The Seaboard Air Line Railroad (reporting mark SAL), which styled itself "The Route of Courteous Service," was an American railroad whose corporate existence extended from April 14, 1900 until July 1, 1967, when it merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, its longtime rival, to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. The company was headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, until 1958, when its main offices were relocated to Richmond, Virginia.
At the end of 1925 SAL operated 3929 miles of road, not including its flock of subsidiaries; at the end of 1960 it reported 4135 miles. The main line ran from Richmond via Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida, a major interchange point for passenger trains bringing travelers to the Sunshine State. From Jacksonville, Seaboard rails continued to Tampa, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach and Miami.
Other important Seaboard routes included a line from Jacksonville via Tallahassee to a connection with the L&N at Chattahoochee, Florida, for through service to New Orleans; a line to Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama, connecting with the main line at Hamlet, North Carolina; and a line from the main at Norlina, North Carolina, to Portsmouth, Virginia, the earliest route of what became the Seaboard.
In the first half of the 20th century Seaboard, along with its main competitors Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Florida East Coast Railway and Southern Railway, contributed greatly to the economic development of the Southeastern United States, and particularly to that of Florida. Its brought vacationers to Florida from the Northeast and carried southern timber, minerals and produce, especially Florida citrus crops, to the northern states.
Read more about Seaboard Air Line Railroad: Steamship Operations, Passenger Trains, Freight Trains
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