Was there a "modern" SAL station in Gainesville?

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In the book Seaboard Air Line Railway Album by Langley et al on page 53 there is a photo of a station identified as SAL's depot in Gainesville,FL. The building is modern looking and appears to be built out of cement blocks with a tile roof. I recently went to SAL freight depot(?) in SE Gainesville on the old Depot Ave. This is a wooden structure. My question is---Where was the modern concrete structure located in Gainesville. The old maps,including Sanborn maps indicate the wooden structure in SE Gainesville was SAL'S freight and passenger station. Why were there two stations?. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

-- Richard Stallworth (ThisIsR@aol.com), June 07, 2000


The "the former 'modern' ACL depot... now used by Santa Fe College" is so heavily modified from its original 'look' that it is not worth much for photographing beyond getting an overall size and such. It does appear in original condition in the background of several of WJ Husa's photos in books about the ACL (including the article on F-unit head lights which appeared in Lines South very recently). I have an 'adequate' scan of one of my photos of SCL E8 #508 in front of the station for anyone who wants it..

-- Neal Horner (nhorner@ibm.net), August 26, 2000.

The SAL freight station was where that new drug store is today.

I ate at the restaurant (Iron Horse) once -- singing waiter and all. We only went once... (around 1985??)

I went to school down Depot Ave from the 'diamond' (at PK Yonge). Being a 4th grader railfan, the only pictures I got were 2 taken by my dad of SCL E6 #508 pulling a 3 car train at the 6th street ACL->SCL depot and 1 of Alco S4 #98 (SCL) which was the Gainesville switcher at the time (In 1977 my buddies and I almost got hit by #98 3-4 blocks north of the 'new' SAl freight station along Waldo road...). No shots of the 'diamond', although I do remember that after the line was cut to Archer that you could look down the line along Depot and see the swing gates with a big red octagon 'STOP' sign blocking the tracks (the North-South former ACL line had the 'Go' normally).

The original ACL station was on the West side of N. Main about 2 blocks north of University Ave. I think a bank building is there now. A 1936 map of Gainesville I found in the city lib shows the depot and tracks -- I just sent a copy to Richard.... (When I was little the old ACL embankment was still there along N. Main in front of the Gainesville Shopping Center (10th Ave).

-- Neal Horner (aka 'Railfan #4 from G'ville') (hornern@ibm.net), August 25, 2000.

The "modern brick" depot at Waldo and University, which was the Iron Horse Restaurant, had been closed behind a locked chain fence, and I never could get a shot of it. I believe it was finally torn down recently. Someone locally can hopefully confirm this. BTW- the former "modern" ACL depot is now used by Santa Fe College; tough getting a good shot of it due to all those pesky trees they planted alongside it. Does ACL's earlier Gainesville depot still stand? Thanks.

-- Bob Venditti (bobvend@bellsouth.net), June 11, 2000.

Troy: I think that area with the freight cars and crossbucks is the remains of a restaurant called "The Iron Horse." I never ate there but I've heard people mention the "railroad restaurant." I'll ask around and see if I can confirm that. The photos I don't have but I'll keep looking.

-- Richard Stallworth (ThisIsR@aol.com), June 10, 2000.

Jeez, i didnt know there was this many railfans here in gainesville! As far as a station on waldo road is concerned, i havent found anything that points to one. you may want to ask Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net) he is the "other" railfan here in gainesville! If i find anything ill let you know... What im really looking for are pictures of the SAL/ACL crossing at SW6th street and SW Depot Ave. Preferabally with a diesel locomotive in the pic! Also at the intersection of Waldo road and University Ave there is a fenced-in lot with a couple cabeese and some crossbucks... any idea what this is/was? its property faces waldo road just north of University Ave, jusy next to where they just built the new Walgreens.

-- troy nolen (kirkwood@gdn.net), June 09, 2000.


The SAL "Modern" depot was in NW Gainesville on the Waldo road. (Road to Jacksonville)..The old SAL depot was in South Gainesville near where the line came in from Archer. There was a big stock yard near the depot.I don't know for sure but that depot may go back to the days of the cross Florida railroad that ran down to Cedar Key. I know the depot at Archer is still there and is quite old. By the way the old SAL depot was still standing at Otter Creek, Florida several years ago.It was converted into a house / store in the mid 40 and 50's.

Steve Manuel

-- Steve Manuel (wwjb@innet.com), June 07, 2000.

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