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

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del

Siuslaw River Bridge - US 101 in Florence, Oregon

  As the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) was being completed across the State of Oregon during the 1930s, a number of bridges needed to be built to cross some of the state's finest rivers. In Florence, Oregon , the Siuslaw River Bridge was designed and constructed to help fill in the gaps between different coastal communities. Built in 1936, the Siuslaw River Bridge is a bascule bridge flanked by two reinforced concrete arches that spans across the Siuslaw River. The bridge and the river get their names from the Siuslaw tribal people who make their home along the river valleys of this part of the Oregon Coast. Today, the bridge provides a vital link connecting US 101 and the Central Oregon Coast to points north and south. The total length of the Siuslaw River Bridge is 1,568 feet, stretching across the river. But more specifically, the bridge is made up of a north approach with eight spans of reinforced concrete deck girder totaling 478 feet in length. There is a main span in three