Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company

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The Atlantic Coast Line was based in Wilmington, N.C., and possessed rail that ran through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. The Atlantic Coast Line later formed part of the CSX Transportation System.

From the description of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company records, 1900s-1950s [manuscript]. WorldCat record id: 31908801

The Central of Georgia Railway, formed from its predecessor, The Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia in 1895 was a dominant force in the economic life of Georgia and parts of Alabama through the mid-twentieth century. Through its many branch and subsidiary lines, land holding companies, and agricultural experimentation, it controlled much of the region's transportation and was a strong influence in the rural development of the area.

(Cont.) The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company was chartered in 1836 in Virginia as the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. In 1898, the Railroad merged with the Petersburg Railroad and changed its name to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad of Virginia.

(Cont.) Two years later the Railroad merged with the Norfolk and Carolina Railroad, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad of South Carolina. At that time, the name was changed to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.

(Cont.) During the next four decades, the Railroad acquired several other lines and built a network throughout much of the Southeast.

From the description of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company : records, 1926. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 45070744

The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) was established in 1889. Throughout the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries the ACL continued to acquire smaller railroad companies - nearly 100 in all. These smaller lines ran primarily along the Atlantic coast, from Virginia down into south Florida and westward into Georgia and Alabama. With trains connecting with the Pennsylvania RR at Richmond, ACL operated a large portion of the New York to Florida passenger traffic.

In mid 1967 the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line combined their resources to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. The Seaboard Coast Line possessed assets of $1.2 billion and 9,629 route miles in the Deep South. The final phase of consolidation occurred nineteen years later in July 1986 when Seaboard merged with Chessie System Railroads to form CSX Transportation.

From the description of Records, 1916-1917. (University of Florida). WorldCat record id: 50489890

The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was formally established in 1889. The Atlantic Coast Line consolidated the operations of more than 100 separate small railroad companies that stretched along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, from Virginia to south Florida and westward into Georgia and Alabama. By 1950, the Atlantic Coast Line possessed more than 5500 miles of rail.

The oldest constituent railroad to become part of the Atlantic Coast Line was the Petersburg Railroad. The Petersburg Railroad was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly on 10 February 1830 and it opened for operation in 1833. The Petersburg Railroad connected Petersburg, Va., to Weldon, N.C., which had the effect of increasing trade between Petersburg and North Carolina's Roanoke River country.

The second constituent railroad that was later integrated into the Atlantic Coast Line was the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, chartered on 14 March 1836, built a rail network that connected Richmond, Va., to Petersburg, Va., effectively connecting the James and Appotomax Rivers. The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad is considered the corporate progenitor of the Atlantic Coast Line because the Atlantic Coast Line operated under the Richmond and Petersburg's charter until 13 May 1946. After May 1946, the Atlantic Coast Line conformed with general corporate laws of Virginia.

The third ancestor on the Atlantic Coast Line's genealogical chart was the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. On 7 March 1840 the Wilmington and Weldon opened a 161-mile-long track from Wilmington, N.C., to Weldon, N.C.. This stretch of track represented the longest continuous railroad line in the world at that time. The Wilmington and Weldon is considered the parent company of the Atlantic Coast Line because it was used as the new company's administrative headquarters when the Atlantic Coast Line was formally established. Although the Atlantic Coast Line operated under the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad's charter, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad became the holding company that operated the rail network.

During the 1840s and 1850s, railroad companies experienced unprecedented growth and they enjoyed tremendous economic success. By the time of the Civil War, rail had displaced water as the primary means of transportation in America. However, during the final two years of the Civil War, Federal forces sabotaged railroads throughout the South; they destroyed bridges, water stations, and railroad cars. Southern rails deteriorated and fell into a state of disrepair during the late-1860s.

In 1869, a group of Baltimore capitalists purchased several small railroad companies scattered throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia such as the Petersburg Railroad, the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, and the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. The new owners allowed the various railroad companies to retain their previous names; yet these railroad companies remained independent in name only. The new owners unified these railroad companies under one management and established the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad as the administrative center for this new railroad network.

