The three original railroads went through a series of bankruptcies, sales, and mergers, which brought them under one banner in 1967 as part of the Seaboard Coast Line. In 1983 the SCL was merged into the Seaboard System. This corporation was a stepping stone used to merge the Chessie System with the SCL’s Family Lines in 1986 to form the present day CSX Corporation.
CSX, being an extremely large rail system, could not operate branch lines efficiently and provide the personalized service that customers required. Therefore, many of their branch lines were sold off as short line railroads in the ‘80s and ‘90s. In 1986 the Pinsly Railroad Company, owner of several short line railroads in other states, was selected by CSX to operate the branch as the Florida Central Railroad with their local base of operations located in the former SAL depot in Plymouth.
The Florida Rail Adventures operated on Florida Central Railroad’s tracks by agreement. Scheduled passenger service on the line from Wildwood to Orlando was terminated in 1954 by the SAL. The tracks from Leesburg to Tavares were abandoned in 1982 and from Wildwood to Leesburg between 2001 and 2008 due to loss of their customer base.
After more than 125 years, this historic branch line continues to serve its many customers who depend on it for reliable, economical, efficient transportation to move their raw materials to their plants and to move their finished products to market.
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