U.S. Sugar’s Sugarcane Train hauls sugarcane from the fields to the mills during harvest season. Transporting by rail saves on fuel, cuts down on truck traffic, and reduces the amount of fossil fuel emissions.
The company’s South Central Florida Express transports sugar, citrus products, fertilizer, farm equipment and other agricultural freight year-round. The line ties into Florida’s East Coast and CSX’s tracks, connecting the entire region.
U.S. Sugar operates 12 locomotives and about 800 specially designed rail cars that hold up to ￼40 tons of sugarcane—about one acre’s worth. Upwards of 1,000 railroad cars run each day.
U.S. Sugar is restoring Engine No. 148, a steam locomotive used in the 1950s to haul sugarcane from the fields to the mill. U.S. Sugar re-acquired the steam engine from a private owner in December 2016 and the company’s mechanics are restoring the retired Florida East Coast engine to her former glory. Eventually, U.S. Sugar hopes to make the engine operational and add vintage passenger cars for public train rides.
U.S. Sugar is the only sugarcane farming company in the continental United States that transports all of its cane to a sugar factory by railroad.
A dozen locomotives and 800 rail cars power U.S. Sugar’s private railroad system.
U.S. Sugar’s internal Sugarcane Train has 120 miles of track for hauling sugarcane from the fields to the factories.
Each rail car can hold 40 tons of sugarcane—about one acre’s worth.