Operations on the Florida East Coast Key West Extension

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Operations on Cal Winter’s Florida East Coast Key West Extension starts as engine number 306 eases out of its stall and onto the Bona Visa Turntable. The yellow house next door is the yard master’s home. This 482 is one of fifteen owned by the FEC. This wheel arrangement has proven ideal for the road’s long produce trains and heavy passenger cars. It eliminates the need to double head.

The locomotive is headed to meet its train in Bona Vista Yard. The Havanna Special takes the main engine 306. This local freight is headed for Trumble Point Yard in Key West. It contains heavy equipment for Cuba, food provisions for hotels, and oil for Key West. The Y in back passes the black tank that holds the oil supply for the yard. The 080 on the left is yard switcher number 259. The water trains sit on the siding at Glades. This string of tank cars is a source of all the drinking water for the Keys.

Power will soon arrive to take this train south. The local takes the passing siding at the north end of Long Key. The main will be used for a runaround move to pick up two empty oil tanks. Lots of palm trees and blue sky here. The 482 backs to its train and the cut is pushed ahead to the facing point switch where the tank cars are parked. The two union tanks are now part of the train. Train 205 leaves over the Long Key viaduct and two FEC boxcars are dropped at the fish house spur.

View the full video to learn about the Seven Mile bridge into Pigeon Key. For more on model railroad backdrops or to see more in the Allen Keller: Great Model Railroads series, visit our archives.

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