limited"

ACL (trains #73 / #74) Jacksonville via Ocala to St. Petersburg, daily.
sleeper- coach- diner- lounge car
tr #73 (s) lv Jacksonville 10.05 am - arr St Petersburg 4.45 pm.
tr #74 (n) lv St. Petersburg 11.05 am - arr Jacksonville 5.50 pm.
Notes: The "Florida Mail" is, in fact, primarily a mail train with no passengers below Jacksonville, so this consist is top heavy with head end. All trains are daily.
 
ACL (trains #91 / #92) Jacksonville via Orlando to Tampa, daily (all year).
sleeper- parlor- coach- diner- parlor obs
tr #91 (s) lv Jacksonville 10.00 am - Haines City 2.25 pm - Lakeland 3.05 pm - arr Tampa 4.00 pm.
tr #92 (n) lv Tampa 11.55 am -Lakeland 12.50 pm - Haines City 1.25 pm - arr Jacksonville 5.55 pm.
Notes: this is the combined secondary to Tampa and south Florida. Again, the "Florida Mail" only provides head end equipment. This train acts as the core for series of locals that split off en-route. It has an odd rotating consist which varies due to the irregular assignment of the parlors and sleepers on various connections. Parlor obs and coach Jacksonville to Tampa.

See map - General Timetable

ACL (trains #191 / #192) Lake Wales to Sebring, daily (seasonal).
sleeper- parlor- coach
tr #191 (s) lv Lake Wales 3.20 pm - arr Sebring 4.15 pm.
tr #192 (n) lv Sebring 11.35 am - arr Lake Wales 12.25 pm.
Notes: this local connects to tr #91 / #92 (above) at Lake Wales and forwards to Sebring. The local service parlor is Jacksonville to Sebring and runs Su, W, F southbound, M, Th, Sa northbound. The sleeper is bound for Sebring. It runs M, T, Th, Sa southbound and Su, T, W, F northbound.
 
ACL (trains #291 / #292) Haines City to Ft Myers, daily (seasonal).
sleeper- coach
tr #291 (s) lv Haines City 2.25 pm - arr Ft Myers 6.25 pm.
tr #292 (n) lv Ft Myers 9.35 am - arr Haines City 1.25 pm.
Notes:
 
ACL (trains #391 / #392) Tampa to Sarasota, daily (seasonal).
sleeper- coach
tr #391 (s) lv Tampa 4.00 pm - arr Sarasota 5.50 pm.
tr #392 (n) lv Sarasota 10.05 am - arr Tampa 11.55 am.
Notes:

See map - General Timetable

General notes:

 


Seaboard Air Line

Seaboard may lack the numbers of their arch competitor, but they have a well balanced service of three primary long hauls which split at Jacksonville and/or Wildwood and feed a network of connecting locals.

The lordly "Orange Blossom Special" bypasses Jacksonville (to avoid the delay of the complex backup move into the terminal) and splits up at Wildwood, where the new Coleman Cutoff heads across to Miami. The two secondary trains make the Jacksonville stop and are saddled with the connecting cars from various Chicago bound carriers.

Effective 2/35

The "Orange Blossom Special"

SAL (trains #7 / #8) Wildwood to Miami, A/C, daily (seasonal).
rm sleeper- sleeper- diner- bag club- section obs
tr #7 (s) lv Wildwood 12.51 pm - arr Miami 6.50 pm
tr #8 (n) lv Miami 10.20 am - arr Wildwood 4.25 pm.
Notes:
 
SAL (trains #307 / #308) Wildwood to St Petersburg, A/C, daily (seasonal).
rm sleeper- sleeper- diner- bag club
tr #307 (s) lv Wildwood 12.51 pm - arr St Petersburg 5.00 pm
tr #308 (n) lv St Petersburg 12.10 pm - arr Wildwood 4.25 pm.
Notes: this is the second section of the OBS which meets the Miami bound first section and proceeds north of Wildwood on that train's timetable.

See map - General Timetable

SAL (trains # / # ) Tampa via Plant City to Venice, part-A/C, 3x weekly (seasonal).
sleeper- local coach
tr # (s) lv Tampa 3.30 pm - arr Venice 6.00 pm W-F-Su.
tr # (n) lv Venice 10.40 am - arr Tampa 1.40 pm Th-Sa-M.
Notes: sleeper is a 10-2-1 from New York. Local coach is not A/C.


The "Southern States Special"

SAL (trains #107 / #108 ) Jacksonville to St Petersburg, A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner- sect obs
tr #107 (s) lv Jacksonville 8.45 am - Wildwood 11.40 am - arr St Petersburg 3.50 pm.
tr #108 (n) lv St Petersburg 11.45 am - Wildwood 3.50 pm- arr Jacksonville 7.00 pm.
Notes: only the St. Petersburg sections of the connecting trains are carried. Miami sections are forwarded via FEC.
 
SAL (trains #807 / #808) Jacksonville to Miami, A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner- sect obs
tr #807 (s) lv Wildwood 11.47 am - arr Miami 6.20 pm.
tr #808 (n) lv Miami 9.00 am - arr Wildwood 3.25 pm.
Notes:

See map - General Timetable


The "New York-Florida Limited"

SAL (trains # 191/ # 192) Jacksonville to Miami, A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner
tr #191 (s) lv Jacksonville 9.30 pm - Wildwood 12.20 am - arr Miami 7.15 am.
tr #192 (n) lv Miami 9.00 pm - Wildwood 4.40 am- arr Jacksonville 7.35 am.
Notes: The Miami section of the "Ponce de Leon" is forwarded via FEC. Only this Miami section is handled by SAL.
 
