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 Tom.Flanary@gcrm.org
Train Crew Member For-A-Day
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum "Train Crew Member For-A-Day" program enables the general public to act as a part of the Train Crew on Museum trains. The program will provide for thirty minutes or more of run time (actual throttle time) in one of the Museum's active locomotives. All participants in this program will be under the strict supervision of instructors at all times.
At this time the Museum operates our ACL GP-7 #1804. Other locomotives are rotated into active service from time to time including, ALCO S-2 #1, EMD E-8A #1594, and EMD E-9A #9913.
"I want to thank [the crewmembers] very much for an excellent and exciting "Crew" day. The experience of actually running the #1804, with switching and excursion duty thrown-in for good measure, was a totally unique experience. In all my years of rail-fanning, this is the only time that I have seen a museum offer this kind of interaction. I hope you can continue to offer this opportunity, and have a successful museum for many more years ahead. I certainly hope to visit your museum again during my next visit to Florida, and of course be a crew member again." - John Majkot, December 2003
The Bronze Spike - $85.00
The Bronze Spike package will provide the following:
The Silver Spike - $145.00
The Silver Spike package (operating weekends only) will provide the following:
The Golden Spike - $185.00
The Golden Spike package (operating weekends only) will provide the following:
Pricing and Method of Payment
Bronze Spike Package: $85.00
Silver Spike Package: $145.00
Gold Spike Package: $185.00
Extra Half-hour: $50.00
Extra Hour: $85.00
Prices and equipment are subject to change.
A deposit of 50% will be required to reserve/guarantee a date and price. Deposits are nonrefundable, however, dates may be changed subject to availability and a $20.00 fee. Method of payment will be cash or credit card.
Instruction will begin by 10:00 a.m. Participants interested in taking part in pre-start inspection and locomotive starting procedures will need to arrange their program to begin prior to opening of the Museum. Locomotive familiarization will begin after the locomitive is ready. Switching activities will be arranged around available schedules. Bronze Spike operating times are more flexible depending on crew and equipment availability.
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is in need of the following items and you can Help. You or your organization can donate the specific item needed or donate money to the designated Fund. Please keep in mind that ALL DONATIONS of specific items or money are Tax Deductable. Please call Michael Hall or the store museum for information how you can donate items. We can be reached at 305 - 253 - 0063.
Items that we need:
Click Above to donate money to the museum through Paypal
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum offers several opportunities for visitors and members to take part as a crewmember on Museum trains.
For General Members who desire to become an active part of the Museum's Operating Crew, we encourage those interested to call the museum, or stop by on a weekend. The Museum depends on the dedication of volunteer crewmembers built from within its general membership to operate its trains as part of its endeavor to educate our visitors.
For adult visitors, who do not wish to be members, we offer a Train Crewmember For-A-Day Program providing anywhere from a half-hour to an all-day adventure at the controls of historic railroad equipment.
The Museum also offers a Junior Trainman Program for children under age 18 who are interested in learning about operating trains and railroading in general.
To become part of the operating crew, it is first necessary to become a Museum member. Insurance considerations require that only members of the Museum may operate our equipment.
Interested volunteers will learn the basics of railroad operation at the Museum. Attendees will spend approximately two hours in classroom instruction covering the Museum's Operating Rules including whistle/horn signals, hand signals, railroad safety, and operating procedures.
The remainder of the class is conducted outside, in and around the Museum's cars, equipment, and right-of-way, where railroad terminology is discussed and the physical properties of the railroad are explained, including coupling cars, brakes, switches, and more.
After completion of the course, attendees may take the class materials home to review and study. When they feel ready, attendees can schedule to take the Operating Rules Written Exam. If attendees obtain a passing grade on the exam, they will gain the title of Trainman, become an official crew member.
Upon becoming a Trainman, new crewmembers can assist with operations at the Museum and begin further training in the various positions.
New Trainmen will first be instructed on the operation of the "Link" Train. Trainmen will work alongside qualified crewmembers and learn the mechanics of operating a small scale steam locomotive on compressed air during regular train operations. This training will also familiarize new Trainmen on the general operating procedures at the Museum and day-to-day activities.
