Georgia Southern & Florida Railroad
The GS&F was chartered in 1885 to build a railroad from Macon, Ga. to Palatka, Fla., over a distance of 285 miles. The line was opened between Macon and Valdosta in February 1889 and completed to Palatka in March of the following year.
The railroad quickly encountered financial trouble, entering receivership in 1891; President W.B. Sparks of Macon was appointed receiver. In 1895 it was reorganized as the Georgia Southern and Florida Railway under the control of the Southern Railway.
In the 1894 edition of The Official Railway List, the GS&F reported operating 382 miles with 34 locomotives, 25 passenger cars, and 1,445 freight and miscellaneous cars.
The line’s nickname was the Suwanee River Route. It crossed the stream, made famous by a song composed by Stephen Foster in the 1850s, at White Springs, Florida.
In 1902 the GS&F bought the property of the Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Railway between Valdosta and Jacksonville. It also owned the Macon and Birmingham Railroad and the Hawkinsville and Florida Southern Railway.
In 1917 the railroad reported owning 392 miles of line consisting of 285 miles from Macon to Palatka and 107 miles from Valdosta to Grand Crossing, near Jacksonville. Equipment reported included 50 locomotives, 59 passenger cars, 1488 box cars, 29 stock cars, 810 flat cars, 35 coal cars, 7 refrigerator cars, 23 cabooses, and 68 service cars.
Today the GS&F remains officially in existence as a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern. It no longer extends to Palatka, ending at Lake City instead. The NS main line is now the former Atlantic, Valdosta and Western to Jacksonville.
1895 timetable (383K)
1895 map (340K)
1910 map Macon to Valdosta (172K)
1910 map Valdosta to Jacksonville (68K)
1918 timetable (290K)
1918 map (335K)
1918 list of officers (108K)
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