Throughout the 1870s and 1880s the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad closely managed the various companies in the network, beginning the difficult process of integration and consolidation. In 1886, for example, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad ordered all affiliated companies to change their track gauge to a standard 4' 8.5" width. In addition, all trains and cars were rewheeled. The Wilmington and Weldon completed the process of assimilation in 1889, when they formally established themselves as the holding company for all affiliated lines and they officially changed their name to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.

The Atlantic Coast Line continued to acquire smaller railroad companies throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Between 1898 and 1902, for example, the Atlantic Coast Line took over all local railroads in South Carolina and Virginia. Further, in November 1902, the Atlantic Coast Line bought the majority of stock in the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, the Western-Railway of Alabama, and the Atlanta and West Point Railroad Company. In 1924, the Atlantic Coast Line signed a 999-year lease to operate all rails owned by the Clinchfield and Ohio Railway and, in 1927, they acquired the majority of common stock of the Atlanta, Birmingham, and Coast Railroad Company. All these companies were immediately integrated into the Atlantic Coast Line network.

On 1 July 1967, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line combined their resources to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. The Seaboard Coast Line possessed assets of $1.2 billion and 9,629 route miles in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama; among contemporary railroad companies, the Seaboard Coast Line ranked eighth in mileage and ninth in both assets and revenues.

The final phase of consolidation occurred on 1 July 1986 when Seaboard merged with Chessie System Railroads to form CSX Transportation.

(Adapted from information in various CSX publications)

