Florida Midland Railroad (current)

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Florida Midland Railroad
PinslyRailroadCompanyP.png
Reporting mark FMID
Locale three spurs in Central Florida
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Plymouth, Florida

The Florida Midland Railroad (reporting mark FMID) is one of several short line railroads operated by the Pinsly Railroad Company in Florida (along with the Florida Central Railroad and the Florida Northern Railroad). The Florida Midland Railroad operates two former CSX Transportation railroad lines including their former Lake Wales Subdivision (running from West Lake Wales to Frostproof), and their former Bartow Subdivision (from Winter Haven to a point just northwest of Bartow). It also ran a third line from Wildwood to Leesburg that is now mostly abandoned. Florida Midland Railroad began operating the lines in 1987.

West Lake Wales to Frostproof Line[edit]

Florida Midland Railroad
(West Lake Wales to Frostproof Line)[1]
former Seaboard Air Line
Railroad to Bartow
CSXAuburndale Subdivision
SV 863.3 West Lake Wales
US 27
former Atlantic Coast Line
Railroad to Haines City
SV 867.4
AVC 843.3
Lake Wales
former Seaboard Air Line
Railroad to Alcoma
AVC 857.5 Frostproof
former Atlantic Coast Line
Railroad to Everglades City

843.3 The line from West Lake Wales to Frostproof, which extends a distance of about 18 miles, branches off of CSX's Auburndale Subdivision in West Lake Wales. It proceeds west to Lake Wales along a former Seaboard Air Line Railroad line. In Lake Wales, it connects to a former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad line and continues south to Frostproof.[2] The line notably serves citrus fields and a Lowe's distribution center at the terminus in Frostproof.[3]

The first four miles of the line were built by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in 1916, and originally extended from Bartow and continued west to Alcoma. The 14 mile segment of the line from Lake Wales south to Frostproof was built earlier in 1912 by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. It is a discontinuous segment of track that was once the Atlantic Coast Line's Haines City branch, which historically extended as far south as Everglades City. The Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line merged in 1967 into the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, which led to consolidation of the two networks and the abandonment of redundant trackage in the 1970s, reducing the line to its current length.[4] Seaboard Coast Line became CSX in 1980, six years before Florida Midland Railroad began operating over the line.

Winter Haven Line[edit]

Florida Midland Railroad
(Winter Haven Line)[1]
former South Florida Railroad
(ACL) to Lake Alfred
CSX Auburndale Subdivision
AW 842.0 Winter Haven
AW 844.0 Eagle Lake
AW 848.0 Gordonville
former South Florida Railroad
(ACL) to Bartow

The Florida Midland Railroad also operates a separate 6-mile line in Winter Haven. It branches off CSX's Auburndale Subdivision just south of Winter Haven Amtrak station (about 10 miles north of where the West Lake Wales to Frostproof Line branches off the same line). From Winter Haven, it runs southwest to Gordonville (just northeast of Bartow) where it ends. The line notably serves a 24-acre transload facility in Eagle Lake.[2] It also serves Bartow Municipal Airport.

The Winter Haven line was originally built in 1884 by the South Florida Railroad (part of the Plant System), which later became part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. It historically extended from the South Florida Railroad mainline (the current CSX A-Line) in Lake Alfred and extended into Bartow.[4] It was abanonded north of Winter Haven to Lake Alfred in the early 1970s and was connected to the current Auburndale Subdivision (a former Seaboard track). The line was severed from Bartow in the 1980s.

former Leesburg Line[edit]

The Florida Midland Railroad once operated a third line from Wildwood to Leesburg. Most of the Leesburg line was originally a Seaboard Air Line Railroad line, but the easternmost two miles were originally Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. In 2000, the company petitioned the Surface Transportation Board to abandon the entire Leesburg Branch, which was granted on November 15, 2000.[5] All that remains of the line is approximately 2 miles in Wildwood which is currently unused.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Florida Midland Railroad Company–Acquisition and Operation Exemption
  2. ^ a b "Florida Central, Midland, and Northern Railroads". Pinsly Railroad Company. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Bair, Bill. "City Balks at Paying For Railroad Signals". The Ledger. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Turner, Gregg (2003). A Short History of Florida Railroads. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-2421-4. 
  5. ^ Surface Transportation Board Decision Document

External links[edit]