Key West extension

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Key West extension

Postby train guy » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:24 pm

New Member here with a question. I have been an armchair model railroader for about 50 years, just never found a railroad that I felt interested in modeling, but have recently become facinated by the Key West extension of the FEC. have been doing research and have purchased copies of Seth Bramson's "Speedway to Sunshine", Dan Gallager's "Florida's Great Ocean Railway", and even a copy of the February 2001 issue of Model Railroader with the article on Cal Winter's Key West extension in HO. My question is, are there other books that you would recommend that I add to my collection?
I am planning a trip to the Keys in the near future to take photos of the remaining viaducts and bridges, and have used Google maps to visually follow the old route. Any tips on places to visit in the Keys?
Thanks!
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Re: Key West extension

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:32 am

There are some paperback books or soft cover books available that will also cover this territory. A ride down to Key West on US-1 with a camera will answer some more of your questions. There is a small museum in Key West that will also help you too. Check out Pigeon Key on your trip, you can cross that part of the old bridge on foot but I don't think you can drive it anymore. The drive through the Florida Keys is both beautiful and fascinating and well worth the time and expense. There are a number of back roads on some of the larger keys that are worth exploring too. Provide yourself with a good roadmap of the keys, they are available at many, many places. Enjoy your trip.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby bridpath » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:59 am

"The Railroad that Went to Sea" is a good work.

I'm stunned at the Amazon price listing but include the link here so you can get a sense of the book.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Railroad-That ... 0970567200

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Re: Key West extension

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:08 am

Here is a video of a train on the Key West Extension. YES I know it is not possible today but it is amazing what a person with a lot of brains and interest can do with a computer and I think he did a good job with this, enjoy it. This will be as close as any of us will ever come to seeing a train on this line.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsg5fvGpvjQ

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Re: Key West extension

Postby train guy » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:56 pm

Been reading all my new FEC books, but still trying to figure out what the "typical" passenger consist was on the Key West Extension.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:27 am

Mr. Weaver, don't most of these video games have some kind of storyline attached to them, such as 'the world will end tomorrow, unless the heroine saves us all. But first she needs some help slaying the intruders....you're 'it' bub'.

What's the storyline for this video?

Let's try this one: Trade relations with Cuba have been normalized, but for whatever reason, a maritime port has been built at Key West to handle that trade'.

What other scenario could result in that volume of traffic moving to or from Key West?
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Re: Key West extension

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:17 am

I know the person who created this, he is simply a FEC fan and he created and put this program on our Yahoo group, I posted it here for information of those interested. No other story or game was created or intended.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby train guy » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:37 am

Can someone tell me what the typical passenger consist was for the Miami to Key West train? I can't find it in the books I have. Thanks.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:56 pm

Not tonight I can't but I have a couple of timetables old enough to show the service and what the trains carried for equipment to and from Key West. Give me some time and I will try to answer this.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby train guy » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:44 pm

Anything new on this? Working on an HO scale model of a typical Key West passenger train and would like to know the equipment used. Thanks.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:07 am

The Havana Special was a through full service train between New York - Miami and Key West. Not all of the cars went through to Key West but baggage, mail, coaches, diner, sleepers and observation lounge did run to Key West on this train. At least for some time they also ran a local with just coaches that stopped almost anywhere in the Keys.
I suggest you try to find an old FEC timetable before the fall of 1935 for more or maybe an Atlantic Coast Line timetable which would probably show the service and equipment to Key West as well, I have both in my collection.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby electricron » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:33 am

train guy wrote:Anything new on this? Working on an HO scale model of a typical Key West passenger train and would like to know the equipment used. Thanks.

Looks like your typical Pullman "Heavyweights" from these photos of the Havana Special.
http://mikes.railhistory.railfan.net/imfile/01091.jpg
http://www.smarttinc.com/email/blog/blog0911/overseas05.jpg
The B%W photo makes it difficult to guess the primary color of the train.
It looks like a long range, oil fueled, 4-6-2 Pacific type locomotive was in use, a combination car followed by double door baggage, and 7 coach/sleeper/diner cars in the consist, with the last being an observation (parlor) car. I hope this helps some.

A drawing might help with the color...
http://www.smarttinc.com/email/blog/blog0911/overseas09.jpg

