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Understanding Transit in Jacksonville

From the Times-Union and City Councilmen to the average Jacksonville resident, understanding mass transit technologies remains a mystery. Here is an overdue review on mass transit technologies and how they may potentially play a role in the development of Jacksonville's future.

Published December 26, 2012 in Transit      32 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

feature

An Overview of Technology/Transit Services Alternatives and how they relate to Jacksonville

Image: NJ Transit (Regional Commuter Rail)

Due to the growth patterns, highway capacity constraints and financial realities in Jacksonville, mobility options such as premium transit must be considered. Premium transit services are those such as commuter rail, streetcars, light rail transit, bus rapid transit, express bus routes and other potential options.

Many of these types of transit provide higher quality, capacity and higher speed transit service, compared to regular fixed-route bus service.  These features make them much more competitive with automobile traffic in terms of travel time and with regular bus service in terms of attracting choice riders.

San Diego, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Austin, Denver, Charlotte, Houston, Baltimore, and Salt Lake City are among the cities across the nation that have examined the use of existing rail corridors and parallel streets for developing new premium transit service corridors.

When contemplating a transit system, there are various considerations relating to technology and alignment. The decision relating to the location of the service depends on right-of-way availability, adjacent land uses, future freight demand and capacity for passenger service, and other considerations.

The decision on the type of technology may be established based on the varying characteristics of each technology, the desires of the community, and the available alignments. Additional criteria to consider when choosing a technology also depends on: capital cost, operating costs, service distance, station spacing, service frequency, capacity, power source, speeds, right-of-way requirements, vehicle life, accessibility, maneuverability, integration with other transportation modes, flexibility, etc.

Image: The EL in Chicago (Heavy Rail)


 

REGIONAL COMMUTER RAIL

Image: Trinity Railway Express in Dallas (Commuter Rail) - source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TRE_Train_F59PH_566_leading.jpg

Regional Commuter Rail is typically a diesel-propelled railway technology for urban passenger train service  An example of the use of this technology in South Florida is Tri-Rail.  This rail service may (or may not) share the use of freight railroad tracks, with locomotives pushing or pulling passenger cars, or with passenger cars that have internal diesel engines. Stations are usually 2 to 5 miles apart. The average trip lengths for commuter rail range from 20 to 23 miles.

Larger cities that run very frequent service on commuter lines will also employ electric trains for their increased acceleration capabilities and fuel savings.


Impact on Jacksonville:

JTA's Regional Transit Plan includes three regional commuter rail corridors.  One will utilize the CSX "A" Line to serve as a link between the Jacksonville Transportation Center (Downtown) and Clay County.  Another will take advantage of the FEC corridor to provide a direct link between the JTC (Downtown), Southside and St. Johns County.  A third could link Baldwin with Downtown, using existing track paralleling Beaver Street.

Potential Regional Commuter rail corridors highlighted in red.




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32 Comments

Mathew1056

December 26, 2012, 06:56:04 AM
Great article.
If the Skyway expanded to meet some threshold of viability I think that public sentiment would shift and a larger Skyway system would be possible. Is it just me, or are the three largest residential structures on the Southbank horribly integrated with the existing Riverplace and King Station? I know of a few people who live there and work downtown. They would rather use their car. Building beach condos with the a scenic view of downtown is not fostering urban development. You have to make transportation easy to use with clear public access points.

tufsu1

December 26, 2012, 09:04:32 AM
great article Ennis...people in many cities have had difficulty grasping the various types of rail transit....in fact, some folks in Tampa voted down their transit referendum because they confused it with the high speed rail proposed to connect Tampa with Orlando.

jcjohnpaint

December 26, 2012, 10:34:02 AM
Great article.  I really was curious about how many of these modes of transportation are different. 

Ocklawaha

December 26, 2012, 11:18:43 AM
great article Ennis...people in many cities have had difficulty grasping the various types of rail transit....in fact, some folks in Tampa voted down their transit referendum because they confused it with the high speed rail proposed to connect Tampa with Orlando.

