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East Coast Railway

Suniland Magazine


This railroad—the Florida East Coast Railway—itself stands as a monument, as a monument to the man who did more to develop Florida than any other of any day or generation—Henry M. Flagler, whose memory will live forever, immortalized by the generations of Floridians to come.

And yet less than twenty years ago this now great and highly successful railroad enterprise was not infrequently referred to as "Flagler's Folly," built by an altruist out of his sheer love for a state. At that time, the road was essentially a passenger line, depending on its tourist traffic for seventy-five per cent of its revenues. Last year, however, notwithstanding the wonderful growth of all of the East Coast resorts, no less than seventy per cent of the entire earnings of the system were derived from freight receipts, a considerable percentage of the total being from the great trade with Cuba, which has made Key West the first port in all the state of Florida. This railroad, by the way, is once more affording American engineering genius another opportunity to demonstrate its efficiency, for it is being double tracked from Jacksonville to Miami without any interruption to its service.

The railroad has been the chief single factor in Florida's development, linking her far-flung settlements in a network of steel, and opening up to colonization her millions of acres of almost inaccessible territory. It has required men of vision and courage to develop the railroads of Florida—and these she has had, the Flaglers, Plants, Sanfords, and Yulces in earlier days, and in recent years such men as Henry Walters, of the Atlantic Coast Line, which has done so much to further the development of Florida, and S. Davies Warfield, of the Seaboard, who, with a courage that amazed the world, built, in a few short months, a new railroad clear across the state; not to forget Chas. R. Capps, also of the Seaboard, one of the first to visualize the potentialities of Florida's West Coast.

Excerpt from Agassiz, Garnault. "East Coast Railway."
Suniland, Nov. 1925, Vol.3, No.2., Pgs. 37-45; 88-94; 113-133


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