Northeast Tampa- Zephyrhills : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

My grandfather served in WWII and orignally was from the Tampa area. He said in the 1940's there was a railroad paralleling U.S. 301 from NE tampa (now the Sligh Rd. Bridge where it stops), up to Zephyrhills, and you could see either prisoners or slaves working from boxcars in those fields, shackled. While this in interesting history, my question is with the railroad- my suspicion is this was ACL trackage, and was part of the Tribly-Tampa section, that now goes to Plant City by CSX. It seems through looking at old atlases that there were two lines in Zephyrhills- the line coming from Tampa that joined with trackage from lakeland, that then went to Tribly and Northwest to Inverness; and a line from Plant City, crossing this line in Zephyrhills and going right through the heart of the city, paralleling U.S. 301 on the East, then going through Dade City, bisecting the present-day Town N Country golf course, and creating a diamond right under the U.S. 301 bridge where the ACl went to Tribly, and this line (I suspect SAL) continued on it's still-existing trackage to Bushnell. My question is, how much of this am I right about, and more importantly, what were the dates these lines were taken up? Does anyone have pictures of these railroads? Scars you can see: Along U.S. 301 between McIntosh Rd and the river going North, there's an old wooden trestle still intact, and for that almost all of the ROW is detectable, though heavily weeded over. Just north of U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills, there's a road parallel to where the tracks used to go, and you can see a "hump" next to the road on the east side, extending about 2-400 yds where the ROW was once laid, complete with ballast. South of downtown, if you go east off 301 into the neighborhoods, you'll see the ROW again, appearing like a grassy access road with overhanging trees in the middle of a neighborhood. I first caught this about 7 yrs ago and thought it sure looked like a train track was once there, then a yr later I saw an old county map showing a track was in fact there. I had to guess it was gone by 1960 but again asking these questions to find out for sure.

-- Justin Scheidt (, December 12, 2001


oops, i meant to post this in the other thread, oh well... sorry

-- troy nolen (, December 15, 2001.

FYI, CSX has been doing quite a bit of MOW work on this line lately. I went out for a bit today and saw 2 ex-conrail, ex-NS, now csx leased C36-7's on a ballast train just south of brooksville. They have been replacing ties and laying ballast for a while, and it needs it

-- troy nolen (, December 15, 2001.

ok, for some reason it screwed up my links... here try this instead and just click on the map you want from there http://w

-- troy nolen (, December 12, 2001.

Most of what you say is correct.Call me at 8136847034 and I will fill you in.

-- J.Oates (, December 12, 2001.

Yes, this was former ACL. The line is still in place from a wye east of union station (near ybor city) and west of uceta yard. From there the track heads north, then northeast through temple terrace. The track ends not much east of 56th street. there are still on-line industries there. The lines now are a mangled mess on the former SAL and ACL inbetween tampa and roughly webster, fl. let me try to explain:

Coming in on the S-Line from wildwood: S-Line used to cross at grade with the ACL north of Dade City. This grade crossing was eliminated and the SAL was abandoned from this point to south of Zephryhills. The ACL Line was used to soth of zephryhills to a point called "vitis". At this point formerly the ACL line split. One line heading towards tampa and one line heading towards lakeland. The line heading towards tampa then RE-Crossed at grade with the SAL. AT THIS POINT the grade crossing was removed and the S-Line continued to plant city and onwards towards tampa. The ACL line from vitis was abandoned west of where the SAL crossed at grade with it. The reason the ex-ACL was abandoned was because of the tampa bypass canal. The ACL would have crossed it a couple times and I believe the state ended up paying the SCL to abandon the line rather than pay to put in all those bridges. Plus the SCL didnt really need the line as a through route, it already had the S-Line, there was no on-line traffic And the rest of that ACL line north of dade city (to trilby, inverness, dunellon) had already been abandoned. It is QUITE a change from 20 years ago, i can tell you that. The ACL and SAL was intertwined in this area quite a bit, and due to these track re- alignments and abandonments alot of duplicate and unnecessary track was eliminated. Although some of the lines im sure it wish it had back at times... I have a website on geocities which shows the lines pre and post merger

ACL and SAL and SCL 1968 and the link to the webpage if you want to check out other things here enjoy!

-- troy nolen (, December 12, 2001.

They were not slaves. In all likelyhood they were State of Florida employees.

-- Tom Hughes (, December 12, 2001.

I don't think that there were any slaves in Florida in the 1940's. . .!!

-- Raymond Hughes (, December 12, 2001.

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