It's not the public's fault, it's the media types who keep saying stupid crap like: "Amtrak Light-Rail On The Florida East Coast," or "All Aboard Florida Commuter Rail," or "Study shows Jacksonville can expand it's trolley network with new tracks," or "Charlotte's Blue Line Bullet Train."

One can easily get the idea that most of the kids in journalism school have just stumbled out of the tobacco barn.

BackinJax05

December 26, 2012, 11:17:37 PM
From looking at the JTA maps I have another idea: Build a bridge connecting JTB & Timuquana Rd/103rd Street. Build it with light rail/streetcar access. (I think a bridge here has already been proposed & rejected)

OR build a light rail/streetcar ONLY bridge connecting JTB & Timuquana. (Yeah, I know that would never happen - but one can dream)

BackinJax05

December 26, 2012, 11:19:08 PM
great article Ennis...people in many cities have had difficulty grasping the various types of rail transit....in fact, some folks in Tampa voted down their transit referendum because they confused it with the high speed rail proposed to connect Tampa with Orlando.

It's not the public's fault, it's the media types who keep saying stupid crap like: "Amtrak Light-Rail On The Florida East Coast," or "All Aboard Florida Commuter Rail," or "Study shows Jacksonville can expand it's trolley network with new tracks," or "Charlotte's Blue Line Bullet Train."

One can easily get the idea that most of the kids in journalism school have just stumbled out of the tobacco barn.

These are the same idiots who call the Jaguars the JagWIRES, and Tampa - Tampa Bay, FL.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 12:57:07 AM
From looking at the JTA maps I have another idea: Build a bridge connecting JTB & Timuquana Rd/103rd Street. Build it with light rail/streetcar access. (I think a bridge here has already been proposed & rejected)

OR build a light rail/streetcar ONLY bridge connecting JTB & Timuquana. (Yeah, I know that would never happen - but one can dream)

Actually that idea has been around since the Buckman went under construction. It never went much beyond that because San Jose and Ortega home owners threatened to eat the first born of child of anyone caught promoting the idea.

Don't know how many know, but the MLK was supposed to cross the river North of the Talleyrand Terminals and hook up with Merrill Road in Arlington. Such a span would have done irreparable damage to JAXPORT.

A more recent idea was another river crossing at Liberty Street linking up with Kings Road in the Southbank.

Spence

December 27, 2012, 12:23:11 PM
Mr.Mann, could you tell us all more about what uses (modes) a new crossing may serve at the south end of Liberty crossing to Kings Ave.?
Would a new span touch down on the south bank between the surface lot between the curve in Riverplace Blvd and the Chart House?

Seems NOTHING would have to be demolished!
Even a ferry transporting a heritage Streetcar could be wonderful!

Tell us all more here now won't you please?

tufsu1

December 27, 2012, 12:58:37 PM
Mr.Mann, could you tell us all more about what uses (modes) a new crossing may serve at the south end of Liberty crossing to Kings Ave.?
Would a new span touch down on the south bank between the surface lot between the curve in Riverplace Blvd and the Chart House?

don't worry...it won't happen

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 03:19:55 PM
Mr.Mann, could you tell us all more about what uses (modes) a new crossing may serve at the south end of Liberty crossing to Kings Ave.?
Would a new span touch down on the south bank between the surface lot between the curve in Riverplace Blvd and the Chart House?

Seems NOTHING would have to be demolished!
Even a ferry transporting a heritage Streetcar could be wonderful!

Tell us all more here now won't you please?

This bridge MIGHT have happened had the building boom roared on for another 5 years or so. A 70 floor skyscraper on the north along with The Shipyards would have provided critical mass. As TUFSU1 as said, the bridge won't happen, at least not for a long, long, time.

