Peninsular Railroad routes to Tampa Bay

The Peninsular Railroad/SAL major routes (S-lines, shown as green lines on the map):
  • The most important S-line route ran from Jacksonville through Wildwood and through Plant City to Tampa, with the first train arriving there in 1890.
     
  • In 1925, the SAL constructed a new route southward from Coleman via Auburndale.
     
  • Finally, another branch of the old Cedar Key route was extended southward from Archer in 1926, completing an additional line to Tampa.
     
Tampa Bay Lines North
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The most important S-line route ran from Jacksonville through Wildwood and through Plant City to Tampa. The track to Waldo was completed in 1861 as part of the old Florida Railroad Cedar Key route that was inherited by one of the Florida Central & Peninsular railroad (F C & P) companies. Following the Civil War, predecessor Tropical Florida railroad advanced the route to Ocala in 1881 and to Wildwood by 1882, but further F C & P reorganizations delayed progress toward Plant City for another 4 years. The entry into Tampa was not accomplished by the Florida Central & Peninsular railroad until 1890. Most of this line is still in use by CSX today through Lacoochee, but the portion to Plant City now extends from Vitis Junction.

In 1925, the SAL's Florida Western & Northern subsidiary constructed a new route from Coleman via Auburndale. Its main purpose was to go on to southeast Florida (described here), but it also provided an alternate route to Tampa via West Lake Wales. The portion between Coleman and Auburndale lasted only until the ACL-SAL merger in the late 1960s.

Finally, the old Cedar Key route was extended southward in 1926 by another branch that closed a gap between Archer and Brooksville. (The line from Tampa up to the Brooksville area had been built by the eventual SAL subsidiary Tampa Northern Railroad way back in 1908.) The portion above Brooksville lasted only until the ACL-SAL merger in the late 1960s.

See more images of the Peninsular Railroad routes on the following linked pages:


Tampa Bay Lines North

 
 
 
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