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In that year, a proud Henry Flagler rode the first train into Key West aboard his private railcar "Rambler", marking the completion of the railroad's overseas connection to Key West and the linkage by railway of the entire east coast of Florida. Flagler's rail network became known as the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). By 1904, the FEC had reached Homestead, south of Miami. Both Gould and Fisk worked for the Erie Railroad — one of the largest and busiest supply routes in the country at the time. On Labor Day of 1935, a devastating hurricane destroyed a huge portion of the Overseas Railroad along the Upper and Middle Keys. Returning to Florida in 1881, he became the builder and developer of resort hotels and railroads along the east coast of Florida. The wealthy man took interest in Florida while seeking a warmer climate for his ailing first wife in the late 1870s. The initially favored route extended the railroad from Homestead southwest through the Everglades to Cape Sable, where it would then cross 25 miles (40 km) of open water to Big Pine Key and then continue to Key West. The Overseas Railroad (also known as Florida Overseas Railroad, the Overseas Extension, and Flagler's Folly) was an extension of the Florida East Coast Railway to Key West, a city located 128 miles (204.8 km) beyond the end of the Florida peninsula.Work on the line started in 1905 and it operated from 1912 to 1935, when it was partially destroyed by the Labor Day Hurricane. The land was sold to the state, which would go on to build the Overseas Highway along the old railroad's path, sometimes building the highway on top of surviving portions of rail. Consequently, the railroad went bankrupt in 1932, and the offshore track was destroyed on Labor Day 1935, during the worst storm of the century. The highway was rebuilt in the 1980s, and it now runs alongside some of the railway ruins, which Florida has converted into fishing piers and walking paths … [3], Already bankrupt, the Florida East Coast Railway was financially unable to rebuild the destroyed sections. By this time, the railroad had become mismanaged and the amount of freight had significantly been reduced. No one wanted to cover the expense to repair it, so the land was sold to the state, which soon afterward began building the Overseas Highway over salvageable portions of the structures that remained. The Florida East Coast's Key West Extension, or the Florida Overseas Railroad as it was officially known, became one of the railroad industry's most celebrated accomplishments even after it was destroyed by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The culmination of a decades-long vision of Standard Oil millionaire Henry Flagler, the Oversea Railroad stretch over 100 miles out into open ocean, connecting Key West with the Florida mainland. The Florida Overseas Railroad, also known as the "Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway", was heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The bridge has been severed to prevent pedestrian access. Completed in 1912, the Overseas Railroad was heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. By Sean McCaughan Apr 11, 2014, 6:27pm EDT [Photos via Monroe … Get … Rebuilt in the 1980s, following Flagler's dream, the Overseas Highway ( U.S. Route 1) continues to provide a highway link to Key West, ending at the buoy which marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. if (window.showTocToggle) { var tocShowText = "show"; var tocHideText = "hide"; showTocToggle(); } Work on the line started in 1905 and it operated from 1912 to 1935, when it was partially destroyed by the Labor Day Hurricane. //]]>. And the only way to do that back then was by railroad. (2004) "The Railroad That Went to Sea". This page was last edited on 24 December 2020, at 23:31. Beginning with St. Augustine, he moved progressively south. This meant all those cheap goods had to be transported to the coast to be shipped overseas. Initially called "Flagler's Folly", the construction of the overseas railroad required many engineering innovations as well as vast amounts of labor and monetary resources. 1912 – The Overseas Railroad, the final link in the Florida East Coast Railway was completed on this date. During the seven year construction, three hurricanes—one in 1906, 1909, and 1910—threatened to halt the project. Mulhouse railroad destroyed by the French, Alsace, France, World War I, photograph by Roll, from L'Illustrazione Italiana, Year XLI, No 39, September 27, 1914. Arrival of the first train at Key West, January 22, 1912. The reconstruction of the railroad brought back tourism in Key West. In many ways this is … Key West, the United States' closest deep-water port to the Canal, could not only take advantage of Cuban and Latin American trade, but the opening of the Canal would allow significant trade possibilities with the West Coast. One piece of critical infrastructure which was destroyed was a railroad bridge over the Yakima River in the Prosser area, which was consumed by fire on September 7. //

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