Samson, AL to Campbellton, FL

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This abandoned route is actually composed of two separate lines.

The western portion of the route, the longer of the two, was first built in 1901 as the original Alabama and Florida Railway. The A&F built the route from a connection with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at Georgiana, AL in a southeasterly direction to Graceville, FL, where the line ended. The A&F was a short-lived railroad however, as it was quickly purchased by the L&N, who operated it for over 80 years. Operation of the line continued even after the L&N merged with other railroads to form the Seaboard System in 1983. The SBD continued using the line from Georgiana up to a pipe manufacturer at Samson, and abandoned the remainder of the line between Samson and Graceville in 1984. Today, the remaining active portion of the line is operated by the Alabama and Florida Railroad, a different entity than the original A&F, operating under ownership of the Pioneer Rail Corporation.

The eastern portion of the route, the segment between a connection with the Atlanta and Saint Andrews Bay Railway ("The Bay Line") at Campbellton and the western segment's terminus at Graceville, was built in 1971 in order to take advantage of the ensuing connection with the L&N at Graceville, and also to allow the Bay Line access to online customers located within Graceville proper. Once the L&N decided to abandoned the western portion of the route, the Bay Line promptly purchased the wye and other trackage left by L&N within Graceville so that it could continue to serve its customers there. Traffic tapered off, however, and the Bay Line abandoned this portion of the line in the mid 1990s.

A rough timeline of this route:

                       <-- ALABAMA | FLORIDA -->
        Georgiana ------ Samson ---|--- Graceville ------ Campbellton
======================================================================
1901 |      |-- Alabama & Florida Railway ---|
1901 |      |---- Louisville & Nashville ----|
1971 |                                       |-- The Bay Line --|
1983 |      |------ Seaboard System ---------|
1984 |                     |--- abandoned ---|
1996 |                                       |--- abandoned ----|

The current A & F filed Abandonment paperwork with the Surface Transporation Board in August 2011. The line had no traffic for over two years. The original Right of Way still resides with CSX.

Robert Siegfried
Odenton, MD
9/16/2011

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