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Tom Flanary

Tom Flanary

Tom Flanary is a Director on the Board of Directors, and maintains the website for GCRM. He has been involved in GCRM as a volunteer since 2011, and has been a director since 2012. If you have comments, concerns, or questions, please contact him directly at

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:34



The Model Railroad Page

General Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday:            11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Hours may vary depending on volunteer availability.

to the current issue of 

Model Railroad Magazine


The Gold Coast Railroad Museum houses quite an array of model railroads in many scales as well as priceless railroad paraphernalia. The various scales represented are N, HO, O27, and G scale. The collections and equipment on display have all been donated or loaned to the Museum to be displayed for the public's enjoyment in an air-conditioned exhibition building.


A group of children play with hands-on trainsets at Model display area.

Hands On

The Museum has several wood trainset layouts for visiting children to play with hands on! The layouts feature "Thomas" and other equipment, both free-wheeled and motorized. 

There is room for several children to play at once, and even seating areas for supervising adults. So bring the children for a fun and educational experience you can share with your family.



N Scale

The 4 x 8 foot N scale layout was another donation to the Museum and has three operating loops for trains to run on. The layout has a rather large yard on the front side and another yard on the upper level. 

A large mountain has been constructed in the center of the layout. The mountain contains five tunnels for trains to run through continuously. There are two lower level loops and an upper level loop with a 3 percent, ascending and descending grade.
N Scale Layout


HO Scale Layout

HO Scale

The Museum has one HO scale on the property. The layout is a small mountain display layout with two continuous running loops. 

The GCMRR Club has plans to design and build a large "New" Digital Command & Control HO Scale layout, enabling members to operate their own locomotives and trains in a more realistic and operational way. Sign up and join the club so you can help us design our new layout.



O Scale

One display in the Museum's model railroad collection is a rather large O27 scale layout, built with mostly Lionel rolling stock and accessories. The layout measures about 10 by 8 feet with an access hole in the middle of the square. The layout has 2 continuously running loops, and one elevated loop. 

The layout's equipment comes from various historical eras of the Lionel equipment offered from the 1950's to the present. This layout was donated to the museum unfinished and scenic work is continually being done on a majority of the layout's surface area.
O27 Layout




G Scale Layout

G Scale

The Museum contains two large G Scale layout which are somewhat scenicked but needs a lot more attention to details. One of the layouts has a back and forth trolley line as well as one continuous loop, at the present time.

Many people have G Scale railroads outside in their yards and around their gardens in Southern Florida since the weather is so nice year round. This is a very durable and sturdy gauge to model.



Car & Locomotive Display

Real trains

Other Areas of Interest 

A collection of American Flyer S gauge and old Rivarossi large scale equipment is on public display. The museum also has a diorama of a Western Pacific California Zephyr train set in HO scale.  

As a member of the museum or the GCMRR Club you also have an opportunity, with the proper training and certification to operate the 24" Gauge Link Train and the 1:1 Scale trains for our guests too!


If you would like to be a member of the Gold Coast Model Railroad Club and help to operate and maintain
these wonderful examples of model railroading magic, 
call the
museum or drop an e-mail message to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:32

Special Equipment

Special Equipment

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum has several pieces of special equipment on display.

  • Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Track Section Car
  • Port Everglades Railroad Track Section Car
  • Case Steam Traction Engine (Farm Tractor)
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:31

Helium Tank Car MHAX #1202

Freight Cars - Helium Tank Car MHAX #1202

Type: Helium Tank Car.

Built: 1962.

Status: Unrestored, On display.

Acquisition Date: Donated by the Kennedy Space Center, July, 2002.

This high pressure, helium transportation tank car, carries reporting marks MHAX 1202 (United States, Department of the Interior, Helium Field Operations, Amarillo, Texas). This car was "purpose built" to transport helium from gas producing wells, mostly located in Amarillo, Texas, to various different consumers throughout the United States. Helium was considered a war regulated commodity until well into the 1970's, since the United States had the majority of the world's proven reserves. Until intense oil production became possible in the North Sea, off the European coast, helium was not widely available worldwide.

