Bartow, Florida : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

The Plant System lines from Lake Alfred to Bartow and from Lakeland to Bartow formed a "Y" in Bartow. In 1912, the Seaboard came to town and ran right through the "Y". There was a union station there. Was there a "tower" in Bartow? What I recall were seperate stations in the 50's. Does anyone know the history of all of this? Thanks

-- Dick Kearns (, June 24, 2003


Dick, The ACL wye in Bartow was indeed bisected by the SAL until 1954 when the SR 60 by-pass was built. Essentially the east leg of the wye was moved west approx. 3/4 mile so one track could pass under the then new SR 60 overpass (currently in the early stages of demolition as the old ACL is all gone.

Originally, the east leg of the wye intersected the west leg south of the old Union depot you mentioned. There was a spring switch there and all northbounds utilizing the depot and then departing for Lake Alfred required a backup move past this switch.

The old SAL freight depot was located at the current site of Sonny's BBQ on Broadway (a handsome brick structure torn down in the nineties)

The last ACL station was located south of Main Street about where the Pyramid Fasteners company is located.

There was an interlocking tower at the diamond(s)formed by the SAL/ACL crossing at grade, first two crossings(prior to 1954)and then one. The diamond was removed after the '67 merger and the old pre- 1954 east leg of the ACL wye was used as a connecting track from the old SAL to the former ACL that wound through residential Bartow. I remember riding ACL specials to the Gasparilla Parade @ the old Fairgrounds in Tampa departing from the second ACL station. The Union Station was already gone, i'm guessing late 1950's-early 60's

Hope this helps. Scott

-- Scott Young (, June 27, 2003.

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