best places for action

Discussion relating to the FEC operations, past and present. Includes Brightline. Official web site can be found here: FECRWY.COM.

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best places for action

Postby tahawus84 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:14 pm

I will be in northern florida next month and wanted to catch some fec while i was there. What would be the best place to catch mainline action and what time frame would be the best?
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:22 pm

North Florida is a pretty big place, can you be a little more specific? Night time is always the right time, on the FEC.
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etc

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:45 pm

I answered you for both railroads on the CSX forum, go there as there is
much too much to do all over again on this one too.
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Postby Legio X » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:22 am

How about through Vero Beach? I'll be going to the Disney beach resort in Vero soon and I'd like to catch some FEC action during daylight hours.
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:34 pm

Nothing happening in Vero Beach, except for high speed run-throughs, and the very long passing siding. A better bet would be to head 14 miles south, to Ft. Pierce, the old terminus of the FEC. A good sized yard, with Tropicana juice train being made up there, after coming off the Glades Cut-Off. Also the SCFE interchanges in this yard, and all of the north/south locals, between WPB and Daytona originate here, as well. (trains don't go to WPB, or Daytona, those are the next points where locals go on duty) Sand trains, Coquina trains, rock trains and Tropicana trains all originate/terminate at this yard. Action most of the day, but the road trains don't start appearing until the night time hours. As a Ft. Pierce resident, I see the stuff all day. A public golf course adjoins the yard, along it's western edge, making train watching especially easy. Regards :wink:
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Postby Legio X » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:40 pm

Is'nt there a lumber / building products company in Vero that receives flatcars and boxcars, and a sand or gravel customer that gets hopper cars just north of town?
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:05 pm

There is a gravel company, and I don't believe the lumber company still receives cars, but that "action" is very hit-or-miss. It's all day, at Ft. Pierce, with the added benefit of being able to chase the local, on the Glades Cut-Off branch. The packing houses used to be a good source of traffic, but too, is gone. You might sit all day, waiting for action in Vero, and during the day, you will probably only see the local rock train, making it's run. Very early morning may see the remnants of the "fleet", from the night run of trains. Good luck........ :-D
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Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:47 am

I will speak for the Fort Lauderdale area first, the best time is probably
late afternoon and evening. I went down to the Riverwalk area by the
drawbridge last week Friday and also this past Tuesday arriving both days
around 5:00 PM. On Friday about 6:00 PM, two northbounds went by
about 10 minutes apart, first one was no. 290 which is the northbound
"rock train" for Fort Pierce with 141 loads, the second train was no. 218
which is made up here at Fort Lauderdale for Bowden (Jacksonville) with a
mixed consist of freight, pigs and containers. Yesterday (Tuesday), I saw
three movements, the first was a light engine southbound off one of the
locals that runs out of Fort Lauderdale, I will assume that it was train 960.
The second was train 218 out of Fort Lauderdale with two GP-40-2's that
were so clean that you could have your sunday dinner on them and he
went north about 6:15 PM. The third train was 290 the "rock train" which
went north about 6:45 PM, too late for any pictures at this time of the
year.
It is safe to assume with the present schedules that in another month or
so, you will be sure to catch at least two northbounds in late day light
through this area. Will be even better once we go on daylight time.
If you are satisfied to watch trains, all evening is good here in Fort
Lauderdale and after the above mentioned trains, you should see a good
number more up to about midnight or 1:00 AM.
According to the material that I have, locals run as follows
Out of Bowden a turn to Bunnell, Out of New Smyrna Beach a Dorena
turn, Out of Cocoa a Hall turn and a turn which switches the "rock train"
at City Point yard, out of Fort Pierce, a Pineda turn, a turn to Jupiter and Camp Murphy and a K branch switcher which Tropicana juice to the yard.
There are also two other listed jobs at Fort Pierce but I do not have the
information on when they run and what they do. Out of West Palm Beach
there is a north turn to Camp Murphy, and two locals south - a morning job which switches rock at Tarmac-Delray and works at Boca Raton and an afternoon job which works at Lake Worth and Boynton then returns to work WPB yard.
At Fort Lauderdale are three jobs, a job north to work Pompano, Deerfield
and Boca, a job south to work Dania, Hollywood and Ojus and finally a job
that just works the yard at Fort Lauderdale.
There are two through jobs that originate or terminate at Fort Lauderdale
as well.
Most of the above locals work in the daytime but some of them are either
evening or night jobs. Most of them work Monday-Friday but one job at
Fort Pierce, one job at WPB and two jobs at Fort Lauderdale work Monday
through Saturday.
One particular time that I would say not to look for too much doing is on
the day trick on Sunday's, often track work goes on during that time.
In the daytime northbound there are 4:00 AM, 7:00 AM and 12:00 Noon
departures north out of Hialeah for Bowden while on the north end out of
Bowden there are trains south around 3:00 AM, 12:00 Noon and 1:30 PM.
I am not going to go into detail but some of the through trains do not run
on Saturdays, Sundays and/or Mondays.
If you are an early bird, you should get some southbounds around Fort
Lauderdale and some northbounds between St. Augustine and Bowden.
One more important point, Florida East Coast trains are much more
likely to run on a organized basis than CSX trains do and FEC trains in
Fort Lauderdale at least northbound do not vary too much from day to
day for the most part.
Finally, power -- The Florida East Coast still makes big time use of their
GP-40's and GP-40-2's but they have some former UP SD-40-2's and a
few leased engines which can show up as middle or trailing units. Finally
we occasionally see a GP-38-2 pass by on something too. The GP-9's are
gone, replaced by the former UP engines. All engines are in good shape
and trains north of Pompano generally run at 60 MPH but at 45 MPH south
of Pompano.
Once again, a reminder - STAY OFF RAILROAD PROPERTY AND BE SAFE.
Enjoy yourself.
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Changes