Operating the Link Train will teach the principles of safety, responsibility, judgement, and equipment care, that will be required for advancement to standard gauge operations. At the same time, learning on this relatively small scale equipment ensures that any errors, mistakes, or accidents during training are not exacerbated as they might be with standard gauge operations.
In addition, the steam locomotive is perhaps the most difficult piece of equipment to learn to operate smoothly and effectively and thus will provide an excellent base for further advancement. To some, it is the most difficult piece of equipment to master at the Museum.
After sufficient training, Trainmen will gain the title of Link Engineer and will have the authority to operate the Link Train on their own. Link Engineers will be monitored for a period of time before advancement to standard gauge equipment can begin.
Concurrent with Link Training, Trainmen who have demonstrated responsibility and adequate knowledge of the Museum's Operating Procedures may be trained by qualified crewmembers in the Fireman position on Cab Rides and other standard gauge operations.
After sufficient training, Trainmen will gain the title of Fireman and will have the authority to act as Fireman on their own on standard gauge trains.
After acting as Fireman for a sufficient period, training may begin in the positions of Engineer and Conductor. Written and practical exams may be required for each position.
Engineer training is engine specific and qualifications will be issued per engine, and further, for specific operations (i.e., cab rides, coach rides, switching, etc.)
Engineer trainees will work alongside qualified crewmembers to learn the operating and physical characteristics of each engine, including handling and braking, as well as safety and dealing with emergency and unusual situations.
Conductor trainees will learn the groundwork required in making and breaking trains, moving equipment, and working effectively with groups of crewmembers.
Qualified Conductors hold the highest rank on Museum trains; collecting tickets, attending to the needs of passengers, guarding the rear of equipment during reverse movements, and control train movements.
While it is possible to become qualified in various positions without participating in the care and maintenance of equipment, it is strongly preferred that crewmembers assist in these activities wherever possible.
Engines may only be started by crewmembers qualified by the Mechanical Department and specific training is arranged for each piece of equipment.
All mechanical work is arranged through the Chief Mechanical Officer, and all crewmembers and members are invited to assist wherever their skills may be useful. The Museum depends on volunteers to help maintain our collection.
Becoming an active crew member may be considered a free "bonus" for members who volunteer time and/or services at the Museum and is not a privilege of membership. In return for the opportunity to become and remain an active crewmember, we offer a free museum membership to the individual who volunteers his or her time.
There is no defined contribution requirement, but we aim to ensure that the program is fair and crewmembers have an equal opportunity to operate equipment given consideration to personal schedule, physical ability, and level of commitment to the Museum.
Our members' skills are as varied as their interests and we understand that not every member is mechanically inclined, and we also understand that time is always a premium resource. We offer to teach people the following areas, and some examples of crewmember contributions are:
For members who may not desire to actively contribute and participate as a permanent crewmember, but desire to operate our equipment on a one time basis, we offer a Train Crewmember For-A-Day Program.
Museum Grounds Use Information
The Museum grounds are routinely used for a variety of functions including:
Please see our Reservation Information section for details on booking your event.
The Museum welcomes school groups and field trips. We offer a unique educational experience for students of all ages. Your groups will enjoy:
Field Trip/Group Rates:
Price includes a ride on our Link Train for all guests and Guided Tour. Allowances may be made for schools on tighter budgets. Field trips require a $60.00 non-refundable security deposit at least two (2) weeks prior to scheduled arrival.
Please see our Reservation Information section for details on booking your trip.
The Museum invites you to plan your birthday celebration in our nostalgic atmosphere.
Amenities include exclusive use of one of our designated Picnic Party Areas consisting of a group of picnic tables under our train shed or use of an air-conditioned Lounge Car (depending on package). During your party, guests can enjoy the Museum's exhibits, including the Model Train room.
Package #1—Sheltered Picnic Party Area
Package #2—Air-conditioned Lounge Car
Package #3—Air-conditioned Lounge Car
Big Kid Birthday Party—Air-conditioned Lounge Car
Who says that a railroad party is just for kids? Here is a package for the young at heart. Prior to the Museum opening the "Big Kid" will be trained on basic railroad operating rules and familiarized with the controls of a standard gauge locomotive. Guests will then arrive to celebrate with the "Big Kid" on board the air-conditioned lounge car. Guests will have the opprtunity to explore the Museum and, at the appointed time, climb on the train as the conductor shouts "All aboard." The train departs with the "Big Kid" at the throttle for a special train ride. Two guests will be able to ride in the cab with the "Big Kid" as they engineer the train (under supervision of a certified locomotive engineer).
