Tag Archives: Dasher

Central Florida Commuter Rail

DMU Exterior View Meanwhile, four hours to the south, Central Florida Commuter Rail Sunrail has received planning commission approval to start a commuter rail line centered on Orlando:
Existing CSXT railroad tracks are utilized for the planned route. CRT trains consist of 1-3 cars and can carry up to 218 passengers. Maximum operating speed is generally between 65-79 mph.
Hm, using existing CSX tracks, just like the GS&F (now CSX) route from Hahira through Mineola, Remerton, Valdosta, Dasher, and Lake Park.

Current Owners of Valdosta Train Stations

So who owns the land where the old Valdosta train stations were?

The old Atlantic Coast Line station lot, at the U-turn between Patterson and Ashley just north of the downtown overpass, is owned by the City of Valdosta. That's kind of moot, since there are no tracks there now.

The old Georgia & Florida Station lot between Toombs and Patterson and between Savannah and Florida is owned by Lowndes County, as shown here:

Stationowners

As found on Lowndes County Property Record Search by searching for owner CSX.

The county Health Department is in the middle of it, but the tracks run against the back parking lot. These are the tracks that go to Moody.

And the old Georgia and Florida station lot, just south of that, is owned by CSX, as part of a strip along their tracks from Toombs St. to Railroad Ave.:

CSX TRANSPORTATION INC
TAX DEPARTMENT C-910
500 WATER STREET
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32202

The old GSF Station lot, just south of that, between Toombs and Patterson and north of Florida Ave., is owned by Norfolk and Southern.

NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY CO & SUBSID
C/O GULF & OHIO RAILWAYS
PO BOX 2408
KNOXVILLE, TN 379012408

It looks from the aerial maps like it's being used for a park, and there's some sort of tiny building on it, too. These are the tracks that go to Hahira, Mineola, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park.

If you select aerial photography you'll see that the tracks are currently located slightly differently than the map above shows.

However, it appears that new Valdosta train stations could be constructed with agreement from nobody other than Lowndes County and the railroads. Well, them and the planning commission, and the county commission, and the Valdosta City Council, and the various cities the passenger service would run to. But the Valdosta station land itself seems to be in the hands of a small number of appropriate parties.

Valdosta Train Stations

In The TitleTown Express, I guessed at where a Valdosta train station should go. I was thinking where West Hill Ave. crosses the GS&F line from Hahira, but that’s a mile from downtown: too far out. Why not look to see where the Valdosta train station was before? Well, it seems there was not one, not two, but three stations in Valdosta, at least in 1919:

Valdosta, Georgia Train Stations, 1919

Source map found in Perry-Casta├▒eda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin

There was one station each for:

Atlantic Coast Line R.R.
between Patterson and Ashley just N. of Savannah Ave.,
where the U-turn now is before the overpass;
these tracks were rerouted when the overpass was built;
ironic considering that’s the line that caused Valdosta to be located where it is

Georgia and Florida R.R.
W. of Patterson between Savannah Ave. and Branch St. (now W. Florida Ave.) about at where S. Toombs St. now crosses;
these tracks go under the overpass;
these are the tracks that go to Moody

Georgia Southern & Florida R.R.
Just W. of Patterson S. on Branch St. (now W. Florida Ave.);
these tracks go under the overpass;
these are the tracks that go to Hahira, Mineola, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park
All next to Patterson Street south of Hill Ave., and within easy walking distance of each other and downtown.

So 2 out of 3 station locations still have running tracks (and the third I think also has running tracks; they were just rerouted to go under the underpass). I have no idea who owns the station footprints. Wouldn’t have to be precisely the same locations, anyway; somewhere within a block or two would have the same advantages of accessibility to each other and to downtown.

-jsq