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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dunedin in Pinellas County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Orange Belt Railway Station

 
 
Orange Belt Railway Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 11, 2013
1. Orange Belt Railway Station Marker
Inscription.
In 1888, this site was the original location of the Orange Belt Railway Station. A newer station was built in 1900, but burned down. The present station was built in 1924, and used by the Atlantic Coast Railroad Company until the railroad was discontinued in the late 1970's. By the late 1980's, the tracks were removed and the Pinellas Trail now occupies the track bed. This historic station is one of only a few remaining buildings left that exemplify the area's railroad history. Today, this building is occupied by the Dunedin Historical Society & Museum, and showcases collections from Dunedin's history.
 
Erected 2012 by City of Dunedin.
 
Location. 28° 0.707′ N, 82° 47.329′ W. Marker is in Dunedin, Florida, in Pinellas County. Marker is on Main Street east of Railroad Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is mounted directly on subject building, near the entrance facing Main Street, at eye-level just left of the door. Marker is at or near this postal address: 349 Main Street, Dunedin FL 34698, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Purple Heart Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The American's Creed / In Grateful Remembrance
Orange Belt Railway Station Marker (<i>wide view; marker visible between window and door</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 11, 2013
2. Orange Belt Railway Station Marker (wide view; marker visible between window and door)
(approx. 0.2 miles away); The Dunedin LVT, Landing Vehicle Tracked (approx. half a mile away); Dr. Willis Stanley Blatchley (approx. half a mile away); Historic Andrews Memorial Chapel (approx. 1.6 miles away); Training Area of the U.S. Marine Corps Amphibian Tractor (Alligator) (approx. 2 miles away); Dunedin Isles Golf Club (approx. 2.2 miles away); Clearwater Athletic Field (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dunedin.
 
Also see . . .
1. Orange Belt Railway.
The Orange Belt Railway was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad established in 1885 by Russian exile Peter Demens in Florida. It was one of the longest narrow gauge railroads in the United States at the time of its completion in 1888, with a mainline 152 miles (245 km) in length between Sanford, Florida and St. Petersburg, Florida. It carried citrus, vegetables, and passengers; and it interchanged with two standard gauge lines: the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railway at Lake Monroe, Florida and the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad at Lacoochee, Florida. (Submitted on December 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Orange Belt Railway Station image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 12, 2013
3. Orange Belt Railway Station
 

2. The Orange Belt Railway.
The railroad was built in a rural agricultural area, that produced traffic only in the late Winter and early Spring. The Orange Belt Investment Co. owned hundreds of thousand of acres, but growth was slow in this section. Only a third of the road was profitable and that was the line from Lachoochee to St. Petersburg. All the communities along the Gulf coast prospered. However the other two thirds of the railroad ran in the red, which brought the railroad into receivership in 1893. The road was sold by the court, right back to its owners, and they reorganized as the Sanford and St. Petersburg RR. The road limped along until March of 1895, when Florida had the great freeze, killing all the Citrus trees. In 1902 the Atlantic Coast Line purchased the narrow gauge lines. The ACL slowly converted the road until the last portion was completed in April of 1908, ending the long run of the last narrow gauge common carrier in Florida. (Submitted on December 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. History of the Orange Belt Railway.
Excursions were popular during the tourist season, from January to Easter. A Tarpon Springs Special was usually run from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs and back. There was also seasonal fruit and vegetable traffic from December to June. This consisted of Tangerines in December, Oranges from January to March and early vegetables from
Orange Belt Railway Station Door image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 12, 2013
4. Orange Belt Railway Station Door
March to May. A watermelon rush would occur in June. The road was built through rolling hills, around lakes and through swamps, crossing only one river, the Withlacoochee at Lacoochee. This railroad was almost a roller coaster, as it was built with the lay of the ground, however the average grade did not exceed one percent. The road also had many curves, avoiding the many lakes and swamps on the route. (Submitted on December 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsRailroads & Streetcars
 
Atlantic Coast Line / Railway Express Agency Cart image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 11, 2013
5. Atlantic Coast Line / Railway Express Agency Cart
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 97 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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