The Atlantic Coast Line 1869–1961


Map Code: Ax01996

The Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) serves points south to Florida, north to Richmond, Virginia, and east to Birmingham, Alabama. It also travelled along the Atlantic coastline, linking the important ports of Norfolk, Wilmington and Charleston. Its highest concentration of lines was in Florida, where its numerous passenger trains contributed to Florida’s economic development in the early 20th century. It was formed after the merger of five smaller railway systems, 1869–71, which were independent operators until after the US Civil War. Its name, Atlantic Coast Line, was formalized in 1900 as the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. In 1902 the ACL purchased several further railroads, including the Plant System, which was an enthusiastic operator in Florida. ACL double-tracked the Florida line in the 1920s when tourism was beginning to boom. In 1956, the railroad shifted its headquarters from Wilmington, Virginia, to Jacksonville, Florida. On 18 August 1960, it merged with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad.

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