Skip to main content

Ocala Union Station

Ocala Union Station

The station was critical to the redevelopment of Ocala during the Florida Land Boom.

Ocala Union Station, 2014

The beautiful view from the front of Ocala Union Station.

Ocala Union Station, 2014

Sign for Ocala Union Staion. SunTran, the unlisted Greyhound, Dee Dee's Dog House remain in operation.

Located at 531 Northeast First Avenue, the Ocala Union Station, also known as Union Station Plaza, was built in 1917 by both the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line (SAL) Railroad. Before constructing the station, the ACL and SAL had separate depots in Ocala. The ACL station was built by the Florida Southern Railroad around 1895 and was used until the Union Station opened, when it was converted to the district office of the rail system.[1] The building was demolished in the 1960s. The SAL was built in the late 19th century by the Florida Transit and Peninsular Railroad.[2]

The single-track former ACL line crosses over the double-track SAL line at the station.[3] According to the timetable effective December 11, 1970, six passenger trains stopped per day in Ocala, two of which were routed on the former ACL line, arriving at 1:25 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.[4] The station served passenger trains for Amtrak’s Palmetto service, using the SAL's former tracks until 2004, when Amtrak rerouted their trains to the former ACL route via Palatka and Orlando.[5] A major renovation of the facility was completed in 1998. It currently serves Greyhound and local transit buses, and contains a city police office as well as a local eatery called Dee Dee’s Dog House. It was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1997.[6]

Ocala Union Station, 2014

Surrounded by historic Downtown Ocala, Union Station today.

[1] Michael Mulligan, Railroad Depots of Central Florida (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008), 40.

[2] Ibid. 84.

[3] Ibid. 118.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid. 119.

[6] Ibid. 117.