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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Orlando area railfreight

Date: 01/14/20 04:41
Orlando area railfreight
Author: Tm7632

Hello all. Im from edinburgh in scotland. We will be visiting orlando in march and as i didnt manage to last year am hoping to catch some railfreight around the area when i manage to drag the other half away from the parks for a few hours. Looking for advice on best location and perhaps best time to go and have a look if anyone can shed some light id be greatfull. Thank you

Posted from Android

Date: 01/14/20 05:02
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: howeld

Plant City, FL would be the best option for seeing freight in the area. About an hour west of the Disney Area. There is a webcam there for further research of train traffic.

Posted from iPhone

Date: 01/14/20 09:11
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: gmojim

Very little if any freight in Orlando area in daylite. Just passenger trains in daylite there.
Lakeland FL just 30 minutes west of the Orlando parks has some freight traffic and more than Plant City. Mornings up until noon are best currently.


Date: 01/14/20 14:31
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: mtzctrain

I visited Plant City when I was in Orlando in December. Cool depot at the diamond, but not much traffic. I caught 1 through freight and 1 local freight working industries in my 3 hours there.
I also spent that same morning in Lakeland FL. Spent close to 2 hours with nothing, then there were 2 or 3 trains within about a half hour time. Guess it all depends on when you visit. But compared to other parts of the country, not much freight traffic moving around that part of Florida it seems.

Date: 01/15/20 02:57
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: calsubd

Not much CSX traffic moving in Florida in general, I would say Folkston, Ga. would be better, or the FEC on the East Coast

Ed Stewart
Jacksonville, FL

Date: 01/15/20 07:53
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: toledopatch

calsubd Wrote:
> Not much CSX traffic moving in Florida in general,
> I would say Folkston, Ga. would be better, or the
> FEC on the East Coast

The problem with these suggestions is that Folkston is a solid 3 hours from the Orlando area, and there's very little daytime activity on the FEC in the Cocoa-Melbourne area, which is the closest part of that railroad.

Date: 01/15/20 10:48
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: dal3294

I would not recommend Florida for railfanning other than US Sugar and FEC. Very dull state for trains.


Date: 01/15/20 11:02
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: gmojim

If you go to Lakeland, Main Street just west of the downtown area runs along side the CSX A line and passes the Vitis Wye which runs north. That is the area of Lakeland with the most possible trains. Park near the Vitis Wye so that you are watching all the tracks. In March days are a little longer and just before dark should be some activity and the morning hours also.


Date: 01/15/20 18:06
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: ShortlinesUSA

Yeah, but look at it this way.  The guy is from Scotland.  My work takes me to Europe frequently, and I'm like a kid in a candy store over there.  I'm sure some would say "You serious?  It's a Class 66, man.  That's all we have here."  Yeah, well, and I'm sick of GEVOs that never see a wash rack.  So, we're good.

To the original poster, I've lived in Florida and fanned all over it.  If you're looking to get the best you can with limited time, go with the suggestions for the Plant City/Lakeland area.  I can only imagine with Disney involved, there is also family involved, and you only have limited time.  Those locations will produce the most amount of freight traffic you can get that close to the park.

Enjoy your visit!

dal3294 Wrote:
> I would not recommend Florida for railfanning
> other than US Sugar and FEC. Very dull state for
> trains.
> RN

Date: 01/16/20 15:50
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: Tm7632

Thank you all for the info. Yeah. Limited time. Possibly only a few hours in a morning one day. Il give lakeland a try i think from the advice been given. As said. Anything will be good for me as all alien to what im used to here in edinburgh. Cheers

Posted from Android

Date: 01/16/20 17:53
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: gmojim

In Lakeland this address is the best location for most possible trains near the Vitis wye.
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]516 W Main St, Lakeland, FL 33815  ,,,,, this is Cement Products and Supply Co address and there is an open parking area just east of their business.
Railfans hang out in this area including myself, so you should not have a problem. I live in Lakeland and this is best location anywhere west of Orlando.
If you see a train on the wye to the west you will have to chase it on street, but that is easy as they are moving slow on the wye track.[/color]



Date: 01/23/20 19:02
Re: Orlando area railfreight
Author: superchief1944

I also live in Lakeland. Traffic unfortunately is not once it once was, when mornings were solid with several trains each way. I do agree that mornings are best - and get there early if you can - like before 8. The "Vitis subdivision" coming down from Dade City hits the "Lakeland subdivision" at Lakeland Jucntion. There are signals at all 3 corners of the wye but you have to do some driving around to see each set. As indicated, best spots are on west Main street along the Lakeland sub and also at the north point of the wye on the Vitis sub. Amtrak's Silver Star is pretty reliable, arriving Lakeland around 11:30, heading into Tampa, then coming back out around 1.5 hours later. Amtrak's "Julie" can help with status.
KEEP IN MIND that some of the Lakeland traffic consists of "locals" which run at odd times. Some come out of Winston Yard, west of Lakeland. Others come out of Tampa running via Plant City. That means that weekdays tend to be better than weekends.
I've never been quite able to figure out Plant City, junction of three lines into and out of Tampa (2) and the Bone Valley (phosphate) (1). It should be a real "hot spot" but I've not had a lot of luck there.
There are trains to and from the Winter Haven Logistics Intermodal Center but do not go to Winter Haven - they run through Lakeland. There is usually as least on double-stack moving through Lakeland in the early evenig (6-7:30).
If I can help, send me a Private Message and I'll do what I can.

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