Croom to Brooksville : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Can anyone tell me when the line was built from Croom to Brooksville in Florida and who built it. I guess Croom does not exist any more.

-- Dick Kearns (, February 09, 2004


Dick, I forgot to mention that ACL's Brooksville depot at the west end of the Croom - Brooksville line is still in existence, and has been refurbished into a local history center for the Brooksville area.

I'm not sure where my mind is today. I also referred to Tom as Ted. Sorry!


-- Aaron Dowling (, February 10, 2004.

Dick, a little additional information to Ted's excellent response. Croom was a rather large town in the late 1890's due to at least a dozen open pit phosphate ore mines in the vicinity. By the mid 1960's, the "town" had reduced to one residence and the railroad depot. Now, both are gone. Croom was located about six miles north of the S.R. 50 intersection with the Rital - Croom Road (just west of the Withlacoochee State Trail overpass bridge on S.R. 50).

The Brooksville - Croom branch was a profitable operation for ACL. Limestone mines east of Brooksville provided a lot of carloadings. ACL even built a piggyback ramp in Brooksville. The ramp was used primarily for watermelon and cantaloupe TOFC traffic.

Croom was an important junction during the ACL and SCL days. Three turns (out of Lakeland, Ocala, and High Springs) visited the small yard on a daily to tri-weekly basis, in addition to the mainline freight trains between High Springs and Lakeland / Tampa. Croom was also on the route of ACL's WEST COAST CHAMPION passenger service between St. Petersburg and Jacksonville. This route existed into the Amtrak period until Amtrak switched the St. Pete service over to the x-SAL line to Tampa in the l970's. As Ted stated, these trains didn't stop at the station. Croom was a flag stop for a pair of daily local passenger trains that passed through in night-time hours until the mid 1960's.

The site of the Croom town area is still discernable, but no structures remain.

Best wishes! Aaron Dowling

-- Aaron Dowling (, February 10, 2004.

The old ACL junction at Croom, Fla., is shown as Croom on recent (2001) maps, though it doesn't appear to have any population. Croom is located just north of I-75 on Croom Rital Road. The line to Brooksville was opened in the fall of 1885 by narrow gauge (3ft) Florida Southern Ry, being the south end of their line from Rochelle, southeast of Gainesville, through Ocala and Leesburg. The FSRR was acquired by the Plant System in 1895 and standard gauged in July 1896. Plant Sys went into ACL in 1902. Croom was originally name Pemberton (or Pemberton Ferry) until circa 1894, then Fitzgerald 'til circa 1905. Croom-Brooksville went freight only in the fall of 1941. The last passenger train from Leesburg stopped at Croom in December 1966.

-- Tom Underwood (, February 10, 2004.

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