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:39 am

The Florida East Coast has changed a good number of their freight train
times so some of the stuff that I posted earlier is probably not effective
at the present time.
It is possible at least here in the Fort Lauderdale that there may well be
more daytime northbound trains especially in the afternoon.
Northbound the rock trains (unit trains) now leave from Medley instead of
Hialeah and these trains are supposed to leave Medley at 1:00 AM,
10:30 AM, 12:00 NOON, 3:30 PM and finally 11:30 PM. This could result in
some interesting train watching in Fort Lauderdale in the afternoon.
There are also trains out of Hialeah at 7:00 AM and another at 9:00 AM.
Southbound trains out of Bowden have also been changed and now there
are southbounds out of Bowden at 10:30 AM, 12:00 NOON and 1:30 PM.
As always, be careful and stay off railroad property.
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Postby chicagorails » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:50 pm

i like st. augustine fl.
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Postby Noel Weaver » Wed May 30, 2007 11:27 pm

Yesterday, Wednesday, May 30, 2007, I was led to a place that I did not
know about in Boca Raton, Florida. It is "Buckys" at the southeast corner
of Dixie Highway and Glades Road in Boca Raton. The Florida East Coast
goes right by this place as it and Dixie Highway pass by north and south.
It is about two miles south of the siding at Villa Rica.
The food is very good, a number of boothes are on the west wall which
faces Dixie Highway and the Florida East Coast. I had baby back ribs
which was a very good choice. Between 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM three trains
passed by, two north and one south and the southbound train had SD-70's
for power.
Good food and good train action.
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Postby lakeshoredave » Thu May 31, 2007 1:42 pm

Jupiter
Stuart
Lake Park
Hobe Sound

these are all of my favorite spots....but anywhere on public property along the FEC is good. FEC is a fun railroad to follow.
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Postby brickbuilder711 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:01 pm

I only know the FEC from miami to WPB. DON'T consider Hialeah, that neighborhood is unsafe. Plus some of Dixie Highway is not the best.
However:
Downtown FTL is great, and I've been to a Turkish Restaurant off Hollywood named A La Turca. Though you have trees, you CAN see a great view of the Hollywood Grade Crossing. Plus have the suspense. just listen for horns!

Night time is the right time, I agree!
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Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:52 pm

Right after 6:00 PM is pretty good around Fort Lauderdale. Two north-
bounds 218 out of Fort Lauderdale and 222 out of Hialeah as well as 292
out of Medley usually run through this area between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM
as well as 109 and 101 southbound for Hialeah.
The bridge gives you a good warning on approaching trains.
As a reminder, stay off railroad property and you should have no
problems. Food, shelter and rest rooms are also close by.
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Postby brickbuilder711 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:11 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:Right after 6:00 PM is pretty good around Fort Lauderdale. Two north-
bounds 218 out of Fort Lauderdale and 222 out of Hialeah as well as 292
out of Medley usually run through this area between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM
as well as 109 and 101 southbound for Hialeah.
The bridge gives you a good warning on approaching trains.
As a reminder, stay off railroad property and you should have no
problems. Food, shelter and rest rooms are also close by.
Noel Weaver


And the 101 usually has a bonus-- New locomotives!
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