From the guide to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company Records, 1900s-1950s, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Aimar, C. P. (Charles Pons), 1873-1927. The Charles Pons Aimar, Jr. Papers 1894-1931. Medical University of South Carolina Libraries
referencedIn Alabama. Railroad Commission. Letterbooks, 1881-1902. Alabama Department of Archives and History
creatorOf Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. Accounting report on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and its lessors, Central Railroad Company of South Carolina, South Carolina Pacific Railway Company as of June 30, 1917, the date of valuation. Birmingham Jefferson Public Library, JCLC
referencedIn Woods, Sam. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Constituent Companies of. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. Co. consolidated 4% bonds : syndicate records, 1914 Jan. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Virginia. Board of Public Works. Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company records, 1836-1883. Library of Virginia
creatorOf Association of Surgeons of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Programs. Medical University of South Carolina Libraries
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of Chief of Passenger Transportation. Records, 1927-1954. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Cass, Lewis,. Faulkner family papers [manuscript] 1829-1929. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Richmond-Washington Company. Richmond-Washington Company : Corporate records, 1901 Sept. 5-1903 Jan. 3. Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, Inc, The
referencedIn Neue Geldzähl-maschinen-Gesell-schaft m.b.H. Trade catalogs of banking and investments, 1885-1953. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Florida. Comptroller's Office. Railroad and telegraph tax returns, 1887,1916. Florida State Archive
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Traffic Dept. Publications and ephemera, 1873-1963 (bulk 1925-1960). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of Chief of Corporate Work. Records, 1901-1949 (bulk 1925-1946). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn H. H. Copeland Maps and Tables, 1924-1956 Northwestern University Transportation Library
referencedIn Fishburn Family papers, 1891-1976. New Hanover County Public Library, NHCPL
creatorOf Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company Records, 1900s-1950s University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Smith, Walter E. Walter Smith railroad collection, 1896-1969. Florida Historical Society
creatorOf Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. Records, 1916-1917. University of Florida
creatorOf Aimar, Charles Pons, 1873-1927. Papers. Medical University of South Carolina Libraries
referencedIn Wiggins, A. L. M. (Archibald Lee Manning), 1891-1980. A. L. M. Wiggins papers, 1932-1980 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Seidenberg, Jacob. Arbitration case files, 1961-1983. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. Co. syndicate: syndicate records, 1902 Sept. 29. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Adams, Henry C. (Henry Carter), 1851-1921. Henry Carter Adams papers, 1864-1924. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Kramer, Herman T., 1871-1952. Herman T. Kramer papers, 1900-1942. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
referencedIn James E. L. Wade papers, 1917-1980. New Hanover County Public Library, NHCPL
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Test Dept. Records, 1894-1945 (bulk 1903-1938). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn H.H. Copeland and Son. [Copeland railroad survey collection]. Library of Congress
referencedIn Henry Carter Adams papers, 1964-1924 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn City and Suburban Railway Company (Ga.). City and Suburban Railway Company papers, 1881-1893 Georgia Historical Society
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line unified 4% bonds : syndicate records, 1911 Apr. 08. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Seidenberg, Jacob. Jacob Seidenberg. Additional Arbitration case files 1961-1983. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Brunswick and Western Railroad Company. Records, 1884-1895. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. 1st cons 4% bonds : syndicate records, 1905 Feb. 21. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Louisville & Nashville R.R. sale to Atlanta Coast Line R.R. Co. : syndicate records, 1902 Sept. 25. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line general unified 4 1/2% bonds : syndicate records, 1915 Feb. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Rose, Ben Lacy, 1914-2006. Ben Lacy Rose papers, 1931-2001. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Louisville & Nashville and Atlantic Coast Line 3 yrs 5% notes : syndicate records, 1907 Feb. 08. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn YMCA of the USA. Transportation Dept. Transportation and railroad department records, 1958-1989 (bulk 1900-1960). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Louisville & Nashville unified 4% & Atl. Coast Line cons. 4% : syndicate records, 1908 Jan. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Phoenix Bridge Company. Records, 1874-1963. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Lucas, James Jonathan, 1831-1914. James Jonathan Lucas papers, 1851-1947. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of General Manager, Freight Rates. Records, 1954-1967. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Brunswick and Western Railroad Company records, 1888-1895 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Cavin and Leonard family papers, 1797-1942 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Burgess, Edwin Haines,. Atlantic-Seaboard Merger Case Records, 1960-1969. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn McColl, D. D. (Duncan Donald), 1877-1930. D.D. McColl papers, 1774-1948; (bulk, 1900-1930). University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. general unified 4 1/2% bonds : syndicate records, 1916 Jan. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. stock syndicate : syndicate records, 1902 Dec. 01. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad general unified series "A" 4 1/2% bonds : syndicate records, 1917 Jan. 11. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Benjamin A. Tillman and Company (Conway, S.C.). Records, 1860-1887 (bulk, 1860 Oct. 25-1862 Jan. 18). University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn American Car and Foundry Company. Jackson & Sharp Plant. Job files, 1898-1905. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Tampa Union Station (Tampa, Fla.). Tampa Union Station records, 1924-1973. University of South Florida, USF Library
referencedIn International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. District 4. District 4 records, 1901-1974. Georgia State University
