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Florida East Coast Railway
[est. 1885]

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          Florida East Coast passenger train crossing to Key West on the Seven Mile Bridge           Short History

Route & Stations

Equipment Rosters

Reading Material

Films & Other Media

Image Gallery

Links

                    


Henry M. Flagler [1830-1913] began the Florida East Coast Railway in 1885; he built southward along the east coast of Florida
and out to the Florida Keys by 1912. The Key West extension was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935 and the current mainline
runs 366 miles (599km) from Jacksonville to Miami, Florida.


Florida East Coast Railroad herald - color historical         Florida East Coast Railroad herald - modern         Florida East Coast Railway Society         F.E.C. Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad herald

The Florida East Coast Railway began as the narrow-gauge Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Halifax River Railroad in 1881, which was purchased in 1885 by Henry Flagler [1830-1913] and renamed; he also acquired the St. Augustine Palatka Railroad and the St. John’s Railroad, and by 1889 had laid track as far south as Daytona. By 1894, the railroad was extended to West Palm Beach, and by 1901 it had reached Miami. Before and during construction, the new railroad extension to Key West, Florida was called "Flagler's Folly"; after it opened, it became known as “The Eighth Wonder of the World”. The Key West line was destroyed in a hurricane in 1935.

The DuPont family purchased the F.E.C. Railway during The Great Depression but the drop in freight business and lack of investment in maintenance made the line unsafe for workers; management chose to blame the cost of labor and hired non-union workers. The St. Joe Company (land developers) bought the bankrupt F.E.C. Railway from the DuPont Trust in 1960. A violent labor strike took place from 1963 until 1977, when federal authorities intervened. Unprofitable passenger service was ended in 1968. A hard-fought court case decided in favor of management, establishing their right to hire strikebreakers.

St. Joe spun off FOXX Holdings in 1983 and renamed it F.E.C. Industries in 2006. The F.E.C. Railway was operated (but not owned) by RailAmerica
from about 2000 until the 2007 sale of F.E.C.I. to Fortress Investment Group, the current owners, for $3.5B.

official F.E.C. Railway websiteFEC Railway entry at Wikipedia
Florida East Coast Railway Society [est. 1999] of Palmetto Bay, Florida

official F.E.C. Industries websiteF.E.C.I entry at Wikipedia

official Fortress Investment Group websiteFortress Investment Group entry at Wikipedia

Florida East Coast Railway Society [est. 1999] of Palmetto Bay, Florida
JD's F.E.C. Railway fansite


Florida East Coast Railway Route and Stations
map of the Florida East Coast Railway, circa 1910 (from Georgia to Knight's Key Dock)    
map of the Florida East Coast Railway Key West Extension, shortly after completion in 1912    

The official Florida East Coast Railway stations or water stops are (moving southward): [MP345, elev. 7871].
Jacksonville
St. Augustine
Fort Pierce
West Palm Beach
Miami
Key West

                 

Jacksonville

St. Augustine

Fort Pierce

West Palm Beach

Miami
Gold Coast Railway Museum [est. 1957] near the Miami Zoo
Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) 4-6-2 steam locomotive #113 {in storage}
F.E.C. Railway 1922 4-6-2 locomotive #153 on exhibit since 1959
F.E.C. Railway 1946 passenger coach 'Belle Glade' on exhibit since 1995
F.E.C. Railway track section car donated in 1962
F.E.C. caboose #715 recently arrived at Gold Coast Railway Museum [10/2012]
F.E.C. 1925 passenger coach #136 donated 1959, in storage

Key West

F.E.C. Equipment Rosters
list of surviving F.E.C. steam locomotives

yearwhytename/numberhistorydisposition/status
1903ng K-27 2-8-2 Mikado#463D&RG 1909-24, D&RGW 1924-1955, Gene Autry 1955-94, C&TS 1994-todaybeing rebuilt at Chama since 2009
1925 ng K-36 2-8-2 Mikado#483D&RGW 1925-1970, C&TS 1970-todayon display at Chama
1925 ng K-36 2-8-2 Mikado#484D&RGW 1925-1970, C&TS 1970-todayoperating daily (in season)
1925 ng K-36 2-8-2 Mikado#487D&RGW 1925-1970, C&TS 1970-todayoperating daily (in season)
1925 ng K-36 2-8-2 Mikado#488D&RGW 1925-1970, C&TS 1970-todayoperating daily (in season)

Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) 4-6-2 steam locomotive #113 {in storage} at Gold Coast Railway Museum
F.E.C. Railway 1922 4-6-2 locomotive #153 on exhibit at Gold Coast Railway Museum since 1959
F.E.C. Railway 1946 passenger coach 'Belle Glade' on exhibit at Gold Coast Railway Museum since 1995
F.E.C. Railway track section car donated in 1962
F.E.C. caboose #715 recently arrived at Gold Coast Railway Museum [10/2012]
F.E.C. 1925 passenger coach #136 donated 1959, in storage at Gold Coast Railway Museum

FEC Private Railcar 90 [1898 yellow] restored/exhibited at Indiana Transportation Museum since 1970
FEC Private Railcar 91 [1886 green] restored/exhibited at Kenan Pavilion, Whitehall, Palm Beach since 2003
F.E.C. Railway 1924 0-8-0 locomotive #253 being restored at F.E.C. Historical Railway & Transportation Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida
11-window passenger coach in use as gift shop on Pigeon Key