I share your nostalgia for streetcars (interurbans actually) on ferry boats, but I believe that era has come and gone. In any case here is a photo of the car floats operated by the Sacramento Northern Railway. The SN quit the passenger business in 1941 and the ferries quit running in 1954. Here is a photo of that incredible operation, the little building to the right of the train was the 'new' lunch room.

cline

December 27, 2012, 03:25:14 PM
Ock,

Do you know of an old RR river crossing that went from the old FEC spur on the southbank (adjacent to the JEA site) and crossed the river connecting to where the old tracks were around the Maxwell House plant?

tufsu1

December 27, 2012, 04:31:58 PM
^ or was it just a barge, like the one shown above

BackinJax05

December 27, 2012, 05:35:53 PM
From looking at the JTA maps I have another idea: Build a bridge connecting JTB & Timuquana Rd/103rd Street. Build it with light rail/streetcar access. (I think a bridge here has already been proposed & rejected)

OR build a light rail/streetcar ONLY bridge connecting JTB & Timuquana. (Yeah, I know that would never happen - but one can dream)

Actually that idea has been around since the Buckman went under construction. It never went much beyond that because San Jose and Ortega home owners threatened to eat the first born of child of anyone caught promoting the idea.

Don't know how many know, but the MLK was supposed to cross the river North of the Talleyrand Terminals and hook up with Merrill Road in Arlington. Such a span would have done irreparable damage to JAXPORT.

A more recent idea was another river crossing at Liberty Street linking up with Kings Road in the Southbank.

Yes I know about the 20th Street Bridge idea. If it had been built, the south end of my neighborhood would have been used for the Westbound approach (from Arlington).

Eating 1stborn or not, another bridge is needed between the Fuller Warren and Buckman - with light rail/streetcar access built into the design. I would dare say the design, construction, and buying right of way through iminent domain would cost less than the 1st Coast Outer Beltway we're being "blessed" with, and a better use of money.

spuwho

December 27, 2012, 06:09:53 PM

Yes I know about the 20th Street Bridge idea. If it had been built, the south end of my neighborhood would have been used for the Westbound approach (from Arlington).

Eating 1stborn or not, another bridge is needed between the Fuller Warren and Buckman - with light rail/streetcar access built into the design. I would dare say the design, construction, and buying right of way through iminent domain would cost less than the 1st Coast Outer Beltway we're being "blessed" with, and a better use of money.

Based on the surrounding neighborhoods a bridge between Timuquana and JTB isn't practical. However a tunnel would be. However, we get back to that old problem of cost. Seattle and New York both have major transit projects going down using newer boring technology. Water tables aren't an issue due to the depth of the bore. Either way that option is mega, mega bucks.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 06:57:10 PM
Mr.Mann, could you tell us all more about what uses (modes) a new crossing may serve at the south end of Liberty crossing to Kings Ave.?
Would a new span touch down on the south bank between the surface lot between the curve in Riverplace Blvd and the Chart House?

Seems NOTHING would have to be demolished!
Even a ferry transporting a heritage Streetcar could be wonderful!

Tell us all more here now won't you please?

This bridge MIGHT have happened had the building boom roared on for another 5 years or so. A 70 floor skyscraper on the north along with The Shipyards would have provided critical mass. As TUFSU1 as said, the bridge won't happen, at least not for a long, long, time.

Another downtown bridge would not have happened even if we had Miami's downtown boom.  Such a project wasn't a part of the 20 year long range transportation plan, meaning it would have not been eligible for federal funding, and there's no critical need for it.

ricker

December 27, 2012, 07:01:23 PM
The mapped plan in the full article shown with color coded legend indicating the different modes, transit stations, stops and hubs, etc.:  is this final?

Where could it be possible to find a little deeper detail regarding specific geographic placement of the stations to be constructed?  The circles depicted lead a few potentially exciting questions to the fore.

Clearly recognizable is the evident great deal of thought and time put into carefully routing the mix of these differing modes of desperately needed transportation, which is emblematic of a rigorous volley between community stakeholders heavily involved, I just wonder how much flexibility exists before shovels turn.

ricker

December 27, 2012, 07:13:00 PM
Also, sorry if it is too unrelated..

Is it at all even a remote a possibility at this point that the "First Coast Outer Beltway" be more useful of it involved the construction of a new river crossing north of and in addition to the Shands bridge? 