Although this car was built in 1962, it is identical to those which brought helium to the Naval Air Station, Richmond, located on this site, for use in the 25, non-rigid airships based here.

Most recently, this car was used at the Kennedy Space Center, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the transportation and storage of helium used in a wide variety of processes in space flight. The Gold Coast Railroad Museum's NASA #1, ALCO switcher, moved this car, along with others, at the Kennedy Space Center.

Very few of these cars were ever produced and were rarely seen by the public.

This car is rather short for a U.S. railcar. It is 45'02" (13,76 m) long, 12'11" (3,8 m) high and 10'02" (3,05 m) wide. The rated storage pressure for the tanks onboard this car was 3,000 PSI (143,7 Kpascals).


Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:30

Freight Cars


Freight Cars and Other Cars Used in Railroad Service

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum has a varied collection of freight cars and other unique railroad cars on display.

Some items have links to new pages with further details and/or images about the items. This list is not all inclusive and is presented as a sample of what you will see visiting the Museum.

  • Helium Transportation Car MHAX #1202

  • Frisco Line Railroad Gondola Car #60053

  • Port Everglades Railroad Flatcar #1103

  • Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL) Steam Crane #765157

  • Burro Crane #15

  • Southern Railway (SR) Boxcar #260909

  • Southern Railway (SR) Boxcar #27416

  • Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL) Boxcar #126307

  • Belcher Oil Company (BEPX) Tank Car #105

  • Belcher Oil Company (BEPX) Tank Car #121

  • United States Army (USAX) Side Dump Ballast Car

  • United States Army (USAX) Flatcar #35703

  • Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) Caboose #0322

  • Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL, ex SAL) Boxcar #593188


ACL #254 Bar Lounge Car









This is a blunt-end observation, bar lounge built by the Budd Company for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. The car was delivered in January 1940 (pre WWII) and is of stainless steel construction.

ACL #254 was one of three rear-end cars for the "Tamiami Champion" streamliner. The train never operated. When delivered, the car was assigned to East Coast (Miami) or West Coast (Tampa) "Champion" Service. It originally contained a 57-seat lounge, reduced to 52 seats by Amtrak.

A diaphragm was in place, as built, on the rear of the car so that other sections of the "Champion" could be joined together north of Jacksonville, Florida.

This car is available to rent for meetings, lectures, weddings, and other gatherings. Please contact the Museum for more information.




Type: Blunt-end observation, bar lounge.

Built: 1941.

Status: Open, On display, Operational.

Acquisition Date: June 2003.


Florida East Coast Coach "Belle Glade"

Ordered in May 1943 from the Budd Company, but not delivered until July 1946, the Belle Glade and her sisters were a direct response by the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL)/Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad partnership to increase competition. By 1938, ACL's passenger traffic was in decline. Ridership was being hammered by both new competition from the automobile and new streamlined equipment from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. Beginning in 1939, ACL/FEC placed large orders with the Budd Company to begin to upgrade their premier trains and introduce new streamlined equipment on trains such as The Champion and The Florida Special. These trains were just two of the many trains that provided service between New York and Florida.

The Belle Glade was billed by the FEC as a luxury, long distance coach. The car was equipped with 52 reclining seats with leg rests, each seat having its own individual reading lights, and a conductor's desk. The car was mechanically air conditioned and steam heated. Both ends of the car contained smoking lounges and both men's and lady's restrooms. As with many railroads, the FEC maintained the tradition of naming its cars for on line cities and throughout its career on the FEC, the Belle Glade never received a number.

By the early 1960's the FEC was anxious to exit the passenger business. The long strike of 1962 would begin the process. All long distance passenger trains were transferred to the Seaboard Air Line. While the FEC was legally required to maintain intrastate passenger service, the railroad was effectively out of the passenger business. The intrastate service was discontinued by 1963.

