Do the Locomotion

Railroads opened Florida to new industry, expanded the tourist economy, and allowed for rapid residential and commercial development.

Tallahassee Rail Road Company banknote (Collection M77-155)

Tallahassee Rail Road Company banknote (Collection M77-155)

The first rail construction project authorized in Florida was the Tallahassee-St. Marks line, chartered in 1834. The first train to operate, however, was the Lake Wimico line that connected the boomtown of St. Joseph to the Apalachicola River in 1836. The Tallahassee-St. Marks train, which was initially mule-drawn, connected the highly productive cotton fields of Leon and Jefferson counties with the St. Marks River. These early efforts only hinted at the profound impact that railroads, passenger lines, and freight trains would have on Florida’s history.

First complete train from Bartow to Punta Gorda, late 1800s

First complete train from Bartow to Punta Gorda, late 1800s



 

Bond No. 1, Pensacola & Georgia Railroad Company, 1857 (Series 660)

Bond No. 1, Pensacola & Georgia Railroad Company, 1857 (Series 660)

 

Florida East Coast Railway steam engine #30, Fort Pierce, early 1900s

Florida East Coast Railway steam engine #30, Fort Pierce, early 1900s

 

Florida Central and Peninsular Rail Road schedule (cover), 1898 (Collection M77-155)

Florida Central and Peninsular Rail Road schedule (cover), 1898 (Collection M77-155)

 

Florida Central and Peninsular Rail Road schedule (inside pages), 1898 (Collection M77-155)

Florida Central and Peninsular Rail Road schedule (inside pages), 1898 (Collection M77-155)

 

Bagdad Land & Lumber Company logging engine #3, Svea, Florida, early 1900s

Bagdad Land & Lumber Company logging engine #3, Svea, Florida, early 1900s

 

Visit Florida Memory to learn more about railroads in Florida history.

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