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 07:16:45 PM
Ock,

Do you know of an old RR river crossing that went from the old FEC spur on the southbank (adjacent to the JEA site) and crossed the river connecting to where the old tracks were around the Maxwell House plant?

No.  There was never a railroad bridge there.  Little Brother's Fertilizer & Phosphate Company was there in 1903 and after that, it was the location of Gibbs Shipbuilding Corporation for several decades.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 07:19:42 PM
The mapped plan in the full article shown with color coded legend indicating the different modes, transit stations, stops and hubs, etc.:  is this final?

Where could it be possible to find a little deeper detail regarding specific geographic placement of the stations to be constructed?  The circles depicted lead a few potentially exciting questions to the fore.

Clearly recognizable is the evident great deal of thought and time put into carefully routing the mix of these differing modes of desperately needed transportation, which is emblematic of a rigorous volley between community stakeholders heavily involved, I just wonder how much flexibility exists before shovels turn.

Some of the BRT corridors, such as the Downtown phase , will be breaking ground in 2013.  All of the rail corridors still have to undergo additional studies that will involve heavy community input and participation, so they aren't locked in stone.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 07:22:24 PM
Also, sorry if it is too unrelated..

Is it at all even a remote a possibility at this point that the "First Coast Outer Beltway" be more useful of it involved the construction of a new river crossing north of and in addition to the Shands bridge? 

If the FCOB involved a river crossing halfway between the Shands and Buckman Bridges, it would have a much more significant impact on traffic congestion in Mandarin and Northern Clay County.  However, the possibility of that happening has already passed by.  FDOT is now preparing to spend millions of your tax dollars on purchasing ROW for the future extension of the FCOB between Blanding and I-95.

Charles Hunter

December 27, 2012, 07:27:16 PM
In addition, the North Florida TPO is about to kick off an update to the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan referenced earlier - looking out to 2040.  They will have to consider changes in population, the economy, etc., so some of those lines on the map may change.
Link to website: http://www.northfloridatpo.com/transportation_planning/long_range_transportation_plan/
Looks like all they have on 2040 is a place to sign up for updates.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 08:29:39 PM
Mr.Mann, could you tell us all more about what uses (modes) a new crossing may serve at the south end of Liberty crossing to Kings Ave.?
Would a new span touch down on the south bank between the surface lot between the curve in Riverplace Blvd and the Chart House?

Seems NOTHING would have to be demolished!
Even a ferry transporting a heritage Streetcar could be wonderful!

Tell us all more here now won't you please?

This bridge MIGHT have happened had the building boom roared on for another 5 years or so. A 70 floor skyscraper on the north along with The Shipyards would have provided critical mass. As TUFSU1 as said, the bridge won't happen, at least not for a long, long, time.

Another downtown bridge would not have happened even if we had Miami's downtown boom.  Such a project wasn't a part of the 20 year long range transportation plan, meaning it would have not been eligible for federal funding, and there's no critical need for it.

Like I said Lake, MIGHT! I figure that if we would have had that much going on (recall the cable car proposal) somebody with bucks might have advanced such an idea. Their justification would have been to plug the new high rises into the more affluent (read that WHITE) neighborhoods just across the puddle.

HERE IS SOME HISTORY ON THE RAILROADS AND FERRY OPERATIONS:



The north bank trackage was a spaghetti mix of 'St Johns River Terminal Railroad' (Southern Railway system) and Seaboard Air Line Railroad, (former 'Fernandina and Jacksonville Railway'). Maxwell House, Jacksonville Shipyards and 'St. Johns River Ship Building, were sprawled along the waterfront. The Atlantic Coast Line accessed the area from Commodore Point and very early on, the city owned the Municipal Docks and Terminal Railroad (Todays Talleyrand Terminal Company).