Price includes a membership to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum for the "Big Kid," training at the controls of a standard gauge locomotive for the "Big Kid," exclusive use of our Atlantic Coast Line #254 Lounge Car, admission and standard gauge train ride for up to 20 guests, and a cab ride for 2 guests.
Requirements for the "Big Kid" are:
We have the room to host multiple parties at the same time and can offer special rates for schools and other special needs.
Please see our Reservation Information section for availability and details on booking your party.
Feel free to download the more detailed Party and Event Information Sheet.
6:00 am - 8:00 am and 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm - $125 per hour
7:00 pm - 6:00 am - $175 per hour
All Commercial Photo Shoots must be self-contained and insured.
Download our Scouting Guide for more information.
Events, Meetings, and Weddings
The Museum's plaza area, main display shed, and several air-conditioned lounge cars are available for meetings, weddings, and other events.
Over the past five decades, in close cooperation with the Miami Dade County Parks Department, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum has grown into a remarkable historic train and industrial arts collection. The Museum offers train rides on historic rail equipment and is open six days a week to the public (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday), 350 days a year. The railroad museum is not just a collection of trains. It is about families, community, schools and the joy of learning in a historic environment. On its fifty acres of historic property the Museum provides train rides and hosts increasing numbers of guided school field trips with an orientation presentation, lectures, bus tours, birthday parties, weddings, receptions, business and corporate meetings, film shoots and special events that bring the history of trains to life. The mission of the Museum is to serve by educating all the youths and adults who walk through its doors. Its commitment to education focuses on hands-on interdisciplinary and intergenerational exhibits, programs, outreach activities and special events which speak to the richness and diversity of our Florida heritage.
The Gold Coast Railroad Museum can work to meet your catering needs and can work with your preffered caterer.
The area of Museum property desired for the service or reception must be approved by the Museum in advance. Generally, most of our train cars are not available for events with the exception of our lounge cars (see Lounge Car rental section). Tax will be added to total bill.
Large events and/or multi-day events requiring significant use of the grounds, including closing the Museum during the event, require significant lead time (a minimum of one month is recommended).
The Museum has a lounge car which is now available for rent. The ACL Observation Bar Lounge #254 is sure to offer a very unique place to conduct your next business meeting. The air-conditioned lounge car can accommodate up to 45 people and is ready for catered events such as business meetings. After hours use can be arranged. Please follow the link to see photos of the car.
Please consult the Party and Event Information Sheet or call for more details.
Please see our Reservation Information section for availability and details on booking your rental.
Please consult the Party and Event Information Sheet or call for more details.
*****Fun for the entire family*****
For more information, visit us at www.gcrm.org or call telephone number (305) 253-0063 or call Gerry at telephone number (786) 344-4228 or visit him at www.southdadecarshow.com
The history of today's Gold Coast Railroad Museum is rather unique. The coming together of persons and events in a rare mix that helped shape today's premier railroad museum in the state of Florida and one of the finer rail museums in the United States.
It all began in August, 1956. William J. Godfrey was a Business Administration student, attending the University of Miami (UM). He was also a bit of a "rail enthusiast." He had heard that the University's "South Campus" contained miles of unused railroad tracks. That site was 2,100 acres of high pineland located in southern Dade County. The property had been Naval Air Station Richmond (NASR) - A WWII airship base. A few years after the war, the Navy left the base and the land was leased to the University of Miami from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for non-profit educational and research purposes. The University used the base as a remote campus for returning GI's and for botanical research. Being an all male campus, the students could use the same barracks that the Navy had recently abandoned.
Bill reasoned that, with over three miles of tracks, the old base would be a great place to have an operating steam engine. It could be used as an engineering, educational, and historical attraction. He presented the idea to Dr. Jay F.W. Pearson, President of the University who just happened to be a rail fan. President Pearson liked the idea and thus the seed of a South Florida institution was germinated.
