The Central Florida Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, Inc. was chartered on November 8, 1970, with fourteen founding members.
From its inception, the Chapter always had a dream of having a permanent home for Chapter activities and a railroad museum. The Chapter purchased the former Tavares & Gulf Railroad depot at Winter Garden from the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad on October 22, 1979, and immediately began restoration efforts on the structure. Today, the structure houses the Central Florida Railroad Museum.
On November 8, 2010, the Chapter celebrated its 40th Anniversary at its regular monthly meeting.
On August 13, 2012, the Chapterís membership voted to withdraw from the National Railway Historical Society, Inc. and form the Central Florida Railway Historical Society, Inc. The official date for the change was January 1, 2013.
Through the operation of the Central Florida Railroad Museum, the Central Florida Railway Historical Society is committed to the collection and preservation of railroad history, with a special focus on Central Florida, and the restoration and exhibition of railroad memorabilia for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Central Florida Railroad Museum is operated under a cooperative agreement between the City of Winter Garden, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and the Central Florida Railway Historical Society.
Over the years, the Society has been involved in a number of activities that include sponsoring model train and railroadiana shows, setting up and manning exhibits at the Central Florida and Lake County Fairs, hosting North American Rail Car Operator Association motor car visits to Winter Garden and the Central Florida Railroad Museum, hosting annual meetings of the Florida Chapter of the Morse Telegraph Club, hosting Society field trips to railroad-related locations throughout Florida and the southeastern United States, loaned railroad-related artifacts for displays throughout Central Florida, and sponsored train rides out of Winter Garden over the Florida Central Railroad.
The Society holds monthly meetings at the Central Florida Railroad Museum at 101 South Boyd Street on the second Monday of each month (except December) beginning at 7:00 P.M. After a short business meeting, a break is taken for refreshments and socializing prior to the presentation of a railroad-related program. Through monthly meetings and other Society-related activities, members come together to share a deep interest in railroading. Members come from all walks of life; most have no connections with railroads other than as a hobby.
The Society also holds monthly workdays at the Central Florida Railroad Museum to maintain its railroad memorabilia collection, to take care of minor repairs and housekeeping chores, and to fellowship with other members.
Interested in joining the Central Florida Railway Historical Society?? Prospective members are cordially invited to attend monthly meetings and Society-sponsored field trips that are held throughout the year.
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