Brooksville-Dunnellon and related area questions : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

When was the SAL Brooksville-Dunnellon line taken up? (This also extended up the east side of the Rainbow River, to Williston) I know the former ACL line was taken out in segments from Inverness to Dunnellon around 1987-89, but there was also an SAL line that paralleled it. Does anyone have pictures of this line? You can see the ROW along U.S. 41 for about 1/2 mile on the east side of the road, just before the bridge over the still-operating CSX spur to Fla Power in Crystal River. Along with that, there used to be a branch that came into Brooksville from the Leesburg area, who owned that and when was it taken up? A code pole from that line can be seen on U.S. 301 where it used to cross, in St. Catherine south of Bushnell. Where does the current CSX track stop now in Brooksville, and about how many trains/day or week does the line see?

-- Justin Scheidt (, December 12, 2001


yes, shands mine is VERY out of service. I Took a trip up to brooksville this weekend to see what has changed recently. Line ends at rock yard. There is no public access to this yard and all around it is HEAVILY Wooded. There is an access road to it off US 98 where the mainline used to cross US 98 on its way to inverness and beyond. You can still make out the ROW on the north side of the road. Unfortunately the south side and access to the yard is blocked due to a big gate, and no tresspassing signs, so i didnt press the issue. The line to broco has had ALOT of trackwork done to it recently, lots of tie replacement, some new track (still jointed 25' segments) and ballast. However, like was said the line to shands across US 98 and the line to the mine itself is out of service and HEAVILY weeded over, although all track is still in place and crossings are still standing (although appear out of service as well). While i was out i saw a ballast train with 2 conrail C36-7's laying and spreading ballast just north of the "masaryktown canal" and right near the end of the fivay DTC block and beginning of the Rock DTC block. I have a feeling they are working south, this line has been in bad shape for some time and needs this work bad. Especially towards the tampa end.

One addendum to what Walt said. I believe the ACL "croom spur" (croom-brooksville) was left in place at least until the SCL finally removed track on the ACL inverness-dade city line as it was used to service conrock and a way for trains to get north (through the ACL to the perry or dupont subs) without having to go to tampa. The SAL had a spur out to conrock and both railroads serviced it, I believe the SAL spur was removed and the ACL line remained, as it actually WENT somewhere. Of course both are gone now. This ACL line to brooksville once went to webster (crossed SAL) and on to leesburg, but this was gone long ago.

-- troy nolen (, December 17, 2001.

Specifically, in answer to your question that was unanswered, there was an ACL branch that went from Croom to Broksville, it tied in with the old ACL Ocala District main. That was removed soon after the SAL- ACL merger back in 1968.

The original SAL line terminates at ROCK yard. This is the small yard used when there was substancial rock, gravel and clay traffic. The yard has been downsized, but is still in use: There is 1 local road switcher based there that works both Broco and Shands mine (shands is temporarily out of service). Most of the traffic now is cement from Cemex/Southdown at Broco. There is also a co-generation plant that sees 3 to 5 conventional coal trains a month. There is 1 afternoon road switcher that takes the cement from the mine and brings it to Tampa 5 days a week. It also serves several lunber dealers on the line around Land-o-Lakes and in Sulphur Springs. Ocassionaly, it will switch the brewery on it's way to Yeoman Yard.

Florida Rock has a good sized power plant it built several years ago to expand the power opportunities in the area. It is a coal-fired plant tha sees 10-20 unit trains(air dump) per month, more during winter. The line is scheduled to have a major upgrade next year: 133# CWR, xties and ballast. CSX is seeing more potential here.

I hope this helps in conjunction with Troy's answers.

-- Walt Rogers (, December 17, 2001.

I doubt it, although csx did relay part of the ex-SAL brooker sub from brooker to burnetts lake (alachua, fl) as they abandoned the ACL from roughly baldwin to burnetts lake, the dupont sub north of high springs and the perry cut-off this was done out of absolute necessity, as they needed SOME way to get unit coal trains to crystal river and deerhaven, that and it wasnt a whole lot of track they had to relay, maybe 15 miles or so. The end is coming, and there isnt anything we can do about it, sucks tho.

-- troy nolen (, December 13, 2001.

Thank you for all the information you've given on these lines, it answers a lot of questions I had. I lived in Gainesville for 3 yrs while going to UF, right on Archer Road (S.R.24) actually, and the tracks would have passed right underneath my balcony of my apt complex (Gatorwood Apts, just east of SW 23rd ave.) I used to sit out there some nights and imagine if those tracks were still there, seeing the trains come roaring thru the area on their way to Tampa (Could have done like a hobo and gotten free rides home to Tampa on the weekends, without walking more than 20 feet!). To see Gainesville now, with the exception of a stub of a rial-trail near Shands Hospital, you'd never guess a railroad ran there. The next closest point that has any kind of scar is just east of Archer; other than that it looks like the power company built huge poles and lines on the former ROW. The downtown tracks were still there running N-S when I got there in 1997, but badly overgrown, and stopped just before S.R. 331. In december 97 they took those out and cut the line back to NW 23rd st. Not sure how much action that line sees now, any information there?

You know, so much ROW exists that CSX could buy back sections of track and re-create lines to use as shortcuts. For instance, the Tribly-Dunnellon line, then High springs-DuPont is all still there, the first being a trail. The Perry cutoff and the line run by FWCR is also still there all the way to the Ga border and Metcalf. Inverness is impossible to tell where the old SAL crossed S.R. 44, there's all kinds of buildings there now; but the ROW is still visible north of inverness to Dunnellon. Do you know why there was a spur track of the SAL north of Hernando, just past where it crossed U.S. 41 and ran north, a spur ran south to the EAST side of U.S. 41, was there a mine in there? Thanks again for the info, I'll post this reply on the board as well-


p.s. posted this after i got your reply about the possible soon-to-be death of the entire west coast fla sub, Post that one, maybe something can be done though I'm not sure what

-- justin scheidt (, December 13, 2001.

by the way, this line as you may know ran all the way up through dunellon to williston then on to archer, gainesville and joined the S- Line at Waldo, FL... the rest of these lines as well were taken back in stages as well

n. inverness - williston was taken up about the same time as the track was cut back to the south to lansing.

Gainesville-Williston remained till about 1974 gainesville-archer about 1978 gainesville-"arredondo" about 1982 gainesville-approx near interstate 75 about 1985 the line west of the ex-ACL was removed 1987

north and east of gainesville here is how it was:

waldo-gainesville airport cut in about 1972 (the remaining gainesville trackage reached via ACL/SAL interchange in gainesville) gainesville airport-GRU power plant about 1990 (this was also used as a lead to gainesville yard after the SCL merger) remaining track taken out in about 1992/93 timeframe

-- troy nolen (, December 13, 2001.

the SAL brooksville-North inverness line was taken back in stages. In 1969 it was cut back to "landrum" and was no longer a through route. The next cut was in 1972 to "Lansing" and to "Broco" in the early 80's. The line now terminates at "Rock" which I believe may be Conrock, a mine in the area. The SAL and ACL was intertwined quite a bit in that area. A 1968 timetable I have really illustrates this. You can find a map HERE! . Warning the pictures are BIG, if for some reason the picture resizes to a small size, go into options of internet explorer and disable "auto image resizeing", then reload the picture. I personally think the SCL and CSX really goofed when they abandoned all this track. If they left the SAL in place from where it ends now to North inverness and from north inverness to where the ACL currently ends just north of dunellon they would have a GOOD through route to jacksonville in case of disaster on one of the other routes... Also a good line to send empties or slow unit trains down and keep the high speed mains open...

-- troy nolen (, December 12, 2001.

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