There was once a ferry connecting the downtown area with the 'Jacksonville, Mayport and Pablo Beach Railroad over in Arlington, (a standard gauge railroad) but there isn't any evidence that they carried rail cars. The ferry ran from a dock at the foot of Newnan Street to a dock in Arlington (near Jones College). The fact that the company's founder died in 1889 and John Stockton 'managed the properties' for his widow until 1892, begs the question, WHY wasn't this converted to an electric interurban road especially since Stockton would be so active in the electric railway business. This right-of-way might have been in the imaginations of the Jacksonville Seashore and Suburban Railway Company, when they proposed such a route, but nothing ever came of this project. Lastly the JM&P was extended under new ownership in 1893 across the Arlington River and Little Pottsburg Creek to the South Jacksonville Railroad yards (JEA site south to about Landon Avenue) and though this railroad was standard gauge, it only lasted 'officially' for two more years. Unofficially the railroad was used for US Mail delivery, via handcar, for several more years.


Another ferry was operated by the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway,  but again there was no regular car interchange, nor could there be one, the lines south of the river were narrow gauge.

The Jacksonville and Atlantic Railroad ran from the waterfront on the south bank to Pablo Beach (Jacksonville Beach) via what is today, Beach Boulevard. The J&A was also a (3' foot) narrow gauge railroad. When Flagler got control of the Jacksonville, St Augustine and Halifax River Railroad in December of 1885, he immediately converted it to standard gauge and by 1889 they were bridging the river downtown. In 1899 Flagler bought the last narrow gauge line and started out converting the Jacksonville and Atlantic to standard gauge.


The Former Merrill Stevens Shipyard in the south side was served by the carriers on that side of the river. The yard at the JEA site was also used sorting the large coal shipments that came into the FEC RY's coal terminals at Mayport. Today's Overland Bridge is deteriorated due to 'carbonization of the concrete,' gee, wonder why?

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 08:52:37 PM
Quote
Like I said Lake, MIGHT! I figure that if we would have had that much going on (recall the cable car proposal) somebody with bucks might have advanced such an idea. Their justification would have been to plug the new high rises into the more affluent (read that WHITE) neighborhoods just across the puddle.

It wouldn't have even been a MIGHT. The only way to justify a billion dollar bridge/interchange would be for it to serve as a regional wide solution dealing with traffic gridlock and since we've built so many limited access roads (more than most cities our size have), the gridlock just isn't there to justify the expense.  Even the combined 2000s downtown growth of Houston, Atlanta, Miami, and Las Vegas wouldn't have packed enough people in the Northbank to change that.  However, it would have made our mass transit discussions a little more serious.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 09:19:28 PM
Of course it's all speculation and 'water under the bridge,' today, but I never thought of a bridge at that location as another freeway. Are we not the only city in the world with 7 major bridges and every damn one of them is part of a freeway or a freeway link? I always thought if they ever did lay in a Liberty Street Bridge, it should be a 6 lane version of the Grand Avenue Bridge or Bridge of the Lions, with a high vertical clearance. Oh well, they never asked me to design it anyway which is probably a good thing... can we build a 6 track streetcar bridge? LOL!  8)

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 09:31:29 PM
I wasn't considering it a freeway but it would have to be a decent height (probably vertical clearance similar to the Hart Bridge) and tie into the Overland Bridge, so you're looking at an elevated limited access road between I-95 and the Northbank (like the Acosta).  At that point, we're looking at spending big bucks for something models indicate isn't needed to improve traffic flow.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 10:26:28 PM
Anything like that would have to go before the Coast Guard and the Port Authority, if they required a 65' clearance as the Acosta and Buckman have, it could actually be done, but if they wanted 138 feet like the Main Street Bridge, then there is no way.

I tend to agree with previous posters that we do need an additional river crossing, but it could be a 4-6 lane replacement of the Shands. Be nice if it were located around Greenbriar - Flemming Island Parkway, perhaps Charles Hunter thinks we might have another shot at that idea.

Whatever they do with a new crossing, if it's not at the Shands, they should open the new bridge, close the Shand's and rebuild it with emergency lanes and an additional 20' of clearance.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 10:34:24 PM
Anything like that would have to go before the Coast Guard and the Port Authority, if they required a 65' clearance as the Acosta and Buckman have, it could actually be done, but if they wanted 138 feet like the Main Street Bridge, then there is no way.



