Saturday, April 4, 2015

Florida Trip - 1, FEC

Hi, Friend Stan Short and I visited Florida from March 24 to April 1.  Our primary objective was to photograph the new GE ES44C4s delivered to the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) during the last quarter of 2015 in a heritage paint scheme.

We found the FEC a challenging, though interesting, railroad to photograph.  On the challenging side, on the best of days there was a northbound and a southbound train in the morning and the same in the evening in the hour before sunset.  Of course this varied with location.  So the rest of the days there was nothing to shoot unless we could find a local or a rock train.  Also, there were fewer through trains on the weekend and Monday and no locals or rock trains on the weekend.  Compounding this was the difficulty in chasing trains along the route.  US1 closely parallels the railroad but has lots of traffic lights and traffic with relatively low speed limits.  I-95 is two to five miles to the west of the railroad.  Also, challenging was the weather.  We landed to cloudy weather which hung on through Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday both dawned clear and quickly clouded up.

On the interesting side were the many bridges that provided a variety of photo opportunities.  These bridges spanned rivers and bays that emptied into the nearby Atlantic Ocean.  In one of them we saw sharks one morning and in another porpoises.

The photos below are presented in the order they were taken.  The location and train number, where known, are provided.  Because of the lack of trains over the weekend we spent Saturday PM through Monday AM photographing the US Sugar Corp operations based in Clewiston, FL.  This post covers only the FEC.

Train #101 at St. Augustine (above and below) on 3/24.

Train #905 at Bunnell on 3/24.

Train #226 at St. Augustine on 3/25.

Northbound rock train at Daytona Beach on 3/25.

Train #101 crossing Spruce Creek at Port Orange on 3/25.

Train #202 at City Point on 3/25.

Train #109 crossing the Eau Gallie River at Melbourne on 3/26.

Train #210 crossing the Eau Gallie River at Melbourne on 3/26.

Southbound empty rock train at Ft. Pierce on 3/26.

Train #202 at Palm Bay on 3/26.

Train #210 crossing Crane Creek on 3/27.

Train # 109 crossing Crane Creek on 3/27 (above and below).

Train #109 crossing the St. Lucie River at Stuart on 3/27 (above and below).  We were able to beat this train here from Melbourne as it stopped to work in Ft. Pierce.  It rained this afternoon and both afternoon trains ran late.

Train #210 crossing Crane Creek at Melbourne on 3/28.  Train #109 did not run this day.

Train #101 at Palm Bay on 3/30.  Train #202 was late on this day and did not pass until after dark.

Train #210 at Palm Bay on 3/31.

Local switching at Rockledge (above and three below) on 3/31.

Train #210 at Oak Hill.  This train had to have stopped to work between here and Palm Bay as we just stumbled on it as we were heading north and we spent close to 1/2 hour with the local shown at Rockledge.

Train #107 leaving Bowdin Yard at Sunbeam on 3/31 (above and two below)

Thanks for looking.

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