• Seminole operations around Sarasota as well as others

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by njtmnrrbuff
The first week in January I will be visiting a relative in Sarasota. It looks like I will be there a little longer than expected. Anyway, what are the Seminole operations like in Sarasota as well as good photo areas assuming if that line is active. Are there any other places good for photography in the greater Sarasota area that is accessible by there bus system?

  by ACLfan
Hello, again! I left you a response to your post on the "Hot Spots" section.

Just to summarize my response in "Hot Spots". Not much is happening, railroad wise, in Sarasota. Service has just about degenerated to a "demand - response" operation, based on customers' needs, as compared to regular scheduled train service.

Seminole Gulf normally keeps 1 - 2 torpedo-boat Geeps at their operations base in Oneco, located on the southeast side of Bradenton (about 10 miles north of Sarasota). Oneco is the interchange point between the Seminole Gulf and CSX.

Bradenton is the southern terminal of CSX's Tropicana "Juice Trains" that operate on high priority schedules on the CSX. These trains also rate the newest and fastest locomotive power, so Bradenton and north are good places to see the new GM-EMD SD70 MAC and ACe power!

The east side of the Tampa area is also a great place for railfanning, as the frequency of trains is quite high, especially on the former SAL line.

So, that's the bad news and the good news!

Good luck!


  by njtmnrrbuff
Well I got back from sarasota today. It was nice. Yes I got to see the Seminole Gulf right of way, no locomotives but boxcars. There are quite a few highway grade crossings in Sarasota. Maybe someday, this line could use commuter service . Too much traffic in Sarasota.

  by spencer8b75
I am currently in Sarasota where I grew up and I have to say I am sadly shocked by the way Seminole Gulf had to scale back service on the Sarasota (SCL) line. I am visiting my family and am taken some well deserved time off from my job with Amtrak at SSYD NY.. When I was in junior high school I befreinded one of the local crews on the Seminole Gulf Sarasota turn out of Oneco Brandeton. This was back when the Seminole Gulf was still bringing the red unit of the Ringling Bros Circus Train from Oneco to thier winter headquarters in Venice FL. I used to ride my ten speed bike all the way from my parents house near Bee Ridge Road the 30 miles to Oneco and ride the train back home. My particular freind would toss my bike right on the walkway alongside the firemans side of the short hood.. I also used to follow the circus train through Sarasota and all the way down to Venice on my bicycle. Since the Circus train did not go over 11 to 12 MPH it was easy for me to keep up with it. The olny time SGLRR used both geeps together was to pull the circus train. The two locomotives Seminole Gulf had assigned to Sarasota were Ex B&O GP9's. These engines had the roof mounted torpedo air tanks still intact and they were set up to run long hood first. They were SGLR 576 & 577. As far as I know 576 is still used and 577 has some mechanical issues. When Seminole took over operations on the line from CSX back in 1988/89 the units were still in thier Chessie System colors looking very good. CSX usually sent a SCL U18B or some other light weight four axle unit from Tropicana to work as the Sarasota Switcher..I have many pictures that I took from the cab that I will cherrish for the rest of my life. The track from Clark Road in Sarasota south to Nokomis and Venice has been removed and I believe the still existing right of way is a Rail to Trails canadate..The Winn Dixie warehouse on Clark RD closed,, The Publix warehouse no longer takes rail shipments,, Scottys on Bee Ridge RD and the one on Shade AVE closed due to competition with the Home Depot and Forest Products on Gypsy Street stopped taking rail shipments. These were the main customers on the Sarasota Line. As far as I know the olny customer they have on the Sarasota line is a truss plant off Mcintosh Road in Sarasota not to far from whats left of the Publix and Winn Dixie spur..Publix also shipped out loaded boxcars of cardboard for recycling. This combined with the inbound boxcars full of canned goods made them a very busy customer. Seminole Gulf still has a few more customers on the A-Line (ACL) that runs north from thier staging yard near downtown Sarasota out toward Mantoka. I could go on and on about the Seminole Gulf Golden years forever..I sure miss that southern hospitality and I will cherrish the momories I have of the Seminole Gulf Railroad forever...If anyone knows when the last train to Nokomis ran,,Or if anyone has pictures of SGLRR or CSX through Sarasota-Please let me know...

  by Tadman
I'm going to be in the Fort Myers area in a few weeks, and I'd like to know where the SGLR yard is there - also, if anybody has tips about finding #550, the Alco C425. Any other tips about SGLR would be helpful too.

  by DODGEIT105
Things have changed in Sarasota in the last year or so. First things first. 576 was out of service for the last two years so 577 was the sole engine on the line. 576 was being used as a parts source for 577 an other operating SGLR GP-9's. In January of 2010 577 had a major mechanical problem that took it out of service. The railroad didn't want to fix it so they shipped #580 (Ex-FEC #660) from Ft. Myers to Oneco. It now is the only engine on the line(576 and 577 are now gone. Read further). It is kept in the fenced in portion of the yard at Suburban Propane. When 577 was still operational it originated out of here as well due to vandalisim. 576 was parked on a siding outside the fence at Suburban Propane. The Sarasota operation is down to 1 day of week. Usually it is on Tuesday. They work south to the wye and then head north on the old "A" line. Until recently the line south of the wye was out of service and used for storage of old bad order boxcars on the end of the line south of Clark Rd. Also the railroad collected all of the other old boxcars they had stored around different spots on the old "A" line and shoved all of them south of the wye and around the curve to just shy of Shade Avenue. Of course this brought the NIMBY's out who complained about the cars being there. This past Sunday I was in the area of the southern terminus of the line and noticed the stored boxcars were all gone including the ones stored behind the old Winn Dixie Warehouse. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come such as abandonment. It is my understanding the county wants this section of the line to extend their useless trail. Only time will tell. As mentioned earlier 576 and 577 are gone. They were sold to Railserv in Texas to be made into Genset type locomotives. I imagine they are only going to use the frame and maybe the trucks off of these with the rest going to scrap. Also #575 was shipped from Ft. Myers to Railserv as well. This is all I have for now and I will update it if I hear anymore.
  by Jeff Smith
Thanks for the update, DODGE, and welcome to the board. I've cross-posted this to our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/RailroadNet

Trying to get to 1,000 "Likes"!
  by DODGEIT105
Update to the Sarasota Operations. SGLR #579 has been shipped to Oneco to supplement SGLR #580. These are both Ex-FEC 656 and 660 respectively . Former units 576 and 577 along with Ft. Myers unit 575 have been sold to Railserv in Longview Texas for conversion to Gensets. Here are pictures of 576 and 577 after their conversions. http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=3172467 http://www.railserveleaf.biz/photo_gallery.html 576 has been sent to St. Paul Minnesota, and 577 was taken at Railserv's facility in Longview Texas right after its conversion to a genset. Also of late the line south of the wye in Sarasota has had the brush cutter run down it and do some much needed mowing. In places the rails were hidden by the long grass and weeds.