The Belle Glade continued to ply her familiar New York to Florida routes. In 1962, the car was sold to the SAL and became Seaboard "6262". Later, in 1967, the 6262 was transferred to the newly formed Seaboard Coast Line railroad and continued to operate in revenue service until the formation of Amtrak in 1971.

The Seaboard Coast Line opted to join Amtrak in 1971, and again the Belle Glade was operating for a new owner. The SCL 6262 became Amtrak 5417. The car was rebuilt by Amtrak in 1977, and could be found operating both in New York to Florida service as well as Washington, D.C. to Montreal.

The future of the 5417 appeared bleak in 1981 as Amtrak's new Amfleet cars rolled off the Budd assembly line. The 5417 was soon bumped from her New York - Florida assignment and by 1983 retired from service. In the following year, 5417 was consigned to a Buffalo New York scrapper.

The car was purchased by the Eagle Canon Passenger Car Company of Pakersburg, West Virginia and placed in charter service. Later, it was sold once again to Mr. David Ross and renamed the "Frank L. Kerr". The Frank L. Kerr regularly operated on the now famous, Norfolk - Southern Corporation steam trains and made frequent runs throughout the Midwest on Operation Lifesaver trains. Frank L. Kerr was a Pennsylvania Railroad conductor in service from Pittsburgh to Crestline, Ohio, for almost 40 years, and was the grandfather of Mr. Ross.

The car was purchased by the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in the Spring of 1995. It's named was changed back to Belle Glade and is currently in use on regular revenue trains at the Museum.


Type: 54 seat coach.
Built: 1946
Status: Open, Operational, Used in regular revenue service at the Museum.
Acquisition Date: Spring 1995.

Seaboard Air Line (SAL) Parlor-Tavern #6300

This stainless steel car was built in 1939 by the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. It was part of the original seven car streamlined Silver Meteor, operating between New York City and Florida. #6300 was built as a coach-tavern-hostess bedroom car. The bedroom, located between the parlor section and the bar, was "home" for the train hostess, who was also a registered nurse, providing on-board medical capability for passengers and crew during the journey to Florida.

In later years, this car served on other Seaboard Air Line trains such as the Silver Star and the Silver Comet, between New York City and the South. This car represents the third year of Budd's innovative stainless steel passenger car production, which continued at the Red Lion Avenue plant in Philadelphia for over forty-five years more.

The Atlantic Coast Line and rival Seaboard Air Line were eventually merged into the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. 6300 became car number 6410 on The Seaboard Coast Line in 1968. It was sold to Amtrak in 1971 becoming car number 3810. It was purchased by Allegheny Rail Express in 1984. It was then sold to Village Rail Excursions followed by a sale to the BNC museum then finally sold to GNA, Inc. in 1993, who converted it into a table car. The car was purchased at auction by a private owner in November 1995 and leased to the Northern Central Railway, where it was used from 1996 until 2000. It was then operated on the Indian Head Central Railway until 2001.

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum acquired the car in June 2003.

This car is available to rent for meetings, lectures, weddings, and other gatherings. Please contact the Museum for more information.


Type: Parlor-Tavern
Built: 1939
Status: Open, On display, Operational
Acquisition Date: June 2003

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:23

U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436

U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436

In this photo, the car is arriving at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, front gate, on a five axle, low-boy trailer, pulled by a "triple-screw" semi-tractor. The overall length of just the trailer was 97 feet (29,57 m). As a result, the unit moved as a "permit load" which means it could only travel during daylight hours, on week days only (no holidays or weekends).

The rig made for an interesting sight, as most motorists are not used to seeing a railroad car moving along a highway!

In this photo, the trucks had already been placed on the track, in position to receive the car. Two 120 ton (108.862,170 Kilo), hydraulic, truck cranes, built in Germany, have moved into position and have hoisted the hospital car off the transport trailer. The trailer was driven out from under the car body and the car will be set onto cribbing which will be set-up immediately next to the track.

A second hoist began and the car was slowly "boomed-out" over the area adjacent to the track where the cribbing will be placed.

This is was part of a U.S. Government 100 car order (USA 89400 - USA 89499); used as a transportation vehicle to move military patients between medical facilities.

