junction of acl/sal for the silver meteor out of Orlando.

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The Amtrak Silver trains out of Orlando come in the through the ACL Sanford, Winter Park, Orlando line on its way to Miami. My question is, where is the interchange where Amtrak goes off the ACL to the SAL into Miami? I have two ACL and SAL passenger timetables and the only thing I could guess would be Winterhaven.

Also, if the Orlando passenger station is on the ACL line, then why is there a big Seaboard Airline 1925 outside the station. Church street is closed and is a tourist attraction. Plese respond ASAP.


A true, former Orlandoan, railfan.

-- ronald King (ronk@ssihopkins.com), March 20, 2000


Part two, Now add in the other ACL trains, Tr 75 local 0340, Tr 1 "Florida Special" 0715,Tr 5 "CM" "SW" 1115 Tr 6 "CM" "SW" 1210,Tr 92 "WCC" 1253,Tr 91 "WCC" 1433,Tr 88 "Florida Special" 2010,Tr 76 local 2337.Actually none of the night trains interfered with interchange movements.Also,remember that both railroads were running a lot of freights.Cross reference all these times and you will see that it was an operating nightmare.Yes,Auburndale was a "hot spot" back in the good old days before that word was invented.

-- Joseph Oates (jlosal@mindspring.com), March 21, 2000.

One of the problems with Auburndale was the ACL 'connection" was used as an interchange track before the FEC strike in Jan.1963.Not really up to standards for passenger trains.Another problem was trains scheduled on the ACL and SAL at nearly the same times,add in late trains and you would have a mess.Until recently both ends of the connection were hand throws,thus adding more problems. Examples at Auburndale,Tr 10 "Palmland 0145, Tr 21 "Star" 0718,Tr 108 local 1118,Tr 57 "Meteor" 1221,Tr 58 "Meteor" 1241,Tr 2 ECC 1325,Tr 1 1330, Tr 107 local 1330 Tr 9 "Palmland 1440,Tr 22 "Star" 1627.

-- Joseph Oates (jlosal@mindspring.com), March 21, 2000.

First of all, to Curtis Denmark,please continue your memories!Too often we tend to reduce railroading to locomotives and cars, forgetting the human beings who ran the railroad and gave it their all. very often, the "personality" of a railroad was due to its employees. As I remember, the use of the connection at Auburndale started in January 1963 when the FEC went on strike. For some reason, I remember that the original connection was either not set up for moves directly south, but required a back up move,or that the track for the connection required the use of a hand throw switch and then required the trains to thread over a seldom used freight connection with light rail, all of which added time to the connection. I may be wrong as it has been almost 40 years and the brain tends to turn to grits. The SAL had its junction point at Coleman, just south of Wildwood. The line between Coleman and Auburndale is now abandoned, but the SAL used to make good time on this line.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), March 21, 2000.

As an aside of local color... The ACL/SAL connection at Auburndale and ensuing merger into SCL, opened up some opportunities for older ACL employees.

Luther Hobby, was an ACL engineer based in Sanford, Florida. Engineers and firemen on passenger trains were changed at Sanford. The passenger train Baggagemaster, Flagman, and Conductors made the complete run from Tampa to Jacksonville. For freight service, it was a crew change point.

Luther, was elected to Sheriff of Seminole County (Sanford) in either the late 40's or early 50's. Needless to say, he hired several fellow ACL employee's as deputies. I think Bock Kennedy (Conductor), may have been his Chief Deputy, sort of a cross between "F-Troop and Mayberry."

Luther, was quite popular with the locals. He was suspended as Sheriff by the Governor for political reasons. Luther, fit the sterotype "Good Old Boy" image. He certainly did not fit the aristocratic and elite upper crust politicians.

Luther, applied a "folksy" outlook on being Sheriff. It was alleged that he used prisoners to work on his farm in Georgia. If they worked hard and were rehabilitated, he would turn them loose early. Needless to say, the Governor took issue with Luther's, rehabilitation program and suspended him.

No problem, Luther, would mark back up on the engineers board and revert back to the ACL. The citizens of Seminole County re-elected him in spite of the Governor's suspension. Again, back as the duly elected Sheriff, the folksy, engineer would mark back off the engineers board.

The establishment of the "Auburndale" connection added jobs to the Sanford crew change point for passenger trains detoured from the FEC. After the merger, Luther gave up being Sheriff, and marked back up for passenger engineer service.

In the meantime, my dad, after over 40 years of ACL roadway service bid in an inspector's job in Miami. Luther bid in and ran passenger trains from Miami on the old SAL. My dad and Luther were old ACL employees working in the heart of Seaboard country.

If these posts of color are not proper please let me know. I just enjoy the memories triggered by the questions and replys on this board. I also learn quite a bit that others contribute. The Auburndale Connection, triggered such memories of two veteran ACL railroaders long departed.

-- Curtis E. Denmark Jr. (curtisd@knology.net), March 21, 2000.

It seems that connection at Aburndale is now relatively efficient. However, in the days of the ACL and SAL, I believe long delays were common. I rode the train several times through Aburndale in those days and it was usually a problem. I once overheard the crews complaining about the usual long wait. Once, we sat there for almost an hour with no oncomming trains in the way. Anyone know why the two railroads couldn't get their act together at Aburndale?

-- Jim Coviello (jcovi60516@aol.com), March 20, 2000.

Yes... The connection is in Auburndale. There's a Y connection in the southeast quadrant of the crossing that is right under the U.S.Hwy 92 overpass (near Magnolia & McKean St's intersection). Southbound ACL trains curved off their line to the left to gain the SAL. The several times that I rode trains to Miami we stopped right on the connection track. Crew change? I don't know.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.com), March 20, 2000.

Auburndale, is where the ACL line connected with the Seaboard. If memory serves me right, the first use of this route was during the FEC strike in 1961 or 1962. The FEC embargoed their passenger service and the ACL Miami bound trains had to be diverted in Jacksonville, to the ACL Tampa District thence to SAL tracks.

The steam engine at Church St. station was owned by Rosie O'Grady's owner (Snow)as a display. He bought the old ACL freight house and city ticket office along with much of the old Church Street buildings Bumby's hardware, B.C. Purcell's, etc.

My first job with the ACL was unloading LCL freight there in 1960. The signal maintainer A. Nelson Davis, had his toolhouse between the freight offices and freight house.

The SAL, line from Wildwood crossed the ACL about two blocks North of the ACL Church St. station, and ran North, alongside the ACL for about a mile before cutting East, through the Rollins (Dinky Line) College campus, then on to Lake Charm (Oviedo/Aloma Branch).

-- Curtis E. Denmark Jr. (curtisd@knology.net), March 20, 2000.

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