The U.S. Sugar Company (USSC), based in Clewiston, Florida had a few steam engines which they were considering for retirement. Mr. R.M. Hare of USSC was contacted. President Pearson and Dr. James M. Godard, Executive Vice President went to Clewiston and "picked out" former Florida East Coast (FEC) locomotive #153 as their choice. USSC agreed to donate the locomotive to the UM. Months of preparations for the movement were completed, and on February 19, 1957, the locomotive left USSC on its trip to Miami. The engine moved "cold" over Atlantic Coast Line, Florida East Coast Railway, and Seaboard Air Line trackage to reach the South Campus. On Friday, April 12, 1957, at 2:30 p.m., the #153 acceptance ceremonies were performed at the South Campus. Dr. Charlton Tebeau, Chairman of the University's History Department, was the master of ceremonies. The gathering took place on a portion of the old Navy blimp landing pad. In attendance were UM President Pearson, US Sugar Executive V.P., H.T. Vaughn, as well as representatives of the FEC, ACL, and SCL. At the same time the Miami Railroad Historical Society (MRHS) was created under the umbrella of the UM to oversee the maintenance and operation of the locomotive on the university property.
The MRHS was "steamed-up" and "ready to roll." The persons originally involved were: William J. Godfrey - President; Henry G. Dooley -Vice President; and Charles H. Rose III - Secretary/Treasurer. The original Board of Directors: Robert L. Beekman, Lois Beekman, Joan Lea Godfrey, Nina Creel Taylor, Erle B. Nelson, and John R. Edmonds. Additional early supporters were "Johnny" Johnson, Bill Moneypenny, Wayne Whistler, Walter Locke, Leo DeSola, and Charles Flygare.
Over the next year, more equipment is added.
1958: Seaboard Air Line donated a ”Jim Crow" combine car (part baggage - part passenger) #259.
August 1958: Apalachicola Northern blue caboose #X3.
The MRHS set up their operations in a small portion of one of the former Navy wooden warehouses and called it "Dogpatch Station." The society members named their rail operations the "Gold Coast Railroad." On those Sundays when the MRHS operated for the public, many members would dress up in "period" clothing to add to the visitors' experience. Walter Locke, later to become President of the organization, often dressed as a convincing railroad hobo. Visitors were treated to train rides behind a real operating steam locomotive. The train was called the "Gold Coast Special." The cost to ride in 1961 was 50 cents including admission. The engineers paid $2.00 per half hour to cover the cost of fuel oil.
In April 1958, the former Presidential Pullman "Ferdinand Magellan" was declared "surplus" by the U.S. Government. This was the armor plated railcar used by Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower. Mr. Godfrey learned that the car would be going on the surplus list and with knowledge that surplus items must be first offered to any of the 48 states willing to request the object. Wasting no time, Bill again approached the President of the University of Miami, Dr. Pearson with the idea of obtaining this unique car. The UM president agreed, and on August 11, 1958, Dr. James M. Godard, made the formal request to Mr. R.B. Beard of the Florida Development Commission that the "Ferdinand Magellan" be acquired by the State of Florida for the UM. Apparently, no other state made a request and the car was transferred to the State which then passed ownership to the University of Miami, as a non-profit educational organization. On January 17, 1959, the "Ferdinand Magellan" arrived at the South Campus and drew much attention. The car arrived with very little to identify it as the former U.S. Car #1; no speaker cones on the roof; no presidential seal on the rear platform - not even its name on the side of the car, but what a wonderful prize for the still small MRHS. Shortly, the car was opened to visitors.
March 1959: Florida East Coast Railway donated passenger coach #136.
1960: Atlantic Coast Line donated wooden caboose #0322.
Late 1960: The switch and 50 feet of track on north leg of the wye connecting to Seaboard Air Line Railroad were removed.
1961: Frisco Line donated a Gondola freight car #60053.
1961: Southern Railway System donated Baggage-Express car #359. This became the "museum car" filled with small railroad items on display.
1962: Florida East Coast donated a Track Section Car.
1965: Southern Railway donated freight boxcar #260909. This became the "spare parts" storage car.
Everything seemed to be rolling along nicely. The public was invited to come ride the train on certain Sundays. Plans were being made to erect a shelter for the steam engine to allow work to be done out of the weather. The MRHS was increasing its membership. Then, the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred. The G.S.A. determined that some of the land leased to the University would be needed for a large "listening post" for the C.I.A. The University, under pressure from the G.S.A., and raising the issue of liability of running a steam locomotive, informed the MRHS that the museum would no longer be able to operate the "Gold Coast Railroad" on the South Campus and would have to look elsewhere to find a new home for its activities.
