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Florida Railroad Museum
- Address12210 83rd Street East, Parrish, Florida, 34219
- Phone #941.776.0906
The Florida Railroad Museum focuses on the Plant System and Seaboard Air Line located in the Gulf Coast area of Florida. This museum offers one of the most unique museum experiences in the world. Here you "Ride the Exhibits!"
The Museum is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM, year-round, in Parrish, FL. Hour and a half excursions on historic rail equipment depart from the Parrish Train Station at 11 AM and 2 PM. Special events are scheduled throughout the year featuring themed train rides. Some events have different schedules, so please check the calendar above for details. The party caboose is available to charter for small, private parties or you may charter the entire train for large family or corporate events.
Henry Plant took over the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad and expanded into Tampa to connect with his steamship lines running to Cuba and other destinations. He also built hotels and key locations along this line in the 1890s. In 1900, Henry Plant died and his railroad interests were soon purchased by the Atlantic Coast Line, along with several other acquisitions in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. The Atlantic Coast Line made Tampa it's major destination on the West Coast with maintenance shops, yards and shipping facilities located there. The ACL Florida main line ran from Jacksonville to Tampa via Orlando, Lakeland and Plant City.
The Seaboard Air Line, based in Richmond, VA, was a competitor of the ACL and came to Tampa in 1902, running tracks through Ocala and Plant City before turning west toward Tampa. Seaboard began building branch lines just after the turn of the century to St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice.
Both railroads also absorbed several short lines until their tracks intertwined throughout this region and laid the ground work for their eventual merger in 1967, forming the Seaboard Coast Line.