Florida Rail Adventures announced this week that it was suspending rail service in Mount Dora as a result of needing to replace railroad ties.
The suspension of service between Mount Dora and Tavares does not affect the other rail operations. All dinner and lunch trains, Rail Rambles, Gunfight at the OK Corral and the Orlando Magic trips will run as scheduled. Those trips originate in Eustis on a different set of railroad tracks.
Lake County’s longstanding railroad attraction just reopened for business as Florida Rail Adventures on Oct. 8. The news release announcing the suspended service is below:
News Release – January 5, 2010
SERVICE TO MOUNT DORA SUSPENDED
Eustis, FL: Florida Rail Adventures announced today it is suspending tourist rail service out of Mount Dora effective immediately. An inspection of the rail line shows that in order to keep the line up to standards set by the Federal Railroad Administration a minimum of 1000 railroad ties will need to be replaced. That number could jump as work progressed.
General Manager & President of Florida Rail Adventures, Neil Bagaus, said, “over the past three months, we replaced over 400 ties to try and keep the line open, but lack of maintenance over the past 5 years by previous companies has caught up with us. Florida Rail Adventures simply cannot afford the cost to rehabilitate the line.”
This announcement comes as ridership in December out of Mount Dora reached a 5 year high. Guest ridership was nearly double when compared to last Christmas season.
Florida Rail Adventures operated the Mount Dora Meteor five days a week with round trips between Mount Dora and Tavares. Bagaus added that “the railway is looking at other alternatives in order to operate a scheduled one hour 15 minute tourist train.” The railway already operates dinner/ lunch trains, rail rambles and trips to the Orlando Magic games.