Did you know we have 1,800 linear feet of track to transport visitors back to 1886, when Peter Demens established a railway line in West Central Florida? Enjoy a scenic view of the museum grounds as you ride along our Orange Belt Railway, modeled after the original narrow-gauge line that originated in Sanford, FL and ended in St. Petersburg. The Orange Belt transported fertilizer, lumber, citrus, vegetables and people to and from Pinellas County. St. Petersburg was the southern terminus, named for the founder's hometown in Russia. Our very own Pinellas Trail, a veritable highway for bicyclists, joggers, dog-walkers and others now runs along the original Orange Belt Railway Line. Take a trip back in time to Old Florida at The Collection on Palmetto. All aboard!
Our steam locomotive is an 0-6-0 model, coal-burning engine retrofitted with propane for a cleaner ride. Reserved for special events, this engine closely resembles the original locomotives of the Orange Belt Railway.
We've recently upgraded to a pneumatic tamper, making track maintenance a whole lot easier. Some of track maintenance duties include keeping the rails clear of rocks, leveling the track, repairing track and keeping the railway clear of debris from storms.
Our entire railway was fabricated in-house using custom jigs, rail benders and lumber supplied by local vendors.
If you or someone you know may be interested in train operation or track maintenance at The Collection on Palmetto, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Training sessions are offered periodically on Second Saturdays.