MOUNT DORA, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A popular tourist train called the Royal Palm Railway Experience that runs through Lake County is shutting down its route between Tavares and Mount Dora.
“This will be our first time,” Nancy Garrett from the Villages said.
“She said ‘save the ticket, it may be of some historic value one day,’” her husband Gary Garrett said.
The Garrett’s love taking day trips to Mount Dora.
“The restaurants, the people are friendly, the little stores, the ‘boutiquey’ atmosphere - just everything,” Nancy Garrett said.
When they heard about the Royal Palm Railway Experience, they said they had to get a ticket. But came to find out their tickets would be some of the last.
“We thought, gee that’s a shame because a lot of people were getting off and they looked like they had a good time, so we said we gotta do that,” Gary Garrett said.
After this weekend, the passenger train will no longer be making stops in Mount Dora. “Oh it’s so sad,” Nancy Garrett said.
The train is best known for cute rides inspired by the Wizard of Oz and Polar Express during special times of the year. Folks in town said they wish there was a way to save this train stop, but officials said the old tracks are just too expensive to maintain.
The Florida Central Railroad company, which owns and operates the tracks, said it would take upwards of $3 million to repair.
“It’s a big loss for Mount Dora and I think the people,” Nancy Garrett said.
Which is why folks young and old are savoring these final days and capturing memories before this train pulls out of town.
“Hate to see it go, but maybe it will be back in a few years,” Gary Garrett said. “We hope.”