Author Topic: Florida Railroad  (Read 5641 times)

Robert Mann

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Florida Railroad
« on: March 21, 2018, 11:35:20 AM »
 Hello, New here, but stumbled across the site online.

I'm the author of Rails 'Neath the Palms, 1984, Darwin, and Streetcars of Florida's First Coast, 2014, History Press.

In doing the study for 'Palms' I came across the Florida Railroad which once operated from Live Oak to Mayo and Perry Florida, with unattained designs on both Tallahassee and Jacksonville. When phosphate was discovered around Lauraville, toward the final years of operation, a 2' foot gauge branchline was built from Wilmarth, northward to the mines. The grade is still much visible where it crossed low ground.
The State Archives has 1/2 of a drawing for a 2' gauge steel boxcar, and once upon a time I saw a photo of a tiny 2-cylinder Shay working around the mine. The whole operation was gone by 1923.

Just wondering if y'all have cataloged this line? What became of that locomotive? (Some of their equipment has been found in the Suwannee River).
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 11:40:21 AM by Robert Mann »

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Florida Railroad
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 08:04:01 PM »
Hello --

I looked at the Shay list at and could not find a two-foot gauge Shay anywhere in Florida. Perhaps you want to take a look and see what you can come up with. There weren't that many two-foot gauge Shays built.

Cheers -- Wayne