As a result, on November 13, 1966, at 11:30 a.m., the Gold Coast Railroad (MRHS) chugged off the South Campus property heading for a new found home in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County. The UM transferred ownership of all rail locomotives, cars, and rail objects to the MRHS. The train was pulled by the #153 under steam.
While arrangements were being made for a long-term home in Broward County, the Beekmans made arrangements with the Broward Port Authority to call Port Everglades, at least temporarily, the museum's new home. There was no running of the locomotive at the port. The museum had become a static display. The name of the organization was changed to the Gold Coast Railroad, Inc., (GCRR) on January 4, 1967.
Running along the north side of Ft. Lauderdale airport was a rail track that connected the Seaboard Coast Line (SCL) Railroad to Port Everglades. The SCL was agreeable to the museum operating on the line so long as there was no interruption in their schedule. The Beekmans, being well "connected" in Broward County, contacted a Mr. Snyder who had a small rock quarry along the side of that track. An agreement was worked out whereby the museum would be located on a portion of his property. There was not much usable land on the property. The Beekmans brought in fill to bring the area of the museum up to the grade of the adjacent track and make enough land for the buildings and a parking lot. They then set about to build a three-track, concrete train shed which could hold approximately 9 pieces of rail equipment. They also underwrote the building of a beautiful "turn of the century," country-styled, passenger station of brick and detailed wood trim. It was named Loisville for Mrs. Beekman.
The remainder of the quarry property, along with the Gold Coast's portion, was to become a part of the Ft. Lauderdale park system known as Snyder Park.
The land area of the GCRR was quite limited, and as a result the museum's rail collection could not expand to any great degree. Over the next few years it would have two operating steam engines and trains that would operate on the weekends back and forth along the north side of the Ft. Lauderdale airport. At times there were bandits who would "rob" the train on foot or on horseback. The train rides were a popular attraction for the South Florida residents and visitors.
1968: William Godfrey donated a 1909 operational Case steam traction engine.
1969: U.S. Sugar donated a second steam locomotive FEC #113.
Port Everglades donated a freight flatcar #1103.
Port Everglades donated a Track Section Car.
1981: Liquid Sugars donated Western Pacific #881, Vista-Dome, Observation, "Silver Crescent."
1981: Liquid Sugars donated Western Pacific #802, Baggage Car, "Silver Stag."
Seaboard donated wooden caboose #5292.
In 1983, the Florida Department of Transportation notified the museum that plans were being finalized to build an east-west expressway to be know as I-595. The elevated route would run through the museum's location. Once again the museum had to look for a new home.
In Dade County, the National Park Service (NPS) was looking to acquire land on the bottom of Biscayne Bay for a National Monument. It was learned that the federal prison adjacent to the new MetroZoo had surplus property it did not need. Through the assistance of U.S. Representative Dante Facell, a land "swap" was arranged. The NPS got the bay bottom it wanted and Dade County got 56+ acres of park land to be leased to the Gold Coast Railroad. It was a portion of the same property that the museum had occupied in the 1960's at former Naval Air Station Richmond.
Once more the museum was on the move. Packing began and with all the museum items loaded onto flatcars, gondolas, and into boxcars, the train was assembled. Pulled by a Seaboard Coast Line (SCL) diesel-electric locomotive, the Gold Coast "Special" train headed south, back to its old home.
So in 1984, the next "new" home for the museum would be the areas of hangars #1 and #2 of former airship base. Over the years since the museum had moved away, many shrubs, Florida Holly, and grasses had taken over the old hangar floors. These were scraped away and three additional tracks were constructed into the concrete pad of what was hangar #1. Rail was re-established to connect to CSX's mainline at the western end of the property. A large "butler building" was erected over a third of the length of the four tracks now in hanger #1's floor.
In 1904, the "Princeton Station" had been built on the mainline of the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) between Miami and Homestead. In the 1950's it had been moved and preserved at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. The station was now to be relocated to the Gold Coast's new home. As the roof was too high to make the road trip, a new roof was constructed on the station after arrival at the museum. The station became the entrance and museum store for the "new" Gold Coast.
