Atlantic Coast Line - Seaboard Air Line - Seaboard Coast Line
Atlantic Coast Line & Seaboard Air Line
Railroads Historical Society, Inc.
Post Office Box 490563, Leeburg, FL    34749-0563

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+ Our 2016 Calendar

Our new 2016 calendar is ready to ship and hang on your wall!!!    Order now and we'll get your copy, or copies, on the way at once.    Our price is STILL just $12.95 plus our reasonable shipping charge. The photo lineup this year is another great one:

       Our 2016 Calendar

FRONT COVER Photo: The Seaboard Air Line was distinctive in many ways, not least its practice of maintaining different paint schemes for its passenger, freight, and switching locomotives into the late 1960s. This was a time when many other major railroads – rival Atlantic Coast Line among them – had long since adopted a single (and typically not very colorful) shade for their entire rosters. Two examples of Seaboard’s brighter approach, E8 3053 and recently delivered GP30 500, sun themselves in the early 1960s at Hermitage Yard in Richmond, Virginia. —Jim McClellan photo
REAR COVER Photo: Atlantic Coast Line caboose 0381 provides a classic ending to a northbound freight near Dunn, North Carolina, on ACL’s mainline. The 1965 scene was a familiar one for many decades, but by this date Coast Line’s new orange steel cabooses were already being turned out by the Waycross shops and would soon replace their bright red wood predecessors. No. 0381 was one of several hundred similar cars that were built in the 1920s; this example shows the plywood sides that had replaced the original wood sheathing on most of them by the early 1960s. —Warren Calloway photo
JANUARY Seaboard No. 3, the southbound daytime passenger, mail, and express run through Virginia and the Carolinas, was a familiar sight for many decades. In this January 1965 scene, Train 3 is awaiting its 4:15PM departure time at Raleigh, North Carolina. Snow fell a couple of days prior, but temperatures plummeted to single digits during the overnights and daytime highs remained below freezing, so melting has been slow despite almost two days of clear skies and sunshine. Snow and ice clinging to the truck frames of both locomotives attest to the frigid conditions. Leading the train today is E7A 3019, equipped with a Hancock air whistle, extended front hand rails, and a twin sealed-beam headlight in the nose door. No. 3019 was one of four Seaboard E7As delivered with only a single headlight, with the nose door modifications being made years later. —Wharton Separk photo
FEBRUARY Seaboard System FP7A 118 and an accompanying B unit halt at Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on a cold February 1985 morning to have the lead unit’s frosted windshield wipers repaired by a team of carmen at the passenger station and Rocky Mount Division headquarters. Even this four-car southbound executive inspection train is not immune from the ravages of a crippling Mid-Atlantic ice storm. No. 118, formerly Clinchfield 200, powered special movements like this one for SBD and into the early years of CSX, when it could even be found on CSX’s short-lived RoadRailer between Detroit and Atlanta. —Doug Riddell photo
MARCH Auto-Train U36B 4000, nicknamed “Big Red,” hustles a second unit and its train of automobile carriers and passenger cars southbound through DeLand, Florida, late in the morning of March 3, 1974. The private corporation would soon mark its third anniversary of carrying long trainloads of passengers and their cars between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida, but a series of misfortunes would end Auto-Train seven years later. Today the former Atlantic Coast Line station sees Amtrak’s version of the train every day along with other Amtrak runs, and is slated to become a SunRail commuter train stop in 2017. —David Hill photo
APRIL Assigned to the Chadbourn-Whiteville (North Carolina) local, Seaboard Coast Line BQ23-7 5135 rests over the weekend by the former ACL depot. The distinctive General Electric “Crew Quarters” locomotive was designed to house the entire crew on local freights and eliminate the caboose, but on this day, the local caboose was parked about 30 feet away. Although GE catalogued several versions of this type of locomotive, the company sold only 10 examples of the BQ23-7, all to SCL. No. 5135 was a year and a half old in this scene at Chadbourn on April 6, 1980. —Warren Calloway photo
MAY An unusual motive power pair of two matched SCL GP35s, 1402 (ex-ACL) and 1408 (ex-Seaboard), clatters across the diamonds at Callahan, Florida, on March 19, 1974. The train is headed from Baldwin, Florida, up the ex-Seaboard Gross Cut-off to Savannah, Georgia, and is crossing the ex-ACL mainline from Waycross and Savannah to Jacksonville. In the winter Seaboard’s Silver Star used the cut-off to bypass Jacksonville. This scene cannot be repeated today; the cut-off north of the junction is gone. The former ACL (originally Plant System) depot at right has been preserved and moved near downtown, but ironically now sits squarely on the abandoned SAL right-of-way this train is about to traverse. —David Hill photo
