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CSX Removing Track in Downtown St. Pete

04 Jun 2012 2:54 PM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)
More mileage disappearing from the railroad route map.

From the Tampa Tribune:


Any of our experts out there know who used this line originally and for what?

--Jackson McQuigg

Comments

  • 13 Jun 2012 12:26 PM | Anonymous member
    The current last remaining line in Pinellas County was originally part of the Atlantic Coast Line between its end point in St. Petersburg at 7th Ave. N., to where it runs down the middle of East St. in downtown Clearwater. From Clearwater to the Hillsboro county line at Oldsmar, the railroad was originally the Tampa Bay and Gulf Railroad Company (known as "tug and grunt") until it was absorbed by the Seaboard Air Line in 1915. Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line merged in 1967 to become the Seaboard Coast Line. The railroad then becme Family Lines System in 1979 with the acquisition of a number of other railroad in the South, including the Georgia & West Point and the Clinchfiled, as well as the Louisville & Nashville. Eventually they teamed up Chessie System in 1984 when they became what is known CSX today.

    A series of trolley lines were run by atlantic Coast Line at one time, allowing passengers to go from St. Petersburg to Tampa, but that was only via several way-out-of-the-way connections and 160 miles just to go one way. When Seaboard Air Line bought the "tug and grunt" in 1915, that doomed the trolley service as passengers could connect directly by train on the Seaboard Air Line.

    The former Amtrak station in St. Petersburg still stands, but it was rebuilt into a medical clinic, which closed its doors last year, and the property has been sitting vacant. The former Amtrak depot in Clearwater was razed a couple of year ago, and a 7-eleven store is now on the location instead.

    The end point now in St. Petersburg is just past the crossing at 9th Ave. N., where a stop sign has been posted in the middle of the track just in front of the 7th Ave. N. crossing where there is also a break in the rail.

    I was by Tropicana Field this weekend, and the grass has grown over the rails you can hardly tell it is there. Some businesses have used the abandoned track for additional parking as the rails have been paved over.

    There are no more than about a half dozen or so clients that CSX has left here in Pinellas County, with the Tampa Bay Times being its furthest end point customer now, thanks to a good rate of circulation.

    I got some of my info from a book "Images of Rail, Railroading in Pinellas County", written by Vincent Luisi, and published by Arcadia Publishing www.arcadiapublishing.com. This book is for sale at H&R Trains in Pinellas Park if you happen to be by in the area. Arcadia also has numerous other books they have published on railroading history in other reas of the country as well.
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