An "old time" patio clock was acquired and added a nice look to the museum.
Using steam engine #113, a steam trip to the city of Homestead was operated with the hope of making many more in the future. Insurance costs "killed" those plans, but the museum did have enough track to operate short trips on their property.
For a year or so, Civil War re-enactors would occasionally "detain" the trains and look for traitors, valuables, and money.
In 1977, the Ferdinand Magellan was designated a "National Historic Site." A short time later and for many years thereafter, paperwork was filed to have the car nominated as a "National Historic Landmark." While the museum was still in Ft. Lauderdale, in the summer of 1984, plans were made to have the car travel to Washington, D.C., where it would be inspected by the Park Service and possibly visited by then President Ronald Reagan. While these plans were being finalized, the White House contacted the museum and proposed that the Magellan be used as the centerpiece of a one day, whistle stop re-election campaign train for President Reagan to be run in Ohio. This new plan was further developed and when the car arrived in Washington in early October it was put under the control of the United States Secret Service which "prepared" the Magellan for Presidential use. The car soon left on the positioning move to Dayton.
The Ferdinand Magellan was officially back in Presidential service, if only for one day. The date: October 12, 1984. Once the trip was completed, the Magellan returned to Washington and was on display at Washington Union Station. The Magellan was available for visitations by many Washington politicians as well as the local and national press. It then returned to Ft. Lauderdale, and was moved to Miami as the museum relocated.
Soon thereafter, word was received that the Presidential Pullman was indeed to be designated a "National Historic Landmark," as well as to be Miami-Dade County's first National Landmark. The official date: Monday, February 4, 1985. A short time later, with a color guard in attendance, the National Park Service presented the "National Historic Landmark" plaque to the Gold Coast Railroad during official ceremonies held on the Magellan's rear platform, under the train shed of the museum. Today, the Ferdinand Magellan remains "available" for Presidential service.
ALCO RS-3, Ex-Long Island #1555 *
Ex-SAL Streamlined Diner #6112
"Norfolk" Streamlined Passenger Car *
Erie Lackawanna Commuter Car *
EMD SW-1 Switch Engine #167 *
Steam Engine #9 "Saddle Tanker"
ALCO S-2 Diesel Switch Engine, Ex-NASA #1
ALCO RS-1 Diesel Switch Engine #106 *
1998: EMD FP-7 Diesel Locomotive, Ex-Tri-Rail *
ALCO "Slug" Diesel Locomotive Ex-RF&P
Passenger Baggage Car, Ex-C&O
1996: Display Car, Ex-FEC Maintenance-of-Way Car
Late 1980's: U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436
"Castleblayney" Ex-D&PH Business Car *
1987: Steam Crane, Ex-SCL #765157
Burro Crane #15
Freight Box Car, Ex-SR #27416
Freight Box Car, Ex-SCL #126307
Oil Tank Cars, Ex-BEPX #105 and #121
Freight Flatcar, Ex-USAX
Ballast Freight Car, Side Dumping, Ex-USAX
American LaFrance Fire Truck
"East Swamp & Gatorville" 2-Foot Gauge Steam Train, Donated By Mrs. Edwin Link
* No longer on roster - damaged, scrapped, or sold.
It has been said that "into life a little rain must fall." Yes, but not at 170 miles per hour! August 24, 1992. Hurricane Andrew roared into southern Dade County. The Gold Coast was hurt "bad" by the storm. The display shed was uprooted from its foundation and the building collapsed over the collection of equipment. One of the building's overhead beams pierced the roof of the Ferdinand Magellan. The "Silver Crescent" had a beam crush down on its "Vista Dome." The car also had a window blown out allowing the monstrous winds inside. On the South Pad a long string of coupled equipment were flipped onto their sides. The historic Princeton Station lost its roof and the remaining structure collapsed, never to be rebuilt. The site of the museum was of great devastation. It took a heavy emotional toll on the members, some of whom would not be seen at the museum again. The most costly storm in United States history might well have brought the Gold Coast Railroad to the "end of the line" - except for the "help" of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
A mandate from FEMA claimed that they would put all non-profits back to their pre-Andrew condition. In the case of the museum, that would end up being a multi-million dollar promise and take over 8 years to accomplish. Rebuilding the museum was to become a very long and arduous process. Along the way many rough times were encountered. A very small core of museum volunteers would "hang in there" through that time to see the project completed. It was not to be an easy job. All the equipment had to remain outside in the tropical environment, sun, rain, and heat, suffering much as a result. During this time the museum did not look very presentable. The entrance and store was a cheap house trailer. Visitors had to endure the sun and rain as they walked the museum grounds.