JUNE Seaboard Coast Line U36B 1765 and GP7 988 are switching in the former Piedmont & Northern yard at Spartanburg, South Carolina, in March 1971. The units appear to have a local in hand judging by the caboose behind the power and a crew member in the cab of the trailing unit. The head brakeman is riding the front end ready to line switches. The P&N became part of the SCL in 1969. —Warren Calloway photo
JULY This $7 million bridge and connection between the former Louisville & Nashville Cumberland Valley Division main to Norton, Virginia, and the former Southern main at Big Stone Gap, Virginia, was opened for traffic on February 5, 1986. The connection was part of a trackage rights swap involving both Seaboard System and NS that also allowed the eventual sale and/or abandonment of nearly 12 miles of trackage through Appalachia to Norton – and direct access from ex-L&N coal branches in the area to SBD’s former Clinchfield route. On July 18, 1986, an eastbound 90-car unit coal train climbs upgrade over the bridge behind three big SD50s. Two SD40-2s are shoving behind the caboose. —Ron Flanary photo
AUGUST Charlie Spivak was a trumpeter and conductor from the big band era of the 1930s and 40s, and one of his most ardent fans was Clinchfield general manager Tom Moore. During Moore’s tenure the Clinchfield ran several “Charlie Spivak Specials” from Erwin, Tennessee, to Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the guests would stay overnight to hear Spivak and his band. In September 1974, the famed duo of F7A 800 and FP7A 200 are stopped briefly on the “Loops” at Rocky, North Carolina, for photos on a southbound Spivak special. —Ron Flanary photo
SEPTEMBER Geepers creepers … where’d you get all those Geeps! Seaboard Air Line First 88, operating as Extra 1966 North and led by freshly painted GP9 1966, GP7 1793, and three more GP7s, is crossing the Norfolk Southern Railway diamond at Raleigh Tower and entering the western edge of the North Carolina capital’s downtown. Brake shoe smoke has begun to enshroud the heavy train as it slows to a crawl to negotiate several tight curves and a 10 m.p.h. crossover prior to arriving at Raleigh Yard. It’s September 1966, and a locomotive consist like this was quite rare to find in through freight service. Second generation motive power was typically assigned the task by this date, but when power was in short supply, the creative ability of the Diesel Shop Foreman at Hamlet Yard frequently found a solution. —Wharton Separk photo
OCTOBER During World War II, Seaboard was one of a number of major railroads that took delivery of EMD’s pioneering FT freight diesels. SAL acquired 22 A-B sets—at first semi-permanently coupled, as are Nos. 4004-4104 shown here—between 1942 and 1944. They came in a Pullman green scheme with yellow and orange accents, colors that remained standard for the road’s freight power for over 20 years. This is a black & white photo that has been colorized, but it nicely renders how the units looked in their early years. —Wiley M. Bryan photo, colorized by Tom Alderman, courtesy of Warren Calloway
NOVEMBER Framed by signal bridges and the Myrtle Avenue overpass, Amtrak’s northbound Silver Meteor passes MA Tower as its leaves Jacksonville Terminal at 4:45PM on November 4, 1973. The train is moving west by the compass but will soon turn north on the former Seaboard Air Line route via Thalmann, Georgia, the only stop on the swampy and lightly populated line between Jacksonville and Savannah. Two months later, Amtrak would depart Jacksonville Terminal for the last time, leaving it to languish over a decade before being reborn – minus its trackage and platforms – as the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Leading the power consist is Amtrak 237, formerly SCL 579 and still in SCL colors, while the third unit is SCL E7 5558 (ex-SCL 558), under lease to the passenger carrier. Although it now travels a mostly ex-ACL route, the Meteor has remained Amtrak’s premier New York-Miami train for more than four decades. —David Hill photo
DECEMBER Seaboard Coast Line GP38-2 521 is putting its full 2,000 h.p. to work with 48 assorted cars in tow as it moves north just out of Anthony, Florida, on the bright afternoon of December 12, 1973. The local is following old U.S. 301 at this small town north of Ocala on the ex-Seaboard mainline. No. 521 was part of a group of 25 delivered in the spring of 1973 to replace older four-axle power like GP7s. —David Hill photo
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