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Eastern Railroad Discussion > US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20


Date: 01/22/23 11:18
US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

Continuation of my post from Thursday evening - https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?2,5614411 - from Day 2 of my short trip south to the Sugar Cane fields of South Central Florida.....

The big event for the day was the rare mileage trip with US Sugar's Pacific 148 .  Not my main reason for my trip south, but once I learned of it, it became the focal point of part of my day around the fields on Friday.  The first three photos here were taken earlier in the morning as I was doing some scouting along Rogers Rd for a couple shots of the 148, but I hadn't ventured here (just a short distance from the USSC Line's crossing of Evercane Rd.)

The first shot is of empty cane cars staged at one of the loadouts from Rogers Rd, next we have one of the USSC Road jobs to the fields to the east.  On my way back to the hotel I caught the CANE1 job approaching the Evercane crossing by the SCFX line.  As a reminder, the SCFE line is operated as a common carrier on former FEC trackage to the east of Clewiston, and ACL trackage to the west.  The USSC lines are "independent" of the SCFE lines, though all the motive power is shared between the common carrier and the "industrial" trackage.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/23 08:41 by sscannella.








Date: 01/22/23 11:24
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

I also grabbed this shot of a field burn in preparation of harvesting, and of the US Sugar processing plant in Clewiston viewed from Evercane Rd.  After checking out of the hotel, I set up at the Sonora Ave. crossing coming out of town to wait for the 148's departure at 11:00 am.  My "free" rental upgrade from Alamo at the Sanford airport came in handy with the higher clearance and 4 wheel drive for some of the dirt roads.  I love having a truck for shooting from as the bed is a great platform for elevation.








Date: 01/22/23 11:28
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

Finally the 148 started out, seen here near Sonora Rd.   It was a busy day (I'm sure they are all busy) with both Cane 1 and the "Local" out working on the SCFE line, there were numerous times that those jobs needed to clear blocks or get in the clear at sidings to get out of the way of the excursion train.   In the 2nd shot Cane1 is getting into the clear for 148 at Evercane Rd. 



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Date: 01/22/23 11:33
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

Here are the coming and going stills at Evercane Rd., then the train stopping at the canal bridge at Rogers Rd.   This is still SCFE trackage, a branch to Okleeanta. There was supposed to be a run-by at the diamond crossing with the USSC field trackage a half mile or so behind the train, but they scrubbed that, and decided to do the run-by here. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/23 08:42 by sscannella.








Date: 01/22/23 11:36
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

Here's another shot of the 148 on the trestle before pulling up to unload the passengers, then the runby.  If you look closely, you can see a USSC cane job in the background to the left of the steamer.



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Date: 01/22/23 11:41
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

The USSC trackage swings to the right and then also crosses Rogers Rd.  I had enough time to move 1/4 mile down the road to get that cane road job passing by the loader then coming across the canal and the road.   

I stayed at that location for a few moments to capture the 148 and train through a harvested cane field heading off to their next stop, where ever that would be.  Most of the former FEC branch trackage is inaccessible from this point on, thus one of the selling points of the "rare-mileage" trip!








Date: 01/22/23 11:46
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

I still had a half day left before I needed to head north to catch my flight back Saturday morning.   First, it was a quick trip back to Clewiston to grab some lunch.   Then more trains I suppose.

Heading back on Evercane Rd., I grabbed a couple shots of the harvesters now attacking the remaining cane stalks after the morning burn.  The burns clear out all the crap around the cane, and I think also burn of the stalks on top.

When I turned from Evercane onto Rogers, I noticed another of the parade of cane trains heading back to the mill, so I turned around and set up at the USSC crossing at Evercane Rd once again.



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Date: 01/22/23 11:54
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

My travels then took me a few miles to the east to Lake Harbor and the Miami canal.   I knew the 'Local' job was out in the area, and while waiting on that, I decided to take a drive on the canal to photograph the gators sunning themselves there.  Photographing the US Sugar operations and seeing alligators in their natural habitat go hand-in-hand while here.  I've been to this locale before, so I knew I'd come upon at least a few.   I stopped counting at 15 along a 1 mile stretch of the canal.

The local finally arrived with a good sized 21 car train.

Note that this crossing of the Miami canal is on SCFE (former FEC) trackage.  The run-bys over the Miami canal that were posted on the Steam board were on the branch line to Okeelanta a few miles to the south.  In fact, I believe there are actually three crossing of the canal, the third being the USSC crossing between these two on part of the "new" route to the east side cane fields.



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Date: 01/22/23 12:00
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

The pic of the "local" crossing the Miami canal, then I headed down to the new USSC crossing of Rt. 27 just below South Bay.   I got two eastbound empty jobs in relatively quick succession of each other, from a conversation I heard on the scanner, I think the first one, seen from the shoulder of Rt. 27 was CRJ3, then the second one, taken by the canal on the opposite side of Rt 27, was CRJ4.








Date: 01/22/23 12:10
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

First, one more backlit side shot of USSC 506 on CRJ4.   Then I started to head north, and when I got to Pahokee, I decided to make a run down Muck City Rd to see if anything was in the yard at Bryant.  Luck was with me, as the 502 from the first road job that I saw at South Bay, was tied onto a string of Cane loads.   After a bit of a wait, they started to depart the yard with 38 cane loads in tow in sweet late afternoon light.

An enjoyable two days in the 80 degree warmth of South Florida.  One thing I wished that I knew earlier was that the 148 trip, which was billed as a $400.00 three day event, was indeed selling individual 1 day tickets.  I had emailed asking if they would do that for the Friday trip since I needed to leave to fly back north Saturday morning, but never got a reply.  A fellow "chaser" (there were only a handful of us chasing the 148), had inquired earlier in the day at the loading area, and they said they would indeed sell individual spots.    Fortunately, i will be back in Florida in late February with my wife and sister- and broter-in-law.   There is supposedly a Sebring to Lake Placid train running with the 148, and I'm hoping I can talk them into that ride.  



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Date: 01/22/23 12:59
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: KC5015

Thank you very much for the terrific coverage of this operation.  Very informative with photography and video first rate.  Look forward to your future postings.

- Ken Church  (freezing in Omaha)



Date: 01/23/23 18:10
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: march_hare

Wow, those alligators are heavily weathered. You can hardly even see the original ATSF paint scheme.  :))



Date: 01/24/23 00:28
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: dan

neat to see such an agrarian operation



Date: 01/24/23 04:00
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: DJ-12

Very nice shots. I’m hoping to make a visit again sometime myself. Do you remember what radio frequencies they were using down there?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/24/23 06:00
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: sscannella

DJ-12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Very nice shots. I’m hoping to make a visit
> again sometime myself. Do you remember what radio
> frequencies they were using down there?
>
> Posted from iPhone

Everything you need to know is here - http://www.botecomm.com/bote/rail/railfan_sugar.html
 



Date: 01/24/23 13:33
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: randyr

Thank for an excellent series. I was on the 148 excursion and appreciate your pics from spots not possible while riding the train. I’m jealous of your gator encounters. I was hoping to see a couple during the rare mileage excursions. I guess they respected the photo lines. Thanks again I really enjoyed the additional US Sugar operations pics.

Randy in PHX

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/25/23 15:31
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: ns1000

It looks like you had a good trip.  Thanks for posting.



Date: 01/27/23 19:06
Re: US Sugar visit - Part 2 - Friday 1/20
Author: jmbreitigan

A great series of photos & videos. Plus alligators. You did it all.
John



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