Old 05-16-2017, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Florida question

Hi all,

I`m railfanning Florida in November and I need advice on how to fill a day...

I intend to spend an afternoon in Sanford photographing the auto train and some Sun Rail (as the sun will be good for north bound trains), where is the best place/location to go prior to Sanford? Ideally within 90 minutes drive and a busy location.

The day before we`ll be at Clewiston for the USSC trains.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


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Old 05-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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Busy location and Florida are not necessarily synonymous these days as the phosphate industry has declined over the years. Given you're looking to transit between Clewiston and Sanford, my recommendation would be take a look at Plant City. It's 2.5 hours from Clewiston, and 90 minutes to Sanford. This is the junction of the CSX A line (which runs through Sanford) and S line which most of the freight bound for various points in Florida runs. I would say this is as close to a "hot spot" within your desired range as there is.

Good luck!
Mike Derrick

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Old 05-22-2017, 04:12 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
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I live here and can give you some advice.

I can tell you that Orlando is absolutely dead as far as freight goes. You won't see much, if any during the day, everything runs at night, even the Florida Central interchange, which used to happen mid-day.

The only freight that even still runs on the line is a unit coal train to OUC Stanton power plant, and Q455/456 Waycross-Taft, which set off at Palatka and Sanford. The coal trains run at random times, 4-5 times per week, the Q455/456 is daily, but at night.

Your best bet is to try to catch Sunrail at a couple places during the morning rush, then head to Plant City.

Admittedly, I have not been railfanning since CSX has re-opened Winston and jumbled around the schedules, but either Plant City or Vitis Junction (North of Plant City, before Dade City) would be the busiest place within an hour and a half...
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