Anything lower than the Main Street Bridge would kill off the potential of large ships accessing the Hyatt and half of the Shipyards site.  Eliminating that potential would be a negative for downtown, imo.

Quote
I tend to agree with previous posters that we do need an additional river crossing, but it could be a 4-6 lane replacement of the Shands. Be nice if it were located around Greenbriar - Flemming Island Parkway, perhaps Charles Hunter thinks we might have another shot at that idea.

Whatever they do with a new crossing, if it's not at the Shands, they should open the new bridge, close the Shand's and rebuild it with emergency lanes and an additional 20' of clearance.

I don't believe a replacement of the Shands Bridge will have any significant impact on Blanding, US 17, and SR 13 traffic patterns.  With that said, I do believe the FCOB plan calls for replacing the Shands with a multi-lane structure that will include extra clearance.

Charles Hunter

December 27, 2012, 11:09:13 PM
Quote
I tend to agree with previous posters that we do need an additional river crossing, but it could be a 4-6 lane replacement of the Shands. Be nice if it were located around Greenbriar - Flemming Island Parkway, perhaps Charles Hunter thinks we might have another shot at that idea.

Whatever they do with a new crossing, if it's not at the Shands, they should open the new bridge, close the Shand's and rebuild it with emergency lanes and an additional 20' of clearance.

I don't believe a replacement of the Shands Bridge will have any significant impact on Blanding, US 17, and SR 13 traffic patterns.  With that said, I do believe the FCOB plan calls for replacing the Shands with a multi-lane structure that will include extra clearance.

What  'lake' said.  I think it will be the last bridge built across the lower St. Johns for quite some time - certainly my lifetime.  A rendering from the DOT's river crossing website (I can't seem to imbed the picture here).  Looks like 6 lanes, plus shoulders, plus provisions for bicycles/pedestrians on one side.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 11:12:48 PM

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 11:17:25 PM
Guess we're just too damn helpful Lake! LOL!   ;D

BackinJax05

December 29, 2012, 08:55:09 PM
Mr.Mann, could you tell us all more about what uses (modes) a new crossing may serve at the south end of Liberty crossing to Kings Ave.?
Would a new span touch down on the south bank between the surface lot between the curve in Riverplace Blvd and the Chart House?

Seems NOTHING would have to be demolished!
Even a ferry transporting a heritage Streetcar could be wonderful!

Tell us all more here now won't you please?

This bridge MIGHT have happened had the building boom roared on for another 5 years or so. A 70 floor skyscraper on the north along with The Shipyards would have provided critical mass. As TUFSU1 as said, the bridge won't happen, at least not for a long, long, time.

Another downtown bridge would not have happened even if we had Miami's downtown boom.  Such a project wasn't a part of the 20 year long range transportation plan, meaning it would have not been eligible for federal funding, and there's no critical need for it.

Like I said Lake, MIGHT! I figure that if we would have had that much going on (recall the cable car proposal) somebody with bucks might have advanced such an idea. Their justification would have been to plug the new high rises into the more affluent (read that WHITE) neighborhoods just across the puddle.

HERE IS SOME HISTORY ON THE RAILROADS AND FERRY OPERATIONS:



The north bank trackage was a spaghetti mix of 'St Johns River Terminal Railroad' (Southern Railway system) and Seaboard Air Line Railroad, (former 'Fernandina and Jacksonville Railway'). Maxwell House, Jacksonville Shipyards and 'St. Johns River Ship Building, were sprawled along the waterfront. The Atlantic Coast Line accessed the area from Commodore Point and very early on, the city owned the Municipal Docks and Terminal Railroad (Todays Talleyrand Terminal Company).

