Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Railroad Depots in the South...

Going through my files, looking for railroad depots we've photographed in the last year or so, I came across several options to post. For this posting, I chose three depots in relatively close geographical proximity with each other...

This is the former Florida Railroad Company, later Seaboard Air Line rail Depot in Fernandia Beach Florida. (Just north of Jacksonville) Built in 1899, this very handsome depot was the east coast anchor to the first east-west rail line across Florida. The other end was at Cedar Key.

I wasn't able to find the date that this big handsome former Atlantic Coast Line railroad depot was built in Waycross Georgia. Now called 'The new Union Station', this facility was renovated in the 1990's and it's now the home for the Chamber of Commerce and the Waycross Developmental Authority.

Now owned by CSX, the Waycross Depot is also the hub for the RICE of the railroad's largest switching facilities. In addition, a major locomotive repair shop is based in Waycross. For those wondering where CSX evolved from, it was an ongoing process for many years involving many different railroad companies. The CSX name came to life with the merger of the Chessie System and the Seaboard Coast Line.

The last stop on this posting is in Folkston Georgia. This photo was pulled from the Folkston website. This is the train viewing platform in Folkston. Built in 2001, the platform hosts train fans/fanatics from around the country and beyond. It's equipped with seating, lights for evening viewing, ceiling fans and a scanner to monitor train communications. There are also bathroom facilities, picnic tables and a grill. Roughly 60 trains per day 'funnel' past this location, hence the name, "The Folkston Funnel".

Of the 60+ trains per day that pass through Folkston to and from Florida, 8 of them are from Amtrak...and one of those is the famous east coast 'car train'. Also, every evening during the workweek, a Tropicana 'Juice Train' heads north to New Jersey.
This is the restored Folkston Railroad Depot, located just across the tracks from the viewing platform. This building is home to the Chamber of Commerce and a railroad museum. (Monday - Friday - Free) Every October, as part of the annual Folkston Okefenokee Festival, the Orlando Society of Model Railroaders sets up an elaborate model train layout in the museum.

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