SAL (trains #1/ #2) Jacksonville to St Petersburg, A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach
tr #1 (s) lv Jacksonville 10.00 pm - Wildwood 1.45 am - arr St Petersburg 8.00 am.
tr #2 (n) lv St Petersburg 9.00 pm - Wildwood 3.00 am - arr Jacksonville 6.40 am.
Notes: local coach is Jacksonville to St Petersburg, not A/C.

See map - General Timetable

SAL Tampa to Boca Grande / Useppa Island, part-A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner
tr #409 (s) lv Tampa 6.15 am - arr Useppa Island 10.45 am.
tr #410 (n) lv Useppa Island 4.45 pm - arr Tampa 9.25 pm.
Notes: local coach is Tampa to Boca Grande. Coach and diner are not A/C.
 
SAL Tampa to Venice, part-A/C, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner
tr #509 (s) lv Tampa 7.10 am - arr Venice 9.10 am.
tr #510 (n) lv Venice 7.35 pm - arr Tampa 10.30 pm.
Notes: local coach is Tampa to Venice. Diner A/C, coach not A/C.

General notes:

Trains #1 / #2 and #191 / #192 operate independently from the north as first and second "Limited". The #1 arrives at Jacksonville about two hours ahead of #191, but delays to receive connecting cars and departs a half hour after, thus changing places below Jacksonville. The reverse happens northbound.


Cross-Florida connecting services

SAL (trains #192-428-27-1 / #2-28-427-191) West to Miami, part- P/C, daily.
sleeper- coach- no food
#2-28-427-191 (w) lv Miami 9.00 pm - Tampa 4.25 am - arr St Petersburg 8.00 am
#192-428-27-1 (e) lv St Petersburg 9.00 pm - Tampa 11.15 pm - arr Miami 7.25 am.
Notes: this connecting train both arrives and departs Miami with the "New York-Florida Limited" hot on its heels. Interestingly, above Fort Lauderdale this train actually outruns the "Limited", reaching Lake Wales 15 minutes faster on its timecard. The local leaves St. Petersburg with coaches and a connecting 12-1, picks up another 12-1 at Tampa, then meets the through train at Lake Wales. Sleepers are pre-cooled at Tampa and Miami before departures.

General notes:

SAL all-year local service connecting trains operate on slightly different times during the off season.

See map - General Timetable


Florida East Coast

Unlike the other two Florida roads, the FEC is a simple, straight shot from Jacksonville to Miami. As such, aside from a few obscure mixed trains (see the FEC Topic), there are no local feeder runs.

Effective 2/35

FEC (trains #87 / #88) Jacksonville to Miami, daily.
rm sleeper- sleeper- diner- recreation car- rm obs
tr #87 (s) lv Jacksonville 10.35 am - arr Miami 5.50 pm.
tr #88 (n) lv Miami 2.05 pm - arr Jacksonville 9.20 pm
Notes:
 
FEC (trains #33 / #34) Jacksonville to Miami, daily.
sleeper- local parlor- local coach- diner
tr #33 (s) lv Jacksonville 8.30 am - arr Miami 5.00 pm.
tr #34 (n) lv Miami 11.30 am - arr Jacksonville 8.00 pm
Notes: "KCF Special" provides a 10-1-2 sleeper from Kansas City. "Skyland Special" is only coach and head end below Jacksonville.

See map - General Timetable

FEC (trains #75 / #76) Jacksonville via Miami to Key West, daily.
sleeper- local coach- diner- recreation car- sect obs
tr #75 (s) lv Jacksonville 9.30 pm - Miami 7.00 am - arr Key West 11.50 am.
tr #76 (n) lv Key West 5.40 pm - Miami 10.50 pm - arr Jacksonville 7.50 am
Notes: mid train full recreation car terminates at Miami Tu-F-Sa: through to Key West on other days.
 
FEC (trains #71 / #72) Jacksonville to Miami, daily.
rm sleeper- sleeper- coach- diner- sunroom obs
tr #71 (s) lv Jacksonville 7.10 am - arr Miami 2.25 pm.
tr #72 (n) lv Miami 11.05 am - arr Jacksonville 6.20 pm
Notes: features a new 3-1-sunroom obs.

See map - General Timetable

FEC (trains #35 / #36) Jacksonville to Miami, daily.
sleeper- local sleeper- local coach- diner-
tr #35 (s) lv Jacksonville 11.00 pm - arr Miami 8.50 am.
tr #36 (n) lv Miami 9.30 pm - arr Jacksonville 7.15 am.
Notes: local sleeper is a 12-1 from Jacksonville to Miami. Diner southbound below West Palm Beach to serve breakfast.

General notes:

All Florida trains on FEC operate via the Moultrie Cutoff (main line bypassing the Palatka loop). In addition to Florida trains listed here, there is a domestic all-stops local Jacksonville via Palatka to Miami.

For references to through trains above Jacksonville, refer to the long haul Topics in Parts 1 and 2. For further information on ACL, SAL or FEC local operations in Florida, refer to their respective Topics through the links below.

See map - General Timetable


Refer to Topic Index


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North East Rails  Clint Chamberlin.
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