Monday, January 30, 2017

Orange Blossom Cannonball shuts down in Tavares after track lease isn't renewed

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 11:02 AM

  • Orange Blossom Cannonball | Image via Facebook
The famous Orange Blossom Cannonball, better known as "America’s Movie Train," took its last run between Mt. Dora and Tavares this past weekend.

Both the Orange Blossom Cannonball and the Lake Dora Limited permanently closed January 29 after Florida Central Railroad chose not to renew the lease of the tracks with Cannonball’s operator, the Tavares, Eustis & Gulf Railroad. The lease for the tracks was on a year by year renewal. No details on what Florida Central Railroad plans to do with the tracks but possibilities include freight trains or using the tracks as storage.

The Orange Blossom Cannonball was the only steam engine train operating outside of a theme park in the state. Over the years, the train had become a major draw for Tavares, which has a custom-built train station in downtown that serves as the home for the Tavares Chamber of Commerce.

Famous for being used in films such as “3:10 to Yuma” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” the ‘Movie Train’ was built in 1907 in Philadelphia. It was used by the logging industry in Texas for years before it’s Hollywood debut.

Tavares has seen other trains come and go on its tracks over the years, but the six-year run by the Cannonball is by far one of the longest running attractions to use the tracks. There’s no word on what the future holds for the 110-year old train that so many loved to explore Mt. Dora, Eustis, and Tavares from.

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