Coleman to Auburndale, FL
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Developed into the General James A Van Fleet State Rail Trail.
This was some of the last major Railroad construction to take place in the United States. The Miami Extention, as it was known, was begun in the 1920s and completed in record time to give the Saboard the link they needed to reach Miami.It was busy all thoughout the Seaboard era surviving the SCL merger into CSX. In the 1980s, CSX was shedding off excess trackage and the trains were rerouted onto the Tampa line and then down the Vitis Sub to Lakeland and over ex. ACL trackage to Auburndale to regain SAL rails. It was a "Zig-Zag" pattern for CSX and required rerouting the Silver Star.One of the main reasons for the abandonment was the lack of online traffic. Trains were rerouted in late 1988. The rails were pulled in Spring of 1989. I hvae Pictures of that to contribute.
It's a shame this line was ripped up. Now, CSX wishes it had this route due to all of the traffic due to changes in the Orlando railroad market.
I moved up here from Ft. Pierce in the summer of 1988 when I was eight years old. I remember getting barbecue at Willet's BBQ (which was right next to the tracks on 301 just south of Coleman, and watching the railroad gates come down and then seeing a fast-moving Amtrak train barreling through. It was the last time I ever saw a train go down those tracks. I sure wish those tracks would have stayed.
I can only wonder if anyone has written or told CSX that they should rebuild this rail line (for their benefit)? It has been astounding to me to discover the many traces & evidence of abandoned & eliminated rail lines in central florida. May CSX give some consideration into the idea.
This is now a paved recreation trail
I've noticed a lot of people advocating for rebuilding this line don't actually live in the area and have no idea how the rebuilding of the line would affect those of us who actually live near where they used to be. Structures, including a trail, have been built on the land that the tracks occupied. CSX doesn't really own much of the land anymore, so thankfully it's not going to happen.
I grew up in Auburndale in a neighborhood just up from Lake Ariana/Max Beach; my parents' home is about 200 yards from where the actual tracks were. When the line was active, trains barrelled through our residential neighborhood at speeds higher than they were supposed to, pieces of metal and other debris frequently flew off rail cars, and trains would often park to unload lumber at the lumber company near the neighborhood, blocking the ONLY route out of my neighborhood for hours at a time.
I feel like since we were working-class and lived in a poor neighborhood, nobody cared about how it affected us. I was 12 when CSX made the decision to stop using the line, and EVERY neighborhood in Auburndale that was situated near those tracks celebrated their removal due to the reasons outlined above. It looks like quite a few of you have no clue what it was like living near that CSX line and don't care to know how it would adversely affect those who still live near it were it to be revived. Thankfully, none of you are making the decisions.
Reply to Sara: Why do you have to be so angry? The opinions of others are simply what they are: Opinions. They are in no way meant to harm you nor to cause you any rage from what I can see. Look, you have every right to object against anything, but there's no reason to get irate about it. From what it looks, you had nightmares as a child with this particular rail line when it existed. I'm also guessing that you're somewhere around 45-47 now, right? Anyways, to my point, it's more than likely that this rail line won't be rebuilt anytime soon, so No Need to Worry nor Be Upset. After all, there are other things in life that are far more important than the opinions of a few. Now please don't get angry with me, I only want you to be at peace here. Proverbs 14:29 states "He (or she) that is slow to wrath is of great understanding", and Efesians 4:26-27 tells us "let not the sun go down upon your anger. Neither give place to the devil". My point here is to let's be more diplomatic & reasonable here, No need to be irate here. I wish you well in life Sara, God's mercy be upon your life.