Todd's Railfan Guide to
Jacksonville FL

In General
Getting Here
Fire & Police


In General

Location / Name:
    Jacksonville FL

What's Here:
     the Talleyrand Terminal Railroad, a member of the Genesee and Wyoming family.
     Jacksonville Fire Station 11.
Access by train/transit:
     Amtrak to Union Station, then by rental car, taxi, or bus

The Scoop:

From the TTR website:
The Talleyrand Terminal Railroad (TTR) is a 2-mile short line freight railroad serving the Jacksonville Port Authority and interchanging with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.
Commodities transported include automobiles, chemicals, farm and food products, intermodal containers, and pulp and paper.
The TTR was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming in 1996.

From Wikipedia:
The Talleyrand Terminal Railroad (reporting mark TTR) is a short line terminal railroad run by Rail Link, Inc., a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc.  It serves the Jacksonville Port Authority and tenants with over ten miles of track.  It has only one main line, running west from the Tallyrand Marine Terminal on the St. Johns River to an interchange with CSX and Norfolk Southern northeast of downtown Jacksonville FL.  Operations began on July 28, 1996.

Terminal Highlights (from http://www.jaxport.com/cargo/facilities/talleyrand-marine-terminal ):
Talleyrand Marine Terminal is located 21 nautical miles (38.9km) from the Atlantic Ocean on the St. Johns River with 4,780 linear feet (1,457m) of berthing space.  The terminal handles containerized and breakbulk cargoes, automobiles and liquid bulk commodities such as molasses and vegetable oils.  Breakbulk cargoes include steel, lumber and paper, and a variety of frozen and chilled goods.  A 553,000-square foot warehouse stores a variety of cargoes, including rolls of fine and specialty papers, and 160,000 square feet of transit shed space capable of handling cargo in refrigerated, freezer or ambient conditions is available.  Talleyrand's on-dock rail facilities are run by Talleyrand Terminal Railroad, Inc., which provides direct switching service for Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines.  The terminal is only 25 minutes from Florida East Coast Railroad's intermodal ramp, and is conveniently located within minutes of interstates I-95 and I-10.


Unfortunately for us railfans, almost the entire area that the TTR operates in is a bad area in one respect or the other.
Please pay particular attention to these warnings if you come here to railfan!

Robert Mann gives us the low-down so you may survive a trip to the TTR:

I worry about anyone not familiar with the area wandering off of the road and not coming back!  EASY TO DO BOTH HERE AND NORTHWEST JAX.  The flip side is, if you are seen to point a camera toward the port, you might expect homeland security to take it from you!  The rules are different in the international port zone and you can’t play 'I’m a railfan, I have my rights,' card!  The TT crew is friendly and will generally not object to someone parking at their offices for a couple of photos as long as you let them know what you are doing there and stay off the trains.  They will also quickly warn you about trying to shoot in the direction of the port facilities as if by voice of experience!  The Port Authority building is just up the road and while they can’t override the Homeland Security, US Customs, Coast Guard or other law enforcement they might allow a few photos if arrangements are made in advance with a clear purpose (IE: “I’m doing a story for Trains Magazine…”) in which case you will get a guided tour in a port vehicle.  You will NOT be allowed to step out of the vehicle for any reason and you’ll have to shoot from inside.  I wouldn’t suggest trying to get such permission to fill in a couple of photos for the train album.

I would suggest all railfan activity be conducted from Talleyrand Avenue or from inside your personal vehicle at any of the good sites, making certain you are alone in the area.  The foot bridges, while amazing photo opportunities, pose grave danger to the lone wolf photographer.  These would be better used when the whole club is around for a shoot and even then, I would call the JSO (Sheriff is the Police in the Consolidated City) and let them know ‘the club is shooting photos and we just wanted to make everyone aware so we don’t unduly alarm anyone.’

Safety is somewhat improved in the Commodore Point Terminals area and you could get off the Avenue and back in the area of the old Ford Motor Plant, Silos etc for some cool shots, Export Yard in this area is impossible to get at safely or legally and CSX Security is on steroids in the area, full of intimidating bravado.

Yet being very careful, making a few calls or sending a note or two ahead of your trip can yield some of the most amazing big city, big industry, railroad scene photos you can imagine, the key is BE CAREFUL.

Robert Mann; railroad consultant, transit specialist, and railfan in the Jacksonville area.
Thanks to Denver Todd for his help in suggesting changes to my railfan guides to help ya'll.

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:

Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or www.bing.com/maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

Getting Here

I-95 The easiest access to the area is off of Alternate US Route 1, or MLK Parkway. 

The exits are convenient to the action..... you have your choice of 8th St, E 21st St, Phoenix Ave, Walnut St, or the access road west of Main St.

If you are coming here by bus, it looks like the 31 and 11 routes get you here, with the 31 being the better of the two. 
DO NOT TRAVEL ALONE - The bigger the crowd, the better!!


The map above is from the TTR website.  It shows the trackage that they work.  Not sure if the one set of tracks was left off by mistake or if the TTR works them too.

Details / Chasing

This set of pictures are views from Talleyrand Ave looking into the Port.  For your own well being, it is not advisable to wonder past the fence onto Port property.
You can get good shots in the afternoon, when the sun is at your back, of trains working along Talleyrand and in the Port.

FYI - the property next to the yard is called a "water reclamation facility", this is another name for a sewage treatment plant in case you're wondering because of the smells! :-)

The HQ and yard office for the railroad is off the corner of Talleyrand Ave and E 18th St.

Their yard is at the right of the picture below (not where Google has placed it).  Buckman Street cuts across the middle of the yard.

Continuing west to accessible points, we come to a pedestrian overpass which should offer a great view from above. 
Access to the stairway is at the "X", altho parking close by may be a problem.... We're on E 17th St.


If we look in the opposite direction from the picture above, you can see, that after "they" rebuilt this interchange (for Alt US1), we now have a nice sidewalk and clear view of the yard from here.

These aerial shots show the work in progress as they were adding the ramps to E 21st St.

The Phoenix Ave crossing is the second of only four such places to grab pictures between their office and Springfield Yard.

Evergreen Ave and Preston St are two small grade crossings, and as such, only have a pair of crossbucks protecting them.
Looking west from Evergreen, we can see the tracks turning off to the left into the connection with Springfield Yard.

E 11th St and E 12th St may offer a view to capture action from.  Not having been there, I can't say with any certainty.

Springfield Yard

TTR enters the yard coming from the Port at the yellow arrow to do their switching at Springfield Yard.

You can see evidence at Carmen St of the yard tracks extending further south.

Google caught a TTR train switching the yard, from the Carmen St crossing.  You have a wide open view from Carmen Street!

Too bad they weren't taking pictures quickly enough to catch the engine at the grade crossing :-)


Random pictures from around the internet, but many found via Google and Bing Images.



Fire and Police

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue - Station 11
GPS Coordinates: 30.355241, -81.625579
Located adjacent to the TTR yard office.



Historical USGS Maps

Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click here for their index page.


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from www.bing.com/maps. The screen captures from Bing are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


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NEW 2/14/2016
Last Modified 18-Feb-2016