Ocoee to Kissimmee

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  • States: Florida   
  • Railroads: ACL   
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Neptune Avenue crossing in Kissimmee, facing southeast. The wooden crossbuck in the foreground marked where the branch swung away (toward the camera) from the main line (gated crossing in the distance). Photo by Mike Palmer, April 2010.

This was a light density branch that connected the ACL main line in Kissimmee with a secondary line in Ocoee. Judging by maps, the line was abandoned in stages. Most of the southern segment, from Doctor Phillips to Kissimmee, was abandoned around 1960. A short segment in Kissimmee remained to serve a cement plant and possibly some other industries, but that segment is now gone.

The middle segment, which went through Doctor Phillips and Windermere, has been completely removed and replaced with expensive residences and golf courses built over the right of way. North of Windermere the segment that ran parallel to Maguire Road is now a bike path. It is virtually impossible to find any traces in what are now residential areas; industrial areas still include some remnants.

The northern remnant, in Ocoee, still has a spur that serves a Sysco Food plant, but it appears to be out of service. The remnant of the ACL secondary main in Ocoee that is still in service is now part of the Florida Central.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

I remember this track used to run right through the middle of the intersection with Broadway Ave and Drury Ave in downtown Kissimmee. I believe most of the remaining track in Kissimmee was removed between the late 80s and early 90s. The city is turning the old railroad right-of-way into Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. There are still reminders of the old track as of 2012 including faded "RXR" street painting on Thacker Avenue before intersection with MLK Jr Blvd and grade crossing with rails on Commerce Blvd where a spur track used to run behind warehouses.

Ryan
Kissimmee, FL
3/10/2012

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In Ocoee at the north end, the line didn't serve Sysco, I doubt it ever went into it. There was a small chemical company located next to the Sysco property. The city apparently didn't like the chemical company getting tank cars, at the end in '06-'07, everytime a car came in they were "inspected" and fined for any possible infractions.....they stopped service at that point.

Eric Liscom
Apopka, FL
6/18/2015

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I remember the railroad tracks before there was a Bay Hill Country Club. My Grandparents lived along what is now known as Apopka Vineland Rd. My Grandparents had a small farm along a dirt road, in Vineland (Now Dr. Phillips), Florida. We would ride up to railroad tracks to a freight/passenger station to load their citrus fruit. That station location I think would be what is now at Darlene Road/Apopka-Vineland Road.

Robert Todd
Kissimmee, FL
12/16/2015

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This sounds like the Florida Midland Railway line which ran through the Shingle Creek community, west of Kissimmee, where Dad grew up in the 1920s and 30s. The unmanned Shingle Creek depot was on the east side of Old Vineland Road near the intersection of Babb Road. The line ran from Kissimmee to Shingle Creek, then from there to Doctor Phillips. The derelict depot building was still there unil, I suppose, some time in the 1970s. There was one passenger car in the train. Uncle Harry once got a tractor stuck at a crossing and a locomotive bisected it.

Steve Johnston
Pascagoula, MS
1/21/2016

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As an update, I noticed that recently Thacker Avenue in Kissimmee has just gotten repaved throughout the last month or so, so it's sad to know that the RXR Crossing markings on Thacker JCT MLK Blvd are now gone. Thank God that I got photos of that beforehand back in the last 6 months!

E Penn
Manhattan, NY
5/13/2016

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