Sunday, April 5, 2015

Florida Trip - 2, United States Sugar Corporation

Hi, After photographing the morning northbound FEC train in Melbourne on Saturday Stan Short and I headed for Clewiston and the U. S. Sugar operation.  We went by way of Fort Pierce so we could follow the FEC line, now operated by short line South Central Florida Express (wholly owned by U. S. Sugar), to Clewiston as best we could.

Upon arrival in Clewiston we had lunch, checked into our motel, and went looking for the tracks.

In short order we found not only the tracks but South Central Florida Express's (SCFE) engine servicing facility.  We stopped for some photos and noted that all the power was in the U. S. Sugar paint scheme (above and three below).  We did not see any locomotives painted for SCFE.

Just as we were finishing up we heard a horn and shortly GP11 #302 came into view running light.  It headed out into the cane fields west of town.

Number 302 picked up a train of empty sugar cane racks a few miles west of town.  It then continued west to a loader where it dropped about half its train.  The truck at right brings cane from distant fields to the loader.

After spotting empties at the loader #312 continued west crossing the Calasahatchee Canal in Moore Haven on a swing bridge. 

It continued to a second loader west of Moore Haven where it dropped its remaining empties and picked up loads.  We waited at the swing bridge.

The train stopped at another loader and we drove into the cane field to photograph it.  At this point we did not realize that the company really took a dim view of trespassing.  However, the next day we talked to the railroad's safety manager and he warned us to stay out of the cane fields.  Therefore, all of the photos taken on Sunday and on Monday morning were from public property.

We noticed the locals would fish from canals near the road and park on company roads but always withing a few feet of public roads.  Also, it was necessary to stay out of the way of cane trucks and wagons heading for the loaders.
We followed #302 into town and got a photo just short of their yard.

We knew that a second cane train was right on the heels of #302 and photographed it too in town to end our day (above and below).

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

No comments: