A Southeastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Live Oak Perry & Gulf Railroad


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The Live Oak Perry & Gulf Railroad (LOP&G)was a short line railroad in the panhandle of Florida running west from Live Oak to Perry and Scanlon, 64 miles and then westward to Flintrock, Florida. It had a 12 mile branch from Mayo Jct. south to Mayo, Florida. During its heyday the LOP&G was a profitable hauler of logs, and wood products and had many lumber mills along it's lines which were surrounded by cypress and southern pines. As lumber products phased out the roads traffic in cotton, tobacco, corn and watermelons continued. During its formative and growth years the LOP&G was in the middle of a series of struggles for business, in this richly endowed Florida area, between the Plant System (ACL), and the SAL and their subsidiary roads. The ACL interests were winning the battle, until they built their own cutoff at Perry in 1927, losing interest in the LOP&G. The "Loping Gopher" was then sold to the Brooks Scanlon Corp. (lumber interests) in 1928. They held it until 1954. The LOP&G ran a few passenger trains in the 30's and 40's. In 1931 it operated two motor trains per day between Live Oak and Perry, 44 miles, and one coach train between Live Oak and Scanlon, 64 miles. An interesting fact about the motor trains; they journeyed from Mayo Jct., 12 miles, to Mayo and then returned to Mayo Jct. before proceeding to their terminal Live Oak or Perry; so the 44 mile trip actually was a 68 mile trip for anyone traveling end to end. By 1932 the motors were gone and the passenger service was reduced to two mixed trains between Live Oak and Parry only. One separate mixed train operated between Mayo Jct. and Mayo. In 1954 the LOP&G became a subsidiary of the Southern Railway, with the mixed trains still operating. The LOP&G. however, was all freight by 1956. In 1971 it was merged with the South Georgia, and Georgia Southern & Florida to become the Live Oak Perry and South Georgia Railroad. Subsequently the Live Oak to Perry segment was abandoned.(rp) 
LOP&G

Live Oak, Perry & Gulf
September 1, 1949

Brief timeline of the Live Oak Perry & Gulf Railroad
1890's - The railroad began its life as a log road of the R.L. Dowling & Sons Lumber co. out of Live Oak , Florida. In the mid 1890's, where it connected to the Plant System (ACL) and the Florida Central & Peninsular (SAL) Railroads. This railroad as it slowly built westward toward the Suwannee River was known as the R.L. Dowling Short line.
cir1900 - The line reached the Suwannee River at Hudson, (later Dowling), where a lumber mill was constructed, building over the old right of way of the defunct Suwannee River Railway.
cir 1903 - The line was extended over the Suwannee River into Lafayette County to Day, Florida.
1903 - DSL is incorporated as the Live Oak and Perry Railroad but is 13 miles short of Perry and short of financing.
1905 - ACL agrees to finance LO&P when a preferred traffic agreement is reached.
1906 - A new charter replaces a previously faulty one and on June 16th, 1906 the Live Oak, Perry & Gulf Railroad was incorporated and on September 11 it purchased the property of the LO&G.
1906 - With ACL funding LOP&G completes to Perry in February, and from Mayo Jct. to Mayo and Alton in April.
1907 - LOP&G extends from Hampton Springs to to Still Number 3 and a branch was built from Murat Jct. to Murat.
1916 - LOP&G competitor for Live Oak-Perry passenger traffic, the Florida Railway, is closed down so passenger traffic on LO&G resurges.
1917 - LOP&G starts using motor cars in passenger service.
1918 - LOP&G sold to the ACL and was operated as an affiliated short line.
1921 - LOP&G reaches most westerly point at Flint Rock, 74 miles from Live Oak. Actually the railroads end of line was at mp 72.5, the Brooks-Scanlon Corp. owned the final 1.5 miles into Flint Rock.
1927 - ACL completes its own cutoff through Perry/
1928 - LOP&G sold to the Brooks-Scanlon Corporation (BSC). BSC operated the railroad for the next 26 years. BSC operated a huge sawmill at Foley, Fl and operated trains over the LOP&G and over some of the Fry's old lines. Many other lumber companies had trackage rights over the LOP&G.
1928 - Lumber mill at Alton shuts down so LOP&G abandons line to Alton and is free from ACL control.
1932 - Motor car passenger service ends and mixed trains start.
1937-40 - A new "doodlebug" tried but only operated until 1940 when the mixed was brought back.
1946 - Brooks-Scanlon purchases the South Georgia Railroad.
1954 - Southern Railroad bought SG and LOP&G and operated them as short lines.
1956 - Mixed trains discontinued.
1971 - LOP&G, SG and Georgia Southern & Florida merged into Live Oak Perry & South Georgia Railway.
Current - The line has been abandoned between Live Oak and Perry.
LOP&G map
Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Official Guide- various editions
http://www.taplines.net/July/LOPG1.htm TAPLINES(tl)
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Copyright Richard Parks, April 29, 2009