The largest steam locomotive I have found used by FEC was a 4-8-2 Mountain locomotive for freight and passenger services.
http://books.google.com/books?id=S_l2TR6eyYMC&pg=PA195&lpg=PA195&dq=FEC+steam+locomotives+roster&source=bl&ots=lqTUE6TPtx&sig=UmkbgUVVf2shORq-Nmjw8TRxP24&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LEWtUo39EtfesATau4KYBw&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=FEC%20steam%20locomotives%20roster&f=false
The first time FEC bought "Mountains" was in 1923, with fifteen from the American Locomotive Company (road numbers 301 through 315). A second batch of 52 (road numbers 401 through 452) came from ALCO in 1924 through 1926. A last group of 23 (road numbers 801 through 823) came from ALCO in 1926.
FEC's revenue fell drastically and it had to declare bankruptcy in 1931. The FEC ultimately sold 50 of the 90 "Mountains" in its fleet.
That last link also shows the first passenger train to reach one of the Keys, it's an American 4-4-0 followed by one baggage car and two coaches, it's difficult to see if the last coach was an observation or private car, or a regular coach. The color for the cars suggested at this earlier time was light tan or yellow.
So, depending upon the exact years you wish to model, either an American, Pacific, or Mountain type locomotive should be used. Don't forget the hurricane that closed the viaduct occurred in 1935 - you wouldn't want to use cars from a latter era.
Last edited by electricron on Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:54 am

All of the FEC steam engines could run to Key West except for the 800 class Mountains (4-8-2's) which were restricted south of Florida City.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 pm

The following appears in the February 1926 Official Guide:

..................................... 75 . . . . . 99 . . . . . 37
Lv Miami ....................... 3.40 am . 11.45 am . 2.20 pm
Ar Key West ................... 8.30 am .. 5.25 pm . 7.45 pm

..................................... 38 . . . . . 98 . . . . . 76
Lv Key West ................... 8.45 am . 10.00 am .. 7.20 pm
Ar Miami ....................... 2.20pm .. 3.45 pm . 12.45 am

37-38 Key West Express - Daily
12-1 Jax-KW-Jax
Parlor Mia-Jax-KW-Jax, DR and Obs
Coaches Jax-KW-Jax

99-98 Tropical Limited - MoWeFri SB, TuThSa NB
Parlor and Coaches Mia-KW-Mia

75-76 Havana Special - Daily
6-3 NY-KW-NY
10-2-1 NY-KW-NY
12-1 NY-KW-NY
12-1 Jax-KW-Jax
12-1 Mia-KW-Mia
Dining car service
Coaches Mia-KW-Mia only

12-1 = 12 Sec, 1 DR
6-3 = 6 Compt, 3 DR
10-2-1 = 10 Sec-2 Compt-1 DR

The Peninsular & Occidental Steamship Co. operated the Cuba, Governor Cobb, and Northland, leaving KW at 9.00 am daily, arriving Havana 4.00 pm; leaving Havana at 10.00 am, arriving KW 5.00 pm. The vessels operated overnight between KW and Port Tampa.

The "dog" of the trio was 37-38, making all stops; at least the parlor car would have made it a little easier.

The December 1934 issue of the Guide shows only one train a day, 75-76, making all stops, with one 12-1 to and from New York two days a week and only from Jax on the other 4 days. The ship (just the Florida by that time) only sailed two days a week, and not on the days the New York sleeper operated. I guess the bloom was pretty well off the poinsettia by 1934 as far as luxury travel to Florida was concerned.
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Re: Key West extension

Postby mmi16 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:53 pm

ExCon90 wrote:The following appears in the February 1926 Official Guide:

..................................... 75 . . . . . 99 . . . . . 37
Lv Miami ....................... 3.40 am . 11.45 am . 2.20 pm
Ar Key West ................... 8.30 am .. 5.25 pm . 7.45 pm

..................................... 38 . . . . . 98 . . . . . 76
Lv Key West ................... 8.45 am . 10.00 am .. 7.20 pm
Ar Miami ....................... 2.20pm .. 3.45 pm . 12.45 am

37-38 Key West Express - Daily
12-1 Jax-KW-Jax
Parlor Mia-Jax-KW-Jax, DR and Obs
Coaches Jax-KW-Jax

99-98 Tropical Limited - MoWeFri SB, TuThSa NB
Parlor and Coaches Mia-KW-Mia

75-76 Havana Special - Daily
6-3 NY-KW-NY
10-2-1 NY-KW-NY
12-1 NY-KW-NY
12-1 Jax-KW-Jax
12-1 Mia-KW-Mia
Dining car service
Coaches Mia-KW-Mia only

12-1 = 12 Sec, 1 DR
6-3 = 6 Compt, 3 DR
10-2-1 = 10 Sec-2 Compt-1 DR

The Peninsular & Occidental Steamship Co. operated the Cuba, Governor Cobb, and Northland, leaving KW at 9.00 am daily, arriving Havana 4.00 pm; leaving Havana at 10.00 am, arriving KW 5.00 pm. The vessels operated overnight between KW and Port Tampa.

The "dog" of the trio was 37-38, making all stops; at least the parlor car would have made it a little easier.

The December 1934 issue of the Guide shows only one train a day, 75-76, making all stops, with one 12-1 to and from New York two days a week and only from Jax on the other 4 days. The ship (just the Florida by that time) only sailed two days a week, and not on the days the New York sleeper operated. I guess the bloom was pretty well off the poinsettia by 1934 as far as luxury travel to Florida was concerned.


No 'speed demons' among the trains listed - 5 Hours +/- for Miami-KW
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