Florida's Great Ocean Railway
Size: 8.5 x 11
250 b&w photos
From 1905 to 1916, thousands of laborers and engineers engaged in an amazing construction project—building a railroad line from Miami to Key West. Every mile of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway brought new surprises for the construction team. Although they were able to put the line in place for passenger service by 1912, it took four more years to complete the Extension and make Key West the southernmost rail-steamer connection in the U.S. Building the Key West Extension was a triumph of logistics—making sure the right materials were at the right location at the right time. Considering the remoteness of the Florida Keys, the sparse and unreliable communication links available, and the massive amounts of materials that had to be moved with steam power, the completed F.E.C. Key West Extension stands as a monument to those who planned its most minute details. Much of this book tells their story with nearly 250 old photographs, many taken by the engineers who built the Extension and most never before published. In addition, the author created many new graphics of the Keys based on old F.E.C. construction maps. Together, the photos and graphics cover all of the construction on all of the Florida Keys.
"David Gallagher's vivid photographs and informative supplementary text offer a glimpse at the enormous dedication and sacrifice needed to link the Florida Keys by rail…Historians of Florida and railroad fanatics alike will clearly sense the deep-seated pride that inspired the author in his work." —The Florida Historical Quarterly
Dan Gallagher came to the Florida Keys in 1988 after 17 years as a college professor to become a professional boat captain, environmental guide, editor, and writer. The history of the Keys, particularly the Florida East Coast Railway, quickly became his main interest. He wrote Pigeon Key and the Seven-Mile Bridge and Marathon: Heart of the Key West Extension, as well as several chapters of the Florida Keys Environmental Story, for which he served as editor-in-chief. He is chairman of the city of Marathon’s Historic Commission. Dan and his wife, Rita Irwin, live on Grassy Key.
Hardback $19.95 ISBN: 1-56164-269-X Size: 8.5 x 11 208 Pages 250 b&w photos