While the greater Jacksonville region is the well known home of major railroad companies such as CSX and Florida East Coast, there are also several smaller class III railroad operations that call the First Coast home. Today, Metro Jacksonville takes a look at the behind the scenes operation of the St. Mary's Railroad.
Metro Jacksonville's day began at the former mill, where a locomotive and caboose awaited us.
Two blocks west of the mill, we would pick up our first car, an empty gondola, on our way to Kingsland.
Heading west, our largest pick up of the day would occur at Georgia-Pacific's St. Marys extrusion facility, where a number of covered hopper cars awaited.
Georgia-Pacific's plant produces polyethylene-coat bleached paperboard grades, ream wrap, butcher wraps, U-boards, trays, slip-sheets, and other end-use products requiring moisture or grease resistance. The railroad's Moosehaven Central caboose is also stored on an unused siding inside the facility.
The locomotive used for our trip was an EMD SW1200RS. Labeled SM 506, this switcher was manufactured in 1960 and used by CN before being acquired by the St Marys Railroad in February 2007.