On Thursday, May 21, 2015, CSX took the former NASA Solid Rocket Booster Skirt Car on the last leg of its journey from the Florida East Coast interchange west of Miami International AIrport to the museum property.
These cars were used to carry conical "skirt" sections of the Solid Rocket Boosters. GCRM has recently acquired them after NASA discontinued railroad operations.
CSX Iocal O721 was commissioned to do the job. This interchange, unlike the well-documented one with the famed NASA #2, was more uneventful and FEC power was not a part of it. Indeed, it was simply a freight pickup, as was probably the case when Oleander (the unofficial name of this junction) was a frequent interchange point between FEC and CSX.
As such, CSX power would roll onto FEC tracks to retrieve the car. Without FEC power to shove the cargo, the interchange required a few additional maneuvers.
After the skirt car was dragged onto the mainline, the GP39-2 #4314 would shove the car a couple yards west so it could run around and be on the west side of the car. That way, the consist can seamlessly shove back to the rest of O721's train, which had freight for other local customers.
I would catch up with the train at SW 75th Avenue on the CSX mainline to see the train at track speed, 25mph. With this image, one can have a feel for the massive size of these cars. They are about 13 feet wide and as tall as an autorack car.
O721 would go on to work yet another customer and then make the delivery. I would head home because the delivery point is difficult to access, and also, this operation was being done at the height of rush hour. Next time. Though, going forward we can look to having photo ops with NASA #2 and the skirt car on property.
A video will be posted soon and this article will be updated accordingly.
Now in existence since 1957, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum continues to strive to expand its programs and offerings to our patrons. We hope that you will be able to take part in one or more of the many exciting events that we are offering this year and experience firsthand the pride we take in supporting our cause.
It is the mission of the Museum to serve by educating all who walk through its doors. Its service through education focuses on visual and tactile interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exhibits, programs, inter-generational outreach activities and special artistic and cultural events which speak to the richness and diversity of Florida’s industrial heritage.
In order to meet our mission and provide services to Miami-Dade County, we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support. Without the assistance of community-minded individuals just like you, we wouldn't be able to serve the county’s residents as well as visitors to Miami-Dade each year.
We ask that you make a commitment to support our appeal by making a cash donation. We hope that you will be able to make a contribution to any one of the following projects. Your generosity will make a difference in our community by allowing us to continue in our work. Remember that every donation makes a difference, regardless of size. Thank you in advance for your support!
Projects in need:
1. Purchase of Railroad Ties
2. Solid Rocket Booster parts with a skirt car are being donated by NASA. We need funds to have it moved on to the museum property.
Donations may also be made in person at our museum store.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum
12450 SW 152nd Street
Miami, FL 33177-1402
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, we count on the support and generosity of our members, donors, sponsors and volunteers.
Home of the Presidential Railcar – U.S. 1 – Ferdinand Magellan.
Earlier in March, the NASA #2 Locomotive arrived at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. The NASA #2 was released from the NASA Space Program after the Space Shuttle Program completion. GCRM was the lucky winner of the bid. This locomotive is a EMD SW1500 originallly built for Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad, in Illinois and Indiana. It was later sold to NASA, who used it to haul parts and boosters for the Space Shuttle Program.
GCRM is proud to announce the upcoming Day Out with Thomas 2014! Thomas will be visiting on the first two weekends in March. Visit the Day Out With Thomas events page for more information and how you can purchase tickets!