creatorOf Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company. Journal, 1865-1870. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Cocke, Betty Page, 1872-1973,. Papers of the Cocke-Elliot family [manuscript], 1854-1992. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Executive Dept. Office of Vice President Samuel Rea. Records, 1866-1916 (bulk 1905-1912). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Railroads in South Carolina vertical files collection, 1835-1996. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn Atlantic-Seaboard Merger Case Records, 1960-1969 Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
referencedIn Transportation and railroad department records., 1858-1989, (bulk 1900-1960). University of Minnesota Libraries. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. [ymca]
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line cons 4% bonds : syndicate records, 1909 Mar. 02. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. $4,500,000 Atlantic Coast Line Railroad equipment trust, 6 1/2% series "D" : syndicate records, 1920 Dec. 23. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Lewis G. Cooper Papers, 1922-1953 East Carolina University, Joyner Library
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Louisville & Nashville and Atlantic Coast Line bonds : syndicate records, 1913 Mar. 03. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf J.P. Morgan & Co. Atlantic Coast Line R.R. Co. syndicate : continued : syndicate records, 1904 July 07. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Smith, Peter Evans, 1829-1905. Peter Evans Smith papers, 1738-1944 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Henry Clark Bridgers, Jr., Papers, 1870-1981 East Carolina University, Joyner Library
referencedIn Mary Hyde Eccles papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Gilchrist Family. Gilchrist Family papers, 1861-1925. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn F. H. Fechtig Papers, 1885-1930 East Carolina University, Joyner Library
creatorOf Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company. Journal, 1865-1870. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company records, 1900s-1950s [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of Secretary. Corporate records, 1843-1968. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Jackson and Sharp Company. Records, 1869-1946 (bulk 1898-1905). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Cocke and Related Family Papers, ca.1773-1992 University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept.
creatorOf Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company : records, 1926. Georgia Historical Society
referencedIn AFL-CIO. Railway Employes' Dept. Railway Employes' Department. American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Records. 1916-1970. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Wilmington Trust Company. Trust Dept. Investment analysis files ("A"), 1909-1959 (bulk 1931-1954). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Solomon, Thomas W. Photograph Collection ca. 1890-1989. Troy University Dothan, Troy University Dothan Campus Library
referencedIn Alabama. Public Service Commission. Annual and biennial reports. Alabama Department of Archives and History
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Henry C. (Henry Carter), 1851-1921. person
associatedWith AFL-CIO. Railway Employes' Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Aimar, Charles Pons, 1873-1927. person
associatedWith Aimar, C. P. (Charles Pons), 1873-1927. person
associatedWith Alabama. Public Service Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Alabama. Railroad Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith American Car and Foundry Company. Jackson & Sharp Plant. corporateBody
associatedWith Association of Surgeons of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. corporateBody
associatedWith Benjamin A. Tillman and Company (Conway, S.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Bridgers, Henry Clark, 1913-1981. person
associatedWith Brunswick and Western Railroad Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Burgess, Edwin Haines. person
associatedWith Central Railroad Company of South Carolina. corporateBody
associatedWith City and Suburban Railway Company (Ga.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cooper, Lewis G. person
associatedWith Dwight P. Robinson & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Eccles, Mary Hyde. person
associatedWith Fechtig, F. H. (Frederick Hart), 1865-1951. person
associatedWith Florida. Comptroller's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Florida East Coast Railway. corporateBody
associatedWith Gilchrist Family. family
associatedWith H. H. Copeland and Son corporateBody
associatedWith International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. District 4. corporateBody
associatedWith Jackson and Sharp Company. corporateBody
associatedWith J.P. Morgan & Co. corporateBody
correspondedWith Kerr, W. C. person
associatedWith Kramer, Herman T., 1871-1952. person
associatedWith Lucas, James Jonathan, 1831-1914. person
associatedWith McColl, D. D. (Duncan Donald), 1877-1930. person
associatedWith Mrs. John Page Elliot person
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Executive Dept. Office of Vice President Samuel Rea. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of Chief of Corporate Work. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of Chief of Passenger Transportation. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of General Manager, Freight Rates. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Office of Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Test Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Traffic Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Phoenix Bridge Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Richmond-Washington Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Rose, Ben Lacy, 1914-2006. person
associatedWith Seidenberg, Jacob. person
associatedWith Seidenberg, Jacob. person
associatedWith Smith, Peter Evans, 1829-1905. person
associatedWith Smith, Walter E. person
associatedWith Solomon, Thomas W. person
associatedWith South Carolina Pacific Railway Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Southern Railway (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Tampa Union Station (Tampa, Fla.) corporateBody
associatedWith Virginia. Board of Public Works corporateBody
associatedWith Wiggins, A. L. M. (Archibald Lee Manning), 1891-1980. person
associatedWith Wilmington Trust Company. Trust Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith YMCA of the USA. Transportation Dept. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Georgia--Savannah
Southern States
Duval--12031
Southern States
Subject
Juvenile delinquency--Prevention
Railroads--Security measures
African Americans--History--20th century
Railroads--History--19th century
Railroads--Records and correspondence
Railroads--Buildings and structures
Railroad companies
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Information

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