Seaboard Air Line

 

Seaboard Air LineThe Seaboard Air Line Railroad (reporting mark SAL), which styled itself “The Route of Courteous Service,” was an American railroad whose corporate existence extended from April 14, 1900, until July 1, 1967, when it merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, its longtime rival, to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. The company was headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, until 1958, when its main offices were relocated to Richmond, Virginia. Total route mileage circa 1950 was 4,146 miles.

The main line of the Seaboard ran from Richmond via Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida, a major interchange point for passenger trains bringing travelers to the Sunshine State. From Jacksonville, Seaboard rails continued to such popular tourist destinations as Tampa, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach and Miami.

In the first half of the 20th century, Seaboard, along with its main competitors Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Florida East Coast Railway and Southern Railway, contributed greatly to the economic development of the Southeastern United States, and particularly to that of Florida. Its primary revenues derived from bringing vacationers to Florida from the Northeast and carrying southern timber, minerals and produce, especially Florida citrus crops, to the northern states.

Passenger service to Charleston by the SAL ceased in 1956, but returned again when the line merged with the Atlantic Coast Line in 1967 to form the Seaboard Coast Line. Its passenger operations were taken over by Amtrak in 1971. Eventually the railroad was merged with its affiliate lines to create the Seaboard System in 1983. Eventually the Seaboard System became part of the current day CSX Transportation.


View SAL / SCL Boll Weevil Route in a larger map

You can read more about the abandoned rail lines in the low country at Abandoned Rails.

List of Seaboard Air Line GP7 diesel locomotives.

Seaboard GP7 1760 at Grove Street Station

Seaboard Air Line GP7 Diesel #1760 at Grove Street Station

 

SAL End of Passenger Service

SAL End of Passenger Service in Charleston Post & Courier

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