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The railroad to Key West.

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  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, January 13, 2024 10:33 PM

My brother went down there when his daughter was about 6 years old. They went on the old road where people were fishing. A truck would drive up and down, selling bait, charcoal and beer and other items required. His daughter hooked a hammerhead shark, he said. It sounded like a pretty cool place to be. 

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
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Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, January 13, 2024 9:41 PM

By way of refreshing the subject: See linked site @ https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/florida/overseas-railroad-fl/

Abrief history of "Flagler's Folly".FTL:[in Oart] "...In 1905, the industrialists decided to extend the Florida East Coast Railway beyond Miami, all the way to Key West. The hope was for the Flagler Railroad to Key West to profit from this more than 100-mile extension by having the best available access to Cuba and the proposed Panama Canal.

As you can imagine, construction was difficult, dangerous, and very expensive. Three hurricanes threatened to derail the project, but Flagler pressed on. It was completed in 1912, and what had originally been referred to as “Flagler’s Folly” suddenly became “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” Flagler Railroad to Key West is still one of the most talked about bridges in the southeast.

In 1935, however, nature delivered a fatal blow when a Category 5 hurricane took out a large part of the middle section of the railroad and made it unusable. More than 400 workers on the rail were killed in the storm. No one wanted to cover the tremendous cost of repairing it, so the land was sold to the state, which, soon afterward, began building the “Overseas Highway” over the salvageable portions of the structures along the rail that remained. The highway was rebuilt once more in the 1980s, and it now runs alongside some of the original railway ruins, which Florida has converted into fishing piers and walking paths called the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Tr..."

Now Flaglers FEC Extension is primarily,now the Overseas Highway to Key West,Fl.

 

 


 

  • Member since
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  • From: Dallas, TX
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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, January 1, 2024 10:55 AM

It is interesting how many railroads gambled on maritime improvements that might create a huge opportunity to their railroad traffic.    I suspect the Milwaukee Road upgraded the Southwestern line in anticipation of the St Lawerence Seaway increasing the  importance of the Port of Milwaukee.   I seem to also remember the Milwaukee Roads fight with C&NW for Port of Milwaukee access as well.   Nothing happened though and that money was wasted.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Toronto, Canada
  • 2,554 posts
The railroad to Key West.
Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, December 30, 2023 11:03 PM

This is interesting. I used to go to Florida on vacation and it always seemed to me how Henry Flagler was almost like the Robert Moses of Florida. People all knew about him, on the East coast where my former sister-in-law lived. In any event the F.E.C. has always been one of my favourite railroads. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw7FGZrf7WA 

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