Orlando Health/Amtrak Station

Amtrak Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Station

The Mission Revival-style Orlando station was constructed by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1926 at a cost of $500,000. Known for its architecture, the station features stucco facade and towers flanking its entrance.

Located approximately one mile south of Downtown Orlando at 1400 Sligh Boulevard, the Spanish Mission-style Orlando Health/Amtrak Station, which is also known as Orlando Station, was constructed by the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Railroad Company in 1926 at a cost of $500,000, and opened for service on January 11, 1927.[1] The South Florida Railroad was completed in 1882, connecting Sanford to Kissimmee. Henry Plant acquired the line in 1883 and incorporated it into the Plant System, which was a system of railroads, steamships, and hotels that operated from 1860 to 1902 in South, Central, and Coastal Georgia with lines extending down into Port Tampa and Punta Gorda, Florida.[2] The Plant System was purchased by the ACL Railroad Company in 1902.[3] As the city grew, the volume of trade and train passengers going through the depot at Orlando’s Church Street Station became too much for it to handle. So, in 1926, the ACL moved the depot to the current location. The station played a key role during the Florida land boom, which tapered off in the 1930s due to the Great Depression.

Amtrak Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Station

The results of the 1990 renovation. The station maintained its original revival-style architecture, but took on a fresh, new look.

The station’s architects, A. M. Griffith and W. T. Hadlow, designed a stucco facade and towers flanking the entrance in a Mission Revival style.[4] The original arched arcade extended to the south, but was removed in 1963 and replaced with a freight warehouse.[5] In 1967, the station joined the Seaboard Coast Line (SCL) Railroad after a merger between the SCL and ACL.[6] Since the Walt Disney World Resort opened on October 1, 1971, the station has played a key role in the transportation of tourists to and from the Orlando area. In 1990, the station underwent extensive renovations, due to deterioration after years of operation. In 2013, the flourishing station’s annual revenue was $13,761,482, with an annual ridership in that same year of 160,442, while facilitating four daily trains.[7] The station has been served by Amtrak, operated by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, since the 1970s, and has been served by SunRail, the commuter service of Greater Orlando, since 2014. In 2014, the City of Orlando built a second platform for use by the SunRail commuter train, featuring arches that resemble the Mission-style architecture of the station’s canopy.[8] In August of that year, the city announced a $2.1 million restoration project of the historic building. Work was completed on June 29, 2015.[9] The station also serves the Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach bus, Lynx bus route 40, and is the proposed terminus on the planned Orange Blossom Express commuter rail project out of Lake County.

Amtrak Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Station

After more than 60 years of deterioration, the station was renovated in 1990.

[1] Michael Mulligan, Railroad Depots of Central Florida (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008), 42.

[2] Gregg M. Turner, A Journey into Florida Railroad History (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008), 124-126.; Gregg M. Turner and Seth H. Bramson, The Plant System of Railroads, Steamships and Hotels (Laurys Station, PA: Garrigues House, Publishers, 2004): 47.

[3] Mulligan, Railroad Depots of Central Florida, 9.

[4] “Orlando, FL (ORL)," Great American Stations, accessed December 1, 2015, http://www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/ORL.

[5] Mulligan, Railroad Depots of Central Florida, 42.

[6] "Orlando, FL (ORL)."

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

Orlando Health/Amtrak Station