Langmar to Hainesworth

The Jacksonville and Southwestern Railroad

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Built at the end of the 19th century in 1899, this line was part of the original Jacksonville and Southwestern Railroad mainline between Jacksonville and Newberry to the southwest. The main intent of the line was to tap into the phosphate-rich regions around Newberry and transport the raw materials to a mill in Jacksonville. The J&SW was purchased by the Atlantic Coast Line railroad on July 28, 1904 and subsequently merged into the ACL system. The portion of the line between Langmar and Hainesworth was abandoned in 1968 while under the ownership of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad.

Towns along the line, west and south from Langmar: Baldwin, Mattox, Sapp, Ralford, Lake Butler and into Hainesworth, just outside of Alachua. At Langmar, the abandonment ends at a connection with the CSX Callahan Sub; from there, the line is active and continues eastward to Jacksonville. At the other end of the abandonment, in Hainesworth, the CSX Brooker Sub (ex-SCL, ex-ACL) joins with the abandoned right-of-way and continues southward to Newberry.

Portions of the abandoned right-of-way are still visible along FL Route 121 for about 10 miles southeast of Baldwin. The portion of the line between Langmar and Baldwin is paved rail-trail.

Thanks to Jonathan W. Filion for contributing information about this route.

Does anyone have the track diagram for Burnetts Lake before the merger? I'm trying to map the line from High Springs through East Alachua to Burrentts Lake and then the SAL through Alachua to Bell. Any any information on the line from Alachua through Bell to Wansee? Was it a phospate line, too? Thank you!

John Manley
High Springs, FL
12/11/2011

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I believe Mr. Filion meant that the abandoned right-of-way is still visible along FL Route 121 for about 10 miles SOUTHWEST of Baldwin.

Gary
Starke, FL
1/20/2012

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Looking for a photograph of Sapp Station on the J&SW my great grandfather had the Post Office and depot there. There was a water tower located there with a small station. Thanks for your help.

William Sapp
Ocala, FL
10/4/2012

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Gary from Starke is correct. I drive SR121 between my home and Jacksonville Airport fairly regularly. Much of the old right-of-way is still fairly easily discernible from Worthington Springs north to the point at which it diverges from 121 in Baker County.

In Raiford, the old concrete trestle over a small creek lies just to the west of the highway and it seems to be in rather decent shape. SR121 makes an S-curve north of Raiford where the line once crossed the highway. North of this point, you can see evidence of the old line on the east side of the highway including the remains of another small trestle.

South of Worthington Springs, in the small community of Santa Fe, if you know where to look, you can see the right-of-way where it crossed CR236. There are CSX "No Trespassing" signs here but they are overgrown.

James Sharp
Alachua, FL
11/5/2012

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