The car was declared surplus in 1969. In the late 1980's it was acquired through the State of Florida Federal Surplus Program.

This car was partially restored to its "Original Use" appearance in 2002 by the National Park Service and returned to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum for display.


Type: Hospital car, open bunks, kitchen, medical facilities.
Built: 1945 by the American Car & Foundry Co.
Status: Open, On display.






"Jim Crow" Combination Baggage/Coach #259

Built in 1913 for the Seaboard Airline Railway (SAL), this type of car was often referred to as a "combine." This car was operated over the entire Seaboard system. Numbered the "259," it was routinely found in service during 1956 and 1957, between Tampa and Venice, Florida, providing connecting service to the SAL New York-Tampa / St. Petersburg streamliner, "The Silver Star." In 1959, the 259 was retired from service and donated to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum and has now been restored after being damaged by Hurricane Andrew.

This car is unique in that it is one of the few remaining examples of a "Jim Crow" car. In the segregated South, the SAL was mandated by law to provide "separate but equal" facilities. The coach section of the car is divided into two, identical sections; one for white patrons and one for blacks. A small, "flip-over" sign, mounted on either side of the bulkhead separating the two sections, reads "WHITE" and "COLORED." In the convoluted thinking of the times, this sign made the accommodations of the car suitable for white passengers. Few realized that at the end of a run, the car was not turned around; only the signs were flipped over. The seats that were "good enough for blacks" now became perfectly acceptable for whites.

The baggage compartment is located at one end of the car with a sliding door on each side. Typically, the car's location in a consist was to the rear of the locomotive/tender or rearward of the last baggage car, as there was no provision for passengers to walk through the baggage area of the car. The baggage area is relatively small, as it was generally used only for the baggage of the "Colored passengers" or for the few items moved between stations on lightly traveled routes.

The term "Jim Crow" comes from a series of laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern U.S. between the end of the Reconstruction Period (1877) and the beginning of a strong civil rights movement (approximately 1950.) "Jim Crow" was the name of a minstrel routine (actually "Jump Jim Crow") performed by its author, Thomas Dartmouth ("Daddy") Rice, as well as many imitators, beginning about 1828. The term "Jim Crow" came to be a derogatory epithet for Negroes and a proper noun designating their segregated life.

By the end of the 1870's, Southern state legislatures passed laws requiring the segregation of whites from "persons of color" in public transportation facilities as well as almost all other types of public accommodations. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional and in later decisions, ruled similarly on other types of "Jim Crow" legislation.


Type: Combine (Combination) Baggage/Coach.
Built: 1913.
Status: Open, On display.
Acquisition Date: Donated by SAL In 1959.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:20

Passenger Cars

Passenger Cars and Cars Used in Passenger Service

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum has a wide variety of passenger cars on display, and in operation, from a variety of manufacturers, and eras.

Some items have links to new pages with further details and/or images about the items. This list is not all inclusive and is presented as a sample of what you will see visiting the Museum.

Conventional - Non Streamlined

Southern Railway (SR) Passenger Baggage-Express Car #359
Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) Passenger Baggage Car
Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259
Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Passenger Coach #136
Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Maintenance of Way Car Renumbered as #1996
U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436
Presidential Pullman Passenger Car "Ferdinand Magellan" U.S. Car #1
Port Huron and Detroit Business Car "Castleblayney"
Metro North, Long Island Passenger - High Volume Commuter Car

Streamlined - Stainless Steel

Western Pacific "California Zephyr" Vista-Dome Car "Silver Crescent"
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) Sleeping Car "Silver Vale"
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) Slumbercoach "Silver Slumber"
Seaboard Air Line Coach/Tavern Car #6300
Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) Sleeping Car
Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) Dining Car
Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Coach "Belle Glade"
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) Observation Bar Lounge #254
Western Pacific "California Zephyr" Baggage Car "Silver Stag"
Ex-Seaboard Air Line (SAL) Sleeper-Lounge Car "Silver Palm"