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The Florida shortline that would eventually become the Live Oak, Perry & Gulf Railroad traced its roots to a 1880s lumber operation in the northern central region of the Sunshine state. Incorporated in 1903 and reorganized a few years later as the LOP&G, the road connected Live Oak, Florida, to Perry, with several small branchlines connecting other communities. In 1918, the line was sold the Atlantic Coast Line, which operated it as an affiliated shortline until 1928 when the LOP&G was sold to Brooks-Scanlon Corporation. Its sawmill operations in the region in decline by 1950, Brooks-Scanlon sold the line to the Southern Railway, later Norfolk Southern. The line was sold in 1994 to the Gulf & Ohio shortline system, and more recently again to the Georgia & Florida Railnet.
Perry , Fl / Mar 1953 / collection
Live Oak, Perry & Gulf #100
Perry, Fl / 1933 / collection
Live Oak, Perry & Gulf #101
Live Oak, Fl / 1938 / collection
Live Oak, Perry & Gulf #102
Foley, Fl / 1964 / collection
Live Oak, Perry & Gulf #300
Smalley Rail Car Company motorcar (1925) / Adel, Ga / c 1951 / Russell Tedder
Quitman, Ga / unknown / Russell Tedder
Perry, Fl / Jun 1940 / collection
The date of the photo above is June 25, 1940, the photographer is George A. Pettingill, Jr. There are two trains in the scene, both woodburners. (LOP&G did not convert to coal until 1942-43. Ironically, the road converted to diesel with two of the first production run of GE 70-ton locomotives in November 1946). The first train would be No. 1, the morning mixed train from Live Oak to Perry, returning to Live Oak as No. 2. Normally, No. 2 would change its identify at Mayo Junction and make the mixed run from Mayo Junction to Mayo as Nos. 5 and 6. Back at Mayo Jct., the crew resumed the identify of No. 2 and continued on to Live Oak.
For reasons now unknown, No. 1 is awfully late on this day, for No. 3, the afternoon mixed, has caught up with it at Perry. This situation would be very unique to the LOP&G as No. 2 was scheduled to arrive at Live Oak before No. 3 departed.
I've been interested in the Live Oak, Perry & Gulf for a long time, and for several reasons. First, I've always liked GE 70 tonners. They seem like they are "all business." Second, through connections with the South Louisiana NRHS chapter, we became acquainted with Russell Tedder -- longtime president of the Ashley, Drew & Northern in Arkansas, as well as other Georgia Pacific shortlines. The LOP&G was Tedder's first railroad job, and the little line holds a fond place in his memory. Finally, one of our former pastors served the Presbyterian church in Perry, Florida when he was just out of seminary.
Dad detailed and painted this Sunset Models two-rail O-Scale General Electric 70 tonner model for railfan friend and former Live Oak, Perry & Gulf employee Russell Tedder. These 2011 pictures show LOP&G #300 at work in branch line service on Daryl Connor's Charleston & Chattanooga O-scale layout.
O-Scale GE 70 ton / Jul 2011 / Barry Robinson