Class I Railroads

Class I railroads are designated as having annual operating revenues of $900 million or more. Two Class I railroads operate in Jacksonville and the surrounding region.

1. CSX Transportation (CSXT)

CSX Transportation (CSXT) operates as the leading subsidiary of CSX Corporation. CSX Corporation is one of four Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Jacksonville. CSXT operates on approximately 21,000 route miles of track. C is said to stand for the former Chessie System, S for the Seaboard Coast Line Industries, and X for consolidated. Chessie and Seaboard were railroad holding companies that consolidated in 1980 to form the CSX Corporation. Seaboard Coast Line Industries dated back to 1969, following the 1967 merger of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Formed in 1900, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad completed the CSX Transportation Building in Downtown Jacksonville to serve as its corporate headquarters in 1960.

2. Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)

The Norfolk Southern Railway operates 19,420 route miles of track in 22 eastern states and has track rights to operate in Canada between Albany and Montréal. The major competitor of CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern is the leading subsidiary of the Norfolk Southern Corporation. Headquartered in Atlanta, Norfolk Southern was founded in Norfolk, VA as a holding company for the Southern Railway and Norfolk & Western Railway.

The Southern Railway was headquarted in Washington, D.C. and operated between 1894 and 1982. The Southern Railway had operated a line into the Jacksonville Terminal, since acquiring the former Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Railway in 1902 between Valdosta and Jacksonville.

Class II Railroads

Class II railroads are designated as having annual operating revenues between $40.4 million and $900 million. One Class II railroad serves the Jacksonville market.

3. Florida East Coast Railway (FECR)

The Florida East Coast Railway (“FECR”) is a 351-mile freight rail system located along the east coast of Florida. A product of Standard Oil principal Henry Flagler, the railroad is best known for building a line to Key West and stimulating growth and development along Florida’s East Coast. The FECR is the exclusive rail provider for PortMiami, Port Everglades, and Port of Palm Beach. In 2006, the railroad company relocated its headquarters from St. Augustine to Jacksonville. In 2018, high speed passenger rail service Brightline began using its tracks between West Palm Beach and Miami. The Florida East Coast Railway is currently owned by Grupo México.

Class III Railroads

Class III railroads are designated as having annual operating revenues of $40.4 million or less. Florida’s Class III railroads provide critical first-mile/last-mile rail service to shippers across the state that are located along lower-volume branch lines or within terminals, industrial parks, hubs of manufacturing, logistics, or industrial activity.

4. First Coast Railroad (FCRD)

Headquartered in Fernandina, the First Coast Railroad operates 46 miles of track between Fernandina and Seals, GA.Owned by Genesee & Wyoming, Inc., the railroad was founded in 2005 to lease a portion of former Seaboard Air Line Railroad track from CSX. This track dates back to 1894 and was a once a portion of the Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad. The First Coast Railroad is owned by Genesse & Wyoming, Inc. Genesse & Wyoming is short line railroad holding company headquartered in Darien, CT.

5. Jacksonville Terminal Railroad (JXPT)

Among Florida’s 15 seaports, 11 have rail connections. JAXPORT is one five of these ports have their own railroads. The Jacksonville Port Terminal Railroad primary moves automobilies, chemicals, farm and food products, intermodal containers, and pulp, and paper to and from JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal. The 10-mile railroad interchanges with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern in Springfield, just north of Downtown. The Jacksonville Port Terminal Railroad is owned and operated by Pittsburg, KS-based Watco Companies. Watco operates 41 short line railroads in the U.S. and Australia.

6. St. Mary’s Railroad (SM)

The St. Mary’s Railroad was originally incorporated as the St. Mary’s and Kingsland Railroad in 1906. The railroad was acquired by the Gilman Paper Company in 1939. The paper mill was eventually sold to Durango Products of Mexico and shut down permanently in September, 2002. Although the paper mill ceased operations more than 20 years ago, the 11-mile railroad serves Naval Submarine Kings Bay and moves approximately 1100 carloads of freight annually. It connects with the First Coast Railroad at Kingsland, GA.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at