Reading Material

Railroad That Died at Sea / Florida East Coast Key West book by Pat Parks  "The Railroad That Died At Sea: The Florida East Coast's Key West Extension" [1969] by Pat Parks
Ketch & Yawl, LLC 64-page 8¼x5½ pb [rev 4/2010] for $11.13
Langley Press 48-page 8½x5½ pb [3/2006] out of print/40+ used
Stephen Greene Press 8¾x5½ pb [1975] out of print/used
Stephen Greene Press 44-page 8½x5¾ hardcover [1969] out of print/used
Speedway to Sunshine / Florida East Coast Railway book by Seth Bramson  "Speedway To Sunshine: The Story of The Florida East Coast Railway" [1984]
by Seth H. Bramson

Boston Mills Press 11x8¼ pb [9/2010] for $25.62
Boston Mills Press 11x8½ hardcover [rev 3/2003] out of print/many used
Boston Mills Press hardcover [6/84] out of print/used
Pigeon Key Seven-Mile Bridge book by Dan Gallagher, PhD  
"Pigeon Key and The Seven-Mile Bridge, 1908-1912" [1995]
by Dan Gallagher, PhD

Pigeon Key Foundation 8½x5¾ pb [1995] out of print/used
By Streamliner New York to Florida book by Joseph M. Welsh  "By Streamliner New York To Florida" [2002] by Joseph M. Welsh
A history of passenger service to Florida via Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, and Florida East Coast Railway, from the late 1800s until Amtrak
Motorbooks Intl 11x8½ pb [3/2002] out of print/used
Florida's Great Ocean Railway, Building the Key West Extension book by Dan Gallagher  "Florida's Great Ocean Railway: Building The Key West Extension" [2003]
by Dan Gallagher

Pineapple Press 11x8¾ hardcover [5/2003] for $13.56
Last Train to Paradise / Henry Flagler book by Les Standiford  "Last Train To Paradise: Henry Flagler and The Spectacular Rise and Fall of The Railroad That Crossed An Ocean" [2002] by Les Standiford
Kindle Edition from Random House Digital [2003 edition] for $11.99
Broadway Books 8x5¼ pb [8/2003] for $10.17
Crown Books 9½x6 hardcover [9/2002] out of print/many used
Florida Railroads in the 1920s book from Images of Rail  "Florida Railroads In The 1920s (Images of Rail)" [2006] by Gregg Turner
focuses on the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line, the Florida East Coast Railway, and the Frisco Line
Kindle Edition from Arcadia Publng [9/2012] for $9.99
Arcadia Publng 9¼x6½ pb [2/2006] for $17.15
Florida Keys Overseas Railway book by Warren Zeiller  "The Florida Keys Overseas Railway" [2006]
by Warren Zeiller

Signature Press 11x8½ hardcover [2006] out of print/used
Florida East Coast Railway Images of Rail Series book by Seth H. Bramson  "Florida East Coast Railway (Images of Rail Series)" [2006]
by Seth H. Bramson

Arcadia Publng 9¼x6½ pb [10/2006] for $16.05
Henry Plant & Henry Flagler and Their Railroads book by Sandra W. Sammons  "The Two Henrys: Henry Plant and Henry Flagler and Their Railroads"
[ages 9 & up; 2010] by Sandra Wallus Sammons

Pineapple Press Biographies 9x6 pb [3/2010] for $9.95
Pineapple Press Biographies 9½x6 hardcover [3/2010] for $11.96
Greatest Railroad Story Ever Told / Florida East Coast Railway book by Seth H. Bramson  "The Greatest Railroad Story Ever Told: Henry Flagler & The Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension" [2011]
by Seth H. Bramson

The History Press 8¾x5¾ pb [11/2011] for $18.74
Long Key - Flagler's Island Getaway book by Thomas Neil Knowles  "Long Key: Flagler's Island Getaway For The Rich and Famous" [2014]
by Thomas Neil Knowles

Kindle Edition from Univ Press of Florida [4/2014] for $10.69
Univ Press of Florida 9½x6½ hardcover [4/2014] for $17.13


Films & TV, Other Media

Railroad That Went to Sea / Florida East Coast  "The Railroad That Went to Sea: Florida East Coast Railway's Overseas Train To Key West" [2000]
Historic Tours of America 26-minute color/b&w VHS [12/2000] out of prodn/used
Trains of The Florida East Coast Railway 104-minute color DVD  "Trains of The Florida East Coast Railway" [2010]
104-minute film shot in 2008
Plets Express color DVD [2010] for $32.95
Florida East Coast color DVD  "Florida East Coast" on DVD [2012]
74-minute color video featuring day and night footage of Bowden Yard in Jacksonville, Beaver Street Tower, the Jacksonville container yard, the interchange for N.A.S.A., Miami Hialeiah Yard, New Smyrna Beach Yard, and many other locations along the main line
Green Frog Prodns color DVD [5/2012] for $19.95


Image Gallery

mystery poster for the Florida East Coast Railroad: the Key West bridges were destroyed in 1935, diesel passenger locomotives were not in use until 1940s => confusing         bridges to Key West, Florida - taller highway bridge on left, F.E.C. Railway masonry on right (note telephone poles farther to the right)


F.E.C. Railway Links

official F.E.C. Railway websiteFEC Railway entry at Wikipedia
Florida East Coast Railway Society [est. 1999] of Palmetto Bay, Florida

official F.E.C. Industries websiteF.E.C.I entry at Wikipedia
official Fortress Investment Group websiteFortress Investment Group entry at Wikipedia

Florida East Coast Railway Society [est. 1999] of Palmetto Bay, Florida
F.E.C. Key West Extension fansite
FECRR/Flagler article at Florida Keys Historical Preservation Society website
possible restoration [2011] of the 1917 FEC station at Tequesta, Florida
JD's F.E.C. Railway fansite

American Railroads Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
Railroad Film Festival Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Railroads in Fiction' Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Non-Fiction Books About Railroads' Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

here on the Florida East Coast Railway Page

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