Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Railfanning Florida - 3

Hi, This is the final post on the trip I took to Florida in March with Jim Kleeman. It was delayed as my wife and I spent 3 weeks in April with Jim and his wife in Europe. I hope to begin posting photos of that trip shortly.

We had been told that a Bright Line train set would test run on Friday, March 24 so we staked out a highway bridge south of the shop, which can be seen in the distance above the train. First up was a stone train which moved down to the new Bright Line station to dump ballast (above and below).

After a while #109 came south then

#950 arrived and yarded its train. At this point things were going to die on the railroad and we got tired of waiting for Bright Line. As we had reservations in Clewiston, FL for Friday and Saturday night (FEC is dead on the weekends) we decided to head that way at mid day.

The photos presented below were taken Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday. During the cane harvest, which I believe begins in January and ends in early to mid April, the cane trains run 24/7. I will provide location information as I have it and any aspects of the photo I believe are noteworthy.

St. Catherine Avenue, south loop, Clewiston, FL.

Off Evercane Road, south loop, Clewiston, FL.

South of the wye in Clewiston, FL.

US 27, Clewiston, FL (above and below).

Sonora Ave., Clewiston, FL. This was our final shot on Friday.

The cane fields are set on fire just before the cane is cut, supposedly to remove the leafy material. There is controversy as to whether this affects the taste of the sugar. The fires last about 20 minutes and produce some spectacular smoke clouds.

Evercane Road, south loop, Clewiston, FL.

Moore Haven, FL.

Miami Canal Road, south loop, Lake Harbor, FL (above and below).

Rogers Road, south loop, Clewiston, FL (above and below).

On Sunday we headed north. While crossing the Caloosahatchee Canal we noticed a pair of light engines. Because engines running in multiple are extremely rare on the cane railroads we decided to try and find out where they were going.

Not only does this line serve a number of loaders north of Clewiston, it also provides a connection to CSX at Sebring, FL. After a great deal of driving out of sight of the railroad and some searching in Sebring I spotted a headlight to the south. There were some interchange tracks and when it became obvious the power was going to make a pickup we sent south to DeSoto Road.

The pickup was a unit potash train which we followed south.

While the power completed the pickup, pumped up the air and did a brake test we moved south to County Road 17 (above and below).

We caught the train again at Lake Placid, FL (above and below) and at

Palmdale, FL before giving up the chase.

Empties crossing the Caloosahatchee Canal at Moore Haven, FL.

Three units on a cane train. This is the first time in four visits to the area I have seen multiple units on a cane train.

Miami Canal Road, south loop, Lake Harbor, FL (above and 2 below).

Thus ended our photography for a really great trip. My thanks to Jim for his outstanding navigation and for his knowledge of the FEC. Thanks for looking.

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