Question on ACL line thorugh trilby, fl : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I was wondering when the ACL main line through trilby was abandoned. If memory serves me correctly it ran from approx. naples to dunellon where it split, one line heading north and west to perry and points beyond and another north and east through gainesville and eventually to jacksonville. My question is specifically referring to the junction at trilby which headed south to dunedin and st. pete. If memory serves me correct Amtrak ran on that line from st. pete to clearwater and on to trilby and points north up into the mid 80's. When and why was this line abandoned? There used to be a huge "dead line" on the west siding on the mainline just as it ran under I-75 in brooksville. Any info about this line would be helpful. thanks.

-- troy nolen (, May 21, 2000


Hopefully I can provide a bit more information to this question. In 1976 the line between Trilby to Tarpon was weed grown but still in. It crossed State Hwy 50 about 1 mile west of the I-75 interchange. In 1977, the line was still in as it crossed State Hwy 52 about 10 miles east of the Holiday area. I also rode the Orange Belt Line back in 1976 and saw the SCL switching the line between Trilby and San Antonio (with a SW switcher). Do not think Amtrak ran between Trilby and Tarpon at all. I also remember U18Bs switching the areas arond Tarpon, Holiday and Chemical in 1976-1978. Hope this helps.

-- Scott Lofreddo (, November 16, 2000.

Amtrak may have used a different facility in Clearwater for the "Thruway Bus" service, but as long as the actual trains came to Pinellas County, I believe they always called at the ex-SAL depot (now a restaurant).

SCL was still running a "Drexel Turn" several days a week on the former ACL Trilby-St. Pete line from Clearwater as far as the junction with the former SAL Brooksville sub as late as August 1973, the last time I remember being called off the extra board for it. It may have lasted longer, I don't know.

-- Mike Woodruff (, August 08, 2000.

Troy, you're partly right. Amtrak trains did indeed take the ex-ACL line between St Pete and Clearwater. Following SCL's earlier practice, trains would come into Tampa Union Station on former ACL from Orlando, then would continue onward toward Clearwater over the ex-SAL line through Sulphur Springs, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor, then switch back onto ACL's Jax-St Pete mainline for the remainder of the run to St Pete's "new" (1963) station.

As for Clearwater, I have yet to figure out which station(s) were used for Amtrak passengers. I understand that this changed at least once, and possibly once again when the trains were replaced by Thruway busses. Unless I'm mistaken, both ACL & SAL lines ran alongside each other through downtown. There remain two depots within close proximity of each other: the north belonged to SAL, according to a vintage photo in a Seaboard book. The building just south of that was in use for Thruway busses, and appropriately festooned in Amtrak Blue and Red accents when I took photos of it in the early '90's. I don't know that building's ancestry, and it even may have been an express agency originally. Hopefully someone reading this will clarify.

-- Bob Venditti (, May 27, 2000.

The Line was active from St. Pete to Tarpon Springs through the 80's. For more information contact the Tarpon Springs Historical Society. The line From Trilby to just north of Tarpon was abandoned from just west of the San Antonio depot to a place called chemical in about 1972. In about April of 1978 the remainder of the line from San Antonio to Trilby was abandoned and removed. I hope this is of use to you.

-- Eric Herrmann (, May 27, 2000.

I could have sworn that that line was active on Amtrak until the mid 80's with trains running from st. pete through clearwater... I could be wrong though. Anyway what freight if any was moved through here on the line through dunellon? And im kinda looking for the year the line was abandoned. -Troy

-- troy (, May 25, 2000.

Troy, Amtrak did run on the Trilby to St. Pete Route Before it was partially abandoned. My Father purchased the last ticket from San Antonio and was refused boarding and was photographed holding his ticket out as the train went by without even slowing down. this picture was picked up was either u.p.i. or a.p. and was published in papers around the country if not the world. If you live in the Pasco County Florida area and would like to see our restored depot please contact me at my E-mail address or look me up in the Dade City phone book.

Hope this is of use to you.

Eric Herrmann

-- Eric Herrmann (, May 23, 2000.

Troy, the last passenger service throught Trilby was SCL's operations of the alternating South Wind and City Of Miami between Jax and St Pete. These runs only lasted up until Amtrak in 1971. Amtrak to my knowledge never operated over this line, deciding instead to serve St Pete and Tampa via the former ACL through Orlando. SCL wasted no time pulling up the line through Trilby, and had already petetioned to abandon passenger Jax-Trilby-St Pete services at least a year before Amtrak. Tourist line Orange Belt RR did run on a portion of the line just southwest of Trilby between San Antonio and Blanton aprox. from 1976-78. The depots for Trilby (at Dade City's Pioneer Museum) and San Antonio (along former r-o-w) survive beautifully preserved.

-- Bob Venditti (, May 23, 2000.

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