floral city

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Was there a depot in Floral City, Fl.? I am trying to get an exact location of a wreck in 1956 and have the ICC report that lists the mileage from Floral City. I assume that was from the depot, but am not sure. El

-- Esther Leonard (esther @ngiusa.com), July 10, 1999


i used to fish a lot on tsala apopka lake at hernando, fl., along that double track main line. all the details fit what some a c l crewmen fishing on the lake told me. also i talked to the cabin operator at felicia, fla., where the seaboard air line single track fht only line crossed a c l at grade. he was on duty the night of that headon.

i had in memory the wreck predated 1956 but the details are too alike. the collision did occur on a curve after a long straight stretch. one of the two a c l tracks was out of service for some reason and all activity was on one. the dispatcher i believe was located at ocala. he apparently lost track that he had given the rights from croom to dunnellon to one train when he gave it to an opposing train also.

the cabin operator was tied down by a breakdown of an s a l train on the crossing at felicia, alongside u s 41 about 3 miles north of hernando, fl. a storm had disrupted telephone service at inverness, and the station agent there, off duty at that hour, could not be reached when the dispatcher realized what he had done. someone at croom chased the northbound train but his car ran out of gas.

i have forgotten which track was out of service. of course, whichever train was on its normal track realized something amiss when it spotted a headlight coming its way--too late. this was an unbelieveable sequence of circumstances that spelled disaster.

all of these lines mentioned have been torn out in the c s x era.

-- theo sommerkamp (crosstie@wowway.com), December 02, 2004.

I'll try and get some more details on this. The engineer out of High Springs was on my in-laws side of the family.

-- August Staebler (ASTAE@aol.com), August 09, 1999.

BTW...Floral City had a depot right in the middle of town...The wreck happened at a town (place) called Pineola, Fla. Hope that helps!

-- Steve Manuel (wwjb@innet.com), July 10, 1999.

The wreck was south of Floral City near the Citrus / Hernando County line....It happened on a curve, I talked with one of the suvivors of that wreck....They saw the mars lights of the engine coming toward them around the curve but thought it was a car. There was a dirt road that ran along side the track...It was at a time when radio was just being used but apparently not working on one of the engines...I would love to hear more about this wreck...Can you contrubute anything from the ICC report...This would make an excelent article for Lines South because it is a very interesting story as to how it all happened...The survivor I talked was didn't to talk about it much, even after all the years... He has since passed away, his name was J.L Dee's, he was on one of the units (F units)...There was a B Martin and a J.C Wells that i think he mentioned were both killed in the wreck...There is also the name of Otis Bridges appears on some of my notes....I think one of the trains envolved was 236 or 237 which was a through freight that operated on the Perry Cut-Off...It came on to the West Coast main at Dunnellon...When the dispatcher or agent at Dunnellon realized what had happened, keep in mind south of Dunnellon it was double track which makes this even more tragic, he got in his car and tried to race the train to Inverness olong US 41, he didn't catch it and continued south of Inverness olong 41...He saw the caboose rounding the curve south of Inverness but was unable to stop it!! If you can contribute more please post it...THANKS Steve

-- Steve Manuel (wwjb@innet.com), July 10, 1999.

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