Seaboard Coast Line Railroad
|Seaboard Coast Line Railroad|
|Locale||Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia|
|Years of operation||1967 – 1982|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8½ in (1435 mm)|
|Headquarters||Jacksonville, FL, and Richmond, VA|
The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (AAR reporting mark SCL) was created July 1 1967 as a result of the merger of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL). In 1982, The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad became Seaboard System Railroad as a result of a merger with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N). For some years prior to this, the SCL and L&N had been under the common ownership of a holding company, Seaboard Coast Line Industries (SCI), the company's railroad subsidiaries being collectively known as the Family Lines System which comprised of the L&N, SCL, Clinchfield and West Point Routes. After the 1980 merger of SCI with the Chessie System, the resulting CSX Corporation combined the Family Lines System units as the Seaboard System Railroad and later became CSX when the former Chessie units were merged into it in 1986.
Table of contents
Innovative SCL trains
Juice Train: a historic model of unit train competition
Juice Train is the popular name for famous unit trains of Tropicana fresh orange juice operated by railroads in the United States. In 1970, beginning on Seaboard Coast Line railroad, a mile-long Tropicana Juice Train train began carrying one million gallons of juice with one weekly round-trip from Bradenton, Florida to Kearny, New Jersey, in the New York City area.
Today operated by SCL successor CSX Transportation, CSX Juice Trains have been the focus of efficiency studies and awards as examples of how modern rail transportation can compete successfully against trucking and other modes to carry perishable products.
The original Auto-Train operated on Seaboard Coast Line and Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac (RF&P) tracks. It was operated by Auto-Train Corporation, a privately-owned railroad which used its own rolling stock to provide a unique rail transportation service for both passengers and their automobiles in the United States, operating scheduled service between Lorton, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) and Sanford, Florida, near Orlando.
The founder of Auto-Train Corporation was Eugene K. Garfield. His approach allowed families to relax en route and save the expense and unfamiliarity of a rental car on arrival. Passengers rode in either wide coach seats or private first-class sleeping compartments while their vehicles were safely carried in enclosed autoracks. The train included dining cars and meals were served.
The equipment of the Auto-Train Corporation was painted in red, white, and purple colors. The typical train was equipped with two or three General Electric U36B diesel-electric locomotives, 76' double-deck auto carriers, streamlined passenger cars, including coaches, dining cars, sleeper cars, and 85' full-dome cars, and a caboose, then an unusual sight on most passenger trains.
Auto-Train Corporation's first auto carriers were acquired used, and started life in the 1950s as a new innovation for Canadian National Railroad. The CN bi-level autorack cars had end-doors. They were huge by the standards of the time; each 75-footer could carry 8 vehicles. The cars were a big success and helped lead to the development of today's enclosed autoracks. The former CN autoracks were augmented by new tri-level versions in 1976.
Auto-Train Corporation's new service began operations on December 6, 1971 The service was a big hit with travelers. Before long, the ambitious entrepreneurs of Auto-Train were looking to expand into other markets. However, only the Lorton-Sanford service proved successful.
High crew costs, several spectacular accidents with the 58- to 64-car trains, and an unprofitable expansion to Louisville, Kentucky put Garfield's company into bankruptcy. Auto-Train Corporation was forced to end its services in late April, 1981.
Operating for almost 10 years, Auto-Train had developed a popular following, particularly among older travelers as it ferried passengers and their cars between Virginia and Florida.
However, no one else offered a service quite like that of Auto-Train: transport a car and its passengers together (on the same movement, at the same time) to and from vacation areas. In 1983, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, better known as Amtrak, a federally-chartered corporation which operates most intercity passenger trains in the United States acquired Auto-Train Corporation terminals in Lorton and Sanford and some of the rolling stock, including the autoracks. Amtrak began its slightly-renamed Auto Train route service between Virginia and Florida on a 3 day per week basis after a 22 month gap, expanding it to daily trips the following year.
Today, Amtrak's Auto Train carries about 200,000 passengers and generates around $50 million in revenue annually. Operating on leased CSX Transportation tracks for the entire distance, it is considered Amtrak's best-paying train in terms of income in comparison with operating expenses.
- Rail terminology
- Juice Train
- Auto Train
- List of Seaboard Coast Line Railroad milepost prefixes
- the official Amtrak website
- Trainweb site with thousands photos and links to other rail-related sites
- a Yahoo group for Juice Train Enthusiasts
- a Yahoo group for Auto-Train Enthusiasts
|Current (operating) Class I railroads of North America|
|Former or fallen flag Class I railroads of North America|
ACL, AGS, ATSF, BAR, BLE, BM, BN, BO, CBQ, CG, CGW, CNTP, CNW, CO, CR, CRIP, CV, DH, DMIR, DRGW, EJE, ERIE, FEC, GMN, GMO, GN, GTW, IC, ICG, LA, LAT, LN, MEC, MILW, MKT, MP, NH, NKP, NNE, NOTM, NP, NW, NYC, PC, PLE, PM, PRR, SAL, SBD, SCL, SLSF, SOO, SOU, SP, SSW, STLH, TNO, TP, VGN, WAB, WM, WP, YMV