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Steam & Excursion > FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine

Date: 08/27/07 18:17
FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: PumpkinHogger

Whatever became of that one after all the cleanup was done from the 1935 hurricane? Was it hauled home and put back in service? Sold to Cuba? Became fill for a road washout?

Date: 08/28/07 09:19
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: ts1474

The track was repaired enough to tow the 447 back to Miami,it was put back in to service and later scrapped when FEC ended steam operations.

Date: 08/28/07 10:31
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: NebraskaZephyr

ts1474 Wrote:
> The track was repaired enough to tow the 447 back
> to Miami

Are you ABSOLUTELY sure about that?

It's not handy right now, but I thought I read in Bramson's "Speedway to Sunshine" the 447 (and other equipment stranded out on the keys) were barged back to Miami.

Repairing the track enough to move a 150-ton locomotive back to Miami would have likely exceeded the value of the equipment.

Now I wouldn't be surprised if the track at Islamorada might have been repaired to the point where the 447 was rerailed and rolled to the shore to be loaded on a barge.

Whether by land or by sea, either way, the 447 did return to service and served up to dieselization.


Date: 08/28/07 11:18
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: CZ10

An interesting side note: After the hurricane, engine 153 pushed a survey train south from Florida City. #153 is on display at the Gold Coast Railroad Muesum in South Dade. 153 also ran the "pineapple specials" out of Key West (prior to the hurricane). So, at least we have one surviving locomotive documented as having run on the Key West Extension.

Date: 08/28/07 11:51
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: ts1474

I am not sure because I no longer own "Speedway to Sunshine" but thought this is what happened.I think the track just south of 447 and Islamorada was where the most damage occured.Think some freight cars at Key West were barged to Miami,but know other locomotives were in the Keys at the time.That is why a rescue train was so late,it had to come all the way from Miami.I am surprised a real FEC expert has posted on this yet.

Date: 08/28/07 12:10
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: ts1474

Didn't the bridges all survive the hurricane intact with just the track washed off? I thought the real damage was with fills and the track and ballast washed away on the overland sections.I think the FEC exagerated the damage because they wanted to abandon the Key West extension anyway.If a major hurricane ever strikes the keys in my lifetime I would not be surprised if the old railway bridges fair better than their modern highway replacements.

Date: 08/28/07 12:42
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: CZ10

The cement viaducts and steel girder trestles survived. There were some wood trestles spanning shorter gaps between Islamorada and the mainland.

It's true that the FEC jumped at the chance to abandon the line. They were operating in receivership, and sold the right-of-way and surviving bridges to the State of Florida at bargain basement rates. The bridges were retrofitted for highway use by laying steel beams crosswise on the deck, and pouring a concrete deck over them. The problem that hastened replacement in the 1980's was that these crossbeams were deteriorating. Further, the highway deck wasn't really wide enough for today's use. It was always a bit heart-stopping to be going across the 7 mile bridge and see a semi coming in the opposite direction. It was not unkown for people to have their driver's side mirrors clipped by oncoming traffic!

I've attached a recent photo of a segment of the 7 Mile Bridge that shows how it was modified for highway use. I've also attached a photo of Locomotive #153 I referred to in a previous post.

Date: 08/28/07 13:15
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: ts1474

Sorry about my above post where I said know locomotives,I of course meant to say no other locomotives were in the keys at the time of the hurricane.I want to think I read somwhere that the army corp of engineers helped FEC repair the line enough to pull 447 and the passenger cars back to Homestead.Then the trackage was removed or maybe even quickly covered over by gravel and asphalt for the Highway.A month or two ago I came accross a clip on youtube of a highway construction crew recently discovering railroad tracks under the surface of Highway 1 somewhere in the Keys.

Date: 08/28/07 13:19
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: ts1474

Here is the url for the youtube clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skc3aL90pG0

Date: 08/28/07 17:21
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: rebel

Savannah & Atlanta 750 is ex-FEC. I think there may be others. Seems like I rememeber Black River & Western had one Pacific. That may be 113.

Date: 08/28/07 22:38
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: trainhand

cz10 I know what you mean by the mirrors on the old seven mile bridge. the first time i went to the end of the road, bahia hond and stock island were the only bridges rebuilt. it was interesting going over the 7 mile.

Date: 08/30/07 08:39
Re: FEC 447 Keys rescue train engine
Author: BrianJennison

I don't think there were any "steel trestles" on the Overseas Extension... most of the viaducts were concrete arches. The Seven-Mile bridge was a deck girder laid on concrete pilings (nice photo, by the way) and the Bahia Honda bridge was a series of iron truss bridges. No "trestles," no "steel."

When I was a kid living in Key West in the 1950s and early 1960s (the old man was in the Navy, stationed at Boca Chica), there were in fact still some ruins of wooden trestles on the (at that time) undeveloped northeast quadrant of the island, plus lots of "marl" fill out behind the high school football stadium, heading east toward Stock Island. Of course, the road had only been gone for 20-25 years at that point... :-)

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