Skip to main content

Florida Friday; Pinola Train Wreck Site

In far eastern Citrus County along the Withlacoochee River there is a small ghost town known Pineola along former Florida State Road 39/County Route 39.  Pineola once was a siding of a Atlantic Coast Railroad line which as the sight of the "Great Train Wreck of 1956."


The former Atlantic Coast Railroad line is now part of the Withlacoochee State Trail which details the Great Train Wreck of 1956.  The Great Train Wreck of 1956 was a head-on collision between two trains; one heading south from Dunnellon and the other heading north from Croom.  Both trains were heading towards each other with a full payload of freight at speeds close to 50 MPH.  The wreck was blamed on foggy conditions leading to a failure to notice that both trains on the same track until was too late.  Apparently both trains had just been fitted with radios which the engineered involved refused to use until they were given pay as radio operators.  Apparently one of Croom Station agents attempted in vein to intercept the northbound train along what was FL 39.  The actual historic marker on the Withlacoochee State Trail can be observed:

hmbd.org on the Great Train Wreck of 1956

The site of the Great Train Wreck of 1956 can be observed from CR 39 in Pineola.


FL 39 originally ran from Hopewell at FL 60 north to FL 48 in Floral City.  FL 39 was a hidden designation of US 98 Zephrhills north to Ridge Manor where it split north along the Withlacoochee River to FL 48.  This 1956 State Highway Map shows the alignment of FL 39 north of US 98 as a Secondary State Road.

1956 Florida State Road Map

Pineola was originally the site of a Limestone Mine in the Pineola Grotto.  The Pineola Grotto apparently hosts various unique plant species and may have hosted more in the past.  Pineola first appears on the 1895 Citrus County Map.

1895 Citrus County Map

The Withlacoochee State Trail is a 46 mile bike route which was part of Atlantic Coast Railroad track between Citrus Springs and Lacoochee.  The line had been active in the 1880s before it was acquired by the Atlantic Coast Railroad in 1893.  In the second half of the 20th Century the Atlantic Coast Railroad was gradually merged into the CSX Railroad.  The Citrus Springs to Lacoochee Line was shuttered in 1987 and was taken over by the State of Florida to build the Withlacoochee State Trail in 1989.



Comments

Jim Grey said…
What an incredibly thorough treatment. You put a lot of work in here and it shows.

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, the color of your nearby fire hydrant matters...

...and here's why. You will find White, Red, Yellow and Violet colored fire hydrants pretty much everywhere.  But there's a reason for this - and it's because of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This association has issued guidelines for color coding standards for fire hydrants.  These color codes from the body of the hydrant, top of the hydrant, and in some municipalities the outlet caps are designed to allow fire fighters to know what type of system, water flow rate (Gallons Per Minute or GPM), and level of water pressure.  This guideline is known as NFPA 291 and is intended to be used universally throughout the United States. The NFPA guidelines are specific to the body and the top cap of the hydrant.  If a hydrant is WHITE or YELLOW - it means that it is connected to a public/municipal water system.  If a hydrant is RED - the hydrant is connected to a private system, typically a well.  These are most common in rural or unincorporated areas

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the