Topics

Upcoming FEC/AAF talks and exhibits

seth h. bramson
 

Friends:
 
Want to bring you up to date on two major events relating to the FEC and AAF.
 
Sat, 8-24, at Stuart and Hobe Sound libraries, talks on the FEC's history, this a joint Smithsonian Institution--Martin County Libraries event, more info as to exact addresses and times to follow.
 
Opening on Tuesday, October 1 at the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book at the main Broward County library in downtown Ft. Lauderdale a great exhibit on the history of FEC passenger train service as well as a look at the upcoming AAF service.  The folks from the Broward library will be here (at The Bramson Archive) most of the day on Monday the 8th to begin to select display items.  Below you will see part of the proposal for the exhibit and I previously advised our FECRS President, Cal Winter re the opportunity for the Society to participate.  It is highly possible that Mr. Hertwig will be the speaker at the exhibit opening along with one of AAF's executives.  As always, any of you who have photos or memorabilia that you would like us to consider for the exhibit should contact me off list.
 
(The Society and all buffs will be invited to the opening)
 

BY TRAIN TO AMERICA'S PLAYGROUND

 

The great days of rail travel on the Florida East Coast Now and in the Future

 

Synopsis:

 

From the years preceding Henry Flagler's purchase of the predecessor of the Florida East Coast Railway to and through the strike which began on January 22, 1963 and caused all passenger train service on the FEC to cease until August 2, 1965, when a "strike" passenger train operated daily except Sunday under Florida Supreme Court order, ending in finality on August 30, 1968, the FEC's passenger trains were the preferred mode of travel from the north and midwest to the east coast of Florida. Within the next two to three years an entirely new and different type of passenger train service, operated by an FEC Industries company called "All Aboard Florida" will resume high speed, limited stop service between Miami and Orlando, with, if feasible, eventual service from Jacksonville to Orlando all via the tracks of the FEC.

 

This exhibit will be the first-ever major exhibit to focus on the years of high grade passenger train service on the FEC along with the service of the future to be operated by AAF.  The three previous exhibits featuring FEC history, one each at Prime Osborne Convention Center in Jacksonville (the former Jacksonville Union Terminal) (1992), the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach (1996) and HistoryMiami in downtown Miami (1986) all focused on general FEC history which included but did not have as its prime purpose, the history of passenger train service on and to the Florida East Coast.

 

Methodology:

 

1.  Talks by the curator:

 

It is proposed that the exhibit's curator, FEC Railway Company Historian Seth H. Bramson, will present two talks on and about the FEC's history.  One will be titled

 

THE FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY:  FOR MORE THAN 110 YEARS AMERICA'S SPEEDWAY TO SUNSHINE

 

while the second will be titled

THE GREATEST RAILROAD STORY EVER TOLD:  HENRY FLAGLER AND THE FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY'S KEY WEST EXTENSION.

 

2.  Talks and presentations by other parties

 

It is proposed that, during and over the course of the six month exhibit a series of talks and/or panels will be presented.  Among the suggested topics:

 

FEC Passenger Trains and Stations

Modeling the FEC Railway

The FEC from the buff's perspective

All Aboard Florida:  A view of the future of passenger train service on the FEC

 

Other topics and/or panels, including an Operation Life Saver presentation and a presentation by the Florida East Coast Railway Society can and should be considered.

 

3.  Displays

 

The curator, Professor Seth H. Bramson, will provide most of the materials and memorabilia for inclusion in the displays while requesting that members of the FEC Railway Society and the associated model railroad groups provide several FEC passenger train models.

 

Alison Soule, AAF representative, will be asked to provide an AAF display as part of the six month exhibit as well as to assist in making arrangements for the AAF presentation noted above.

 

4.  Examples of exhibits and display items

 

The displays will be far-reaching, from examples of FEC predecessor passenger train timetables and passes to photographs and brochures.  FEC material of a like nature will be provided, same of various sizes to fit the display cases in an appropriate manner.  Along with the "paper" items and broadsides, the following will also be included in the displays:  a "step box," placed on the ground at stations for passengers to step on to when exiting or egressing the cars; a conductor's hand lantern; a conductor's coat and hat; a "No Parking FEC Railway" sign from the Miami passenger station; ticket dater dies and wax sealers from passenger stations; depending on showcae size available, one of the original "Ticket Office" signs from the Miami station; a display of dining car ephemera, including china, silver and one or more menus; a display on the history of the Key West Extension and its passenger train service.  Again, and as noted, All Aboard Florida will be requested to provide a display.