There was once a ferry connecting the downtown area with the 'Jacksonville, Mayport and Pablo Beach Railroad over in Arlington, (a standard gauge railroad) but there isn't any evidence that they carried rail cars. The ferry ran from a dock at the foot of Newnan Street to a dock in Arlington (near Jones College). The fact that the company's founder died in 1889 and John Stockton 'managed the properties' for his widow until 1892, begs the question, WHY wasn't this converted to an electric interurban road especially since Stockton would be so active in the electric railway business. This right-of-way might have been in the imaginations of the Jacksonville Seashore and Suburban Railway Company, when they proposed such a route, but nothing ever came of this project. Lastly the JM&P was extended under new ownership in 1893 across the Arlington River and Little Pottsburg Creek to the South Jacksonville Railroad yards (JEA site south to about Landon Avenue) and though this railroad was standard gauge, it only lasted 'officially' for two more years. Unofficially the railroad was used for US Mail delivery, via handcar, for several more years.


Another ferry was operated by the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway,  but again there was no regular car interchange, nor could there be one, the lines south of the river were narrow gauge.

The Jacksonville and Atlantic Railroad ran from the waterfront on the south bank to Pablo Beach (Jacksonville Beach) via what is today, Beach Boulevard. The J&A was also a (3' foot) narrow gauge railroad. When Flagler got control of the Jacksonville, St Augustine and Halifax River Railroad in December of 1885, he immediately converted it to standard gauge and by 1889 they were bridging the river downtown. In 1899 Flagler bought the last narrow gauge line and started out converting the Jacksonville and Atlantic to standard gauge.


The Former Merrill Stevens Shipyard in the south side was served by the carriers on that side of the river. The yard at the JEA site was also used sorting the large coal shipments that came into the FEC RY's coal terminals at Mayport. Today's Overland Bridge is deteriorated due to 'carbonization of the concrete,' gee, wonder why?

THANK YOU, OCK!!

I've been looking for a map of the JM&P for a long time. Do you have, or know where I could find, an overlay map? (Showing Arlington today, with the former JM&P line drawn over it)

Thanks again!

PS: I read somewhere the Jacksonville Mayport & Pablo was nicknamed "Jump Men & Push", because their locomotives were known to break down often.

Ocklawaha

December 29, 2012, 11:19:34 PM
The moniker "Jump Men and Push" is typical in the railroad industry, EVERY railroad has it's nicknames among the employees.

Bridgeton and Saco River - B&SR = "Busted and Still Running"

Live Oak Perry & Gulf - LOP&G = "Lopin' Gopher"

Norfolk Southern - NS = "Nellie Sue"

Norfolk & Western - N&W = "Nights and Weekends"

Burlington Northern Santa Fe - BNSF = "Buy Norfolk Southern First"

Union Pacific - UP = Uncle Pete

Sumpter Valley Railroad (Mormon owned Oregon Railroad) - SV = "Polygamy Central"

CSX - CSX = "Chicken Shit eXpress"

Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington - HT&W = "Hoot Toot and Whistle"

Missouri-Kansas-Texas - MKT = "Katy"

Missouri Pacific - MP = "The Mop"

New York, Ontario and Western Railway - NO&W = "Old and Weary"

White Pass & Yukon - WP&Y = "Wait Plenty and You'll Ride"

Tavares & Gulf - T&G = "Tug and Grunt"

So this was not/is not uncommon, the truth is the very first train left Jacksonville and made the trip to the beaches flawlessly, on the return trip we are told 'the locomotive broke down'. This was a picnic excursion by 'The Knights of Pythias,' and their families. The men apparently uncoupled a passenger coach and with the women in children inside, pushed it back to the ferry landing in Arlington. Now this story presents a logistical problem, since switches are expensive, most of these early roads had very few. If the locomotive was in front of the train how did they get the passenger car around it?  Was the locomotive movable, but barely, so it crept to a siding where the swap could take place? What was the nature of the failure? Letting a fire die and watching the steam pressure tank is a sure fire way to spend 45 more minutes in the woods burning pine knots... if you can get to a supply of pine knots. If they had no turning facilities at the beach then they might have backed up the entire way back to Arlington which WOULD have put the coaches on the Jacksonville side of the engine. 

In any case, the fuel was in the fire and JM&P would = "JUMP MEN AND PUSH" for the rest of time.  ;)

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