Lakeland (Amtrak station)
Amtrak inter-city rail station
Lakeland Amtrak station from across Lake Mirror Drive
|Address||600 Lake Mirror Drive
Lakeland, Florida 33801
|Connections||Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Parking||28 short term spaces|
|Station code||Both LAK and LKL[Note 1]|
|Owned by||City of Lakeland|
|Passengers (2012)||25,630 3.8%|
The Lakeland Amtrak Station is a train station in Lakeland, Florida, United States served by daily Amtrak's (the national railroad passenger system) Silver Star, which runs daily between New York City, New York and Miami, Florida.[Note 2] The station is located on the northern shore of Lake Mirror.
Lakeland is unique among all Amtrak stations in that it has two separate Amtrak station codes; one for passengers traveling to and from points north and the other for passengers traveling to and from points south. Because of unique routing of the Silver Star, after arriving at the Lakeland Station, the train heads west to Tampa. However, upon leaving Tampa, the train returns over the same route back to the Lakeland Station. After making a second stop at the Lakeland Station, the train continues on a bit further east along its previous route and then finally turns north or south. This applies to both the northbound and southbound runs. Passengers disembarking at Lakeland Station do so before the train heads to Tampa and passengers boarding at Lakeland only do so after the train returns from Tampa.[Note 1] This logical arrangement allows passengers boarding or debarking at the Lakeland station to avoid having to make an unnecessary trip to Tampa before continuing on their way. (Excluding Tampa, the next southbound stop on the Silver Star is in Winter Haven and the next northbound station is in Kissimmee.)
The original Lakeland Station structure was built by the South Florida Railroad as far back as between 1884 and 1886. The station opened in 1886 as a two-story wooden edifice that burned down in 1901 and was rebuilt shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, the 1902 replacement proved to be inadequate for contemporary railroad needs and was torn down and replaced in 1910 by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad with a one-story brick building. This too would be hit by a fire in February 1918 that caused $25,000 worth of damage, but not enough to destroy the building, as did the 1901 fire. The building was given a second story and reopened on January 31, 1919.
The current Lakeland Station structure was built in 1998 as a replacement for the 1960-built Atlantic Coast Line station located about 1.1 miles (1.8 km) west of the current station. That station became a Seaboard Coast Line Railroad station when the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line Railroad merged July 1, 1967. Though the former station building was demolished in 2008, the passenger platforms and covers remain along the tracks at the former station site. In addition to the Silver Star the previous station was also served by the Champion until it was discontinued in 1979.
On April 15, 2009 the Lakeland Station made news headlines when a decomposed female body was found in the area. The body was discovered by a passenger waiting for a late-running train. The body was eventually identified as 34-year-old Shawn Hazel Turk and in August 2011 Reginald Riggins was arrested in connection with her death. It is believed that Mr. Riggins had never met the victim prior to April 9, 2009 (the night of her death). Mr. Riggins was later convicted of murdering of Ms. Turk and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Besides the Silver Star, Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach (with connection service by Martz First Class) is provided to the following: Orlando (train station), Tampa (train station), Pinellas Park (Clearwater and St. Petersburg), Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. Thruway Motorcoach service is also provided (with connection service by Amtrak) to Dade City (train station), Wildwood (train station), The Villages (Spanish Springs Shuttle Station), Ocala (train station), Gainesville (Rosa Parks Region Transportation System Downtown Station), Waldo (train station), and Jacksonville (train station) since train service by the Palmetto was discontinued south of Savannah, Georgia in 2004.
- The station code LAK is used for arrivals from and departures to points north and the station code LKL is used for arrivals from and departures to points south. Therefore, the proper order of the station codes used for a southbound train (Route 91) is as follows: ...KIS (Kissimmee), LAK, TPA (Tampa), LKL, and WTH (Winter Haven).... The order of the station codes for the northbound train (Route 92) is just the reverse: ...WTH, LKL, TPA, LAK, and KIS.... Essentially, with regards to station codes, LAK functions as though the Lakeland Station is located north of Tampa and LKL functions as though the Lakeland Station is located south of Tampa.
- As of 15 July 2013, the southbound train (Route 91) is scheduled to stop (LAK) at 11:40 pm to discharge passengers and again (LKL) at 1:21 pm to receive passengers. The northbound train (Route 92) is scheduled to stop (LKL) at 4:04 pm to discharge passengers and again (LAK) at 5:53 pm to receive passengers.
- "Great American Stations: Lakeland, FL (LAK/LKL)". Amtrak. Retrieved 20 Oct 2013.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2012, State of Florida" (PDF). Amtrak. Dec 2012. Retrieved 27 Dec 2012.
- "STATION CODES: L". Amtrak. Retrieved 20 Oct 2013.
- Walter, Shoshana (15 Apr 2009). "Woman's Death Considered a Homicide". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida: Halifax Media Group. Retrieved 20 Oct 2013.
- "Fugitive from Lakeland Busted in Amtrak Body Dump". West Orlando News Online. 12 Aug 2011. Retrieved 20 Oct 2013.
- "Reginald Riggins sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Shawn Turk in Lakeland". wptv.com. West Palm Beach, Florida: E. W. Scripps Company. 26 Jun 2013. Retrieved 20 Oct 2013.
- Media related to Lakeland (Amtrak station) at Wikimedia Commons
- Amtrak – Stations – Lakeland, FL (southbound)
- March 2004 Photographs(Unofficial Amtrak Photo Gallery)
- Lakeland Amtrak Station, and former Seaborad Air Line Station (USA Rail Guide – TrainWeb)
- Lakeland Amtrak's Great American Stations Lakeland, FL (LAK/LKL)