Much to the dismay of residents and visitors, the Orange Blossom Cannonball and Lake Dora Limited trains, will permanently depart the station on January 31. The last train rides are scheduled for today.
The train romanced passengers with its short excursions for almost six years on the tracks that connect Mount Dora, Tavares and Eustis. However, the tracks owner, Pinsly Railroad Company, is changing their business strategy for the tracks so it didn't renew the train operator's lease.
"The excursion train just didn't fit in to what we hope to develop in the future," said Pete Petree, Pinsly's vice president. The section of tracks between Tavares & Mount Dora will now be used for storage.
Orange Blossom Cannonball Engine No. 2 is celebrating its 110th anniversary. The imposing locomotive began its career in logging and eventually began pulling excursion trains in various tracks in Arkansas. Later the black engine had an impressive run in films including "North and South", and “True Grit”.
Engine No. 2 will head the train today and cake will be served to passengers. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. Download the free Mount Dora Buzz mobile app here for a convenient calendar of events. Free subscriptions to the monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz are available here.