A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Florida East Coast Railway


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> FEC herald The Florida East Coast Railway in the 30's and 40's was a class I railroad operating in the U.S. state of Florida. The FEC was the only railroad that served the East Coast of Florida from Jacksonville to Miami until the Seaboard completerd its connection to Miami and Homestead in 1926. Most Miami bound trains, regardless of origin, used FEC rails to reach Miami exceept the Seaoard. The FEC is renowned as the railroad that built the first railroad bridges to Key West that has since been rebuilt into road bridges for vehicle traffic, now known as the Overseas Highway. The FEC was originally known as the Florida Coast and Gulf Railway and then the Jacksonville, > FEC
Florida East Coast
November 1, 1940
St. Augustine and Indian River Railway (wik)(rp).
The FEC was the final destination railroad for New York to Miami passenger trains on the Atlantic Coast Line, including the famous "Champion". The "Silver Meteor" of the SAL, using its own line. Both introduced in 1938 as lightweight diesel-electric powered luxury trains. In 1940 there were a plethora of passenger trains heading to Florida from Chicago with origins on the C&EI, the Pennsy, NYC(Big Four) and IC used FEC rail to Miami.
Take a look at this proliferation and their interesting routings.
Short History of the Florida East Coast Railway
The Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) was developed by Henry Morrison Flagler, a United States tycoon, real estate promoter, railroad developer and Rockefeller partner in Standard Oil.
1858 - Earliest FEC predecessor, the narrow gauge St. John's Railway incorporated and built from Tocoi to St. Augustine.
1878-1881 - Flagler moves to Florida and becomes interested in Florida development near Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
1885 - Resigned from Standard Oil Flagler builds Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, but notes lack of good transportation.
1885 - Flagler buys Jacksonville St. Augustine and Halifax Railroad, extending from South Jacksonville to St. Augustine, and converts it to standard gauge.
1885-1889 - Flagler build depot in Jacksonville and purchases three more railroads as he extends southward, the St. John's Railway, the St. Augustine and Palatka Railway and the St. John's and Halifax River Railway.
1885-1889 - Flagler continues to build hotel facilities along the route north of Daytona.
1889 - Service from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach on standard gauge track.
1892 - Flagler begins building south from Daytona toward Miami.
1893 - Florida passes land grant law and Flagler reaps benefits as he builds south toward Miami, then a fishing village.
1894 - System reaches West Palm Beach, and Flagler builds Royal Poinciana and the Breakers hotels in Palm Beach
1895 - JSA&H, now having expanded southward was re-named "Florida East Coast Railway Company - Flagler System".
1896 - Biscayne Bay reached, which is present day Miami.
1905 - Line to Key West started. Plan was to bring a deep water port nearest to the Panama Canal whose construction was planned.
1905-1912 - Very costly construction and many lives lost on Key West extension.
1912 - First train to Key West.
1929 - Stock market crash hard on FEC.
1931 - FEC in bankruptcy.
1932 - Buses substituted for branch line trains.
1935 - Hurricane damage and financial difficulties close Key West extension.
1938 - ACL's Champion lightweight streamlined diesel-powered passenger train runs on FEC Jacksonville to Miami.
1938-1960's - Long haul trains from large cities (New York and Chicago) continue to use FEC to reach Miami
1941 - FEC operating EMD E6 diesel electric passenger locomotives for long haul Miami bound trains.
1961 - FEC emerges from bankruptcy.
1963 - Work stoppage halts passenger service.
1963 - Miami passenger station demolished.
1965 - Passenger service resumed on a limited basis only from Jacksonville to North Miami. Long haul trains are gone.
1968 - Passenger service discontinued.
1968-2008 - FEC continues as a freight only railroad. Future use may include Amtrak service from Jacksonville to Miami, and possible commuter services

Chicago to Miami - on the Florida East Coast - 1940
Four Chicago railroads initiated Chicago to Florida and Miami winter season trains in 1940. We show them here with their routings and times:
Train Railroad and RoutingHours
DixielandC&EI(Evans)L&N(Nash)NC&SL(Atl)AB&C(Way)ACL(Jax)FEC31:40
FloridianIC(Birm)CofG(Alb)ACL(Jax)FEC34:45
Florida ArrowPenn(Cin)L&N(Mont)ACL(Jax)FEC34:45
Florida SunbeamBig Four(Cin)Sou(Hampton)Sea34:45
Royal PalmNYC-Big Four(Cin)SOU(Jax)FEC37:14
SeminoleIC(Birm)CofG(Alb)ACL(Jax)FEC37:24
Dixie FlyerC&EI(Evans)L&N(Nash)NC&SL(Atl)CofG(Alb)ACL(Jax)FEC37:34
SouthlandPenn(Cin)L&N(Atl)CofG(Alb)ACL(Jax)FEC38:55
Ponce de LeonNYC-Big Four(Cin)SOU(Jax)FEC39:15
Dixie LimitedC&EI(Evans)L&N(Nash)NC&SL(Atl)CofG(Alb)ACL(Jax)FEC39:30
FlamingoPenn(Cin)L&N(Atl)CofG(Alb)ACL(Jax)FEC 41:00

FEC map
Florida East Coast timetable map - November 1, 1940


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Americas Colerful Railroads - Don Ball Jr. (dbj)
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised May 29, 2011