several ACL and SAL questions : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

My name is Justin Scheidt, and I am in the process of completing an honors thesis at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I need help in answering several questions concerning the ACL, SAL, and SCL railroads. My ultimate goal is to revive the railroads by putting freight currently hauled by semi-trailers back onto the railroads, which would considerably cut down on air pollution, waste of oil and gasoline, and overall be a benefit for us all in the long-term by preserving our resources, as well as create jobs. To do this, we'd need to rebuild about 70-90% of the now-abandoned right-of-way, as well as upgrade several current lines. I have several questions to ask, three of which I'll ask now to help me along.. (I'll ask the others later on):

1.) what year was the St. Petersburg - Tarpon Springs - Trilby segment of the ACL removed, and does anyone know of any pictures of that railroad being used? 2.) When was the Tampa- Zephyrhills ACL segment removed? 3.) Are there any pictures of the ACL or SCL on the line from Trilby, to Inverness, to Dunnellon, to High Springs??

Thank you all for any help, I appreciate it-

-- Justin Scheidt (, September 14, 1998


The book "SEABOARD COAST LINE, IN FLORIDA" by Bob Warren and Fred Clark (Carstens Publications, c. 1985) can still be found, which contains a good many photos of the former ACL Jax-St.Pete line through Ocala, Gainesville and Trilby. It supported alternating day operations of the SOUTH WIND and CITY OF MIAMI until Amtrak in 1971. From 1976 to 1978, the Orange Belt R.R. operated a tourist line between San Antonio and Blanton. I'm not sure about exact abandonment dates, but the line as a through route wasn't a high priority for SCL/FAMILY LINES after the end of passenger service; aside from the line south into Gainesville, only the short branch line segment through Ocala remains operational. Most if not all of the trackage in Pinellas County has become a paved public trail since the early '90's. Many depots ramain along the former right of way, many restored and preserved.

The ACL station in Dunnellon is also a museum, and may be able to provide you with info on the line through that area. The former depot in High Springs was a museum, but I suspect it may have closed recently. If I can dig up more (or better) info, I'll post it. Good luck.

-- Bob Venditti (, February 20, 1999.

Try finding the book titled "Rails beneath the Palms" (a history of the SCL in Florida by Bob Clark and someone else whose name escapes me at the moment. You'll find a number of photos relative to your query. Good Luck. MILT

-- Milton Bell (, January 07, 1999.

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