Equipment arriving during the eight years of reconstruction:
"9001" Streamlined Passenger Sleeping Car, Ex-SP
"Silver Vale" Ex-CB&Q Streamlined Passenger Car
Metro North, Long Island Passenger Commuter Car
"Belle Glade" Streamlined Passenger Coach, Ex-FEC
Fruit Growers Express Freight Car, Ex-SAL #593188
In April 1998, the museum changed its name to "Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Inc." to more accurately reflect its educational goals.
Finally, at LONG last, the new, and much strengthened museum display building was completed and ready for the equipment to be placed inside. This was a major joy and relief for all who had worked for so many years to bring the museum to that point. The new museum store came shortly thereafter. Finally, the Gold Coast was "looking" again like the first class museum that it is.
July 2002: Helium Transportation Freight Car built In 1962
December 2002: E-8A Diesel Locomotive, Ex-PRR #5794 (Now Painted In FEC Colors #1594)
December 2002: GP-7 Diesel Locomotive, Ex-Alaska #1804 (Now Painted In ACL Colors #1804)
December 2002: E-9A Diesel Locomotive, Ex-CB&Q #9913 (Painted in CB&Q Colors #9913)
January 2003: "Silver Slumber" Streamlined Passenger Car built In 1956
June 2003: SAL Streamlined Coach Lounge Passenger Car built in 1939
June 2003: ACL Streamlined Observation Lounge Passenger Car built in 1941
January 2004: F-3/F-10 Diesel Locomotive, Ex-GM&O 800A (Now Painted In SAL Colors #4033)
In April 2007, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum reached its 50 year anniversary. Expansion of the MetroZoo's master plan is hoped to increase the museum's attendance and importance as an educational destination for students, residents and visitors. As the museum continues to expand and grow, we strive to reach out to more community members and rail enthusiasts, to educate and enlighten each individual.
In addition to the railroad locomotives, cars, and equipment permanently on display at the Museum, there are special exhibits on display within our cars and buildings. Since we are an operating Museum using historic rail equipment, our "rides" are working educational exhibits.
Train rides on the "Edwin Link Children's Railroad", or Link train, are regularly offered on weekends at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The rides are suitable for both children and adults and consist of a 20-minute ride on 2-foot gauge track. The cost is $2.50 per persons of all ages.* Children under 1 are free.
Trains may run more frequently depending on crew availability and ridership. In cases of inclement weather, trains may be cancelled or rides may be substituted on standard gauge equipment when available.
The Link train is available for birthday parties, groups, and special events with advance notice.
Standard Gauge train rides using a diesel locomotive with the air-conditioned "Belle Glade" passenger coach are offered on some weekends or our Classic Caboose which has become very popular with our guests.
The cost is $6.00 per person for all ages for a 25-minute ride. Train schedule varies daily when operating.
Availability is dependent on crew, equipment, and other considerations, and is subject to change without notice. Please call ahead to see if the "Belle Glade" will be in operation during your visit or if the Caboose will be in service.
Standard Gauge "Cab Rides" using diesel-electric locomotives are available on most weekends. This unique experience places guests in the operating cab of a locomotive, with the engineer, to experience the feel and operation of a diesel-electric locomotive. During the ride, crewmembers will detail the history and operation of the locomotive used as well as describe the importance of the Museum grounds in Florida's history.
The cost is $12.00 per person for all ages for a 25-minute ride. Cab rides depart generally on the half-hour when operating. Seating is very limited (2-6 persons depending on the active locomotive). In addition, guests must be able to climb steep locomotive stairs/ladders and be willing to ride in a noisy environment without air-conditioning.
Cab ride availability is not scheduled, nor guaranteed, and is subject to crew and equipment availability.
Typically the standard gauge trains run most weekends. The Link Train generally runs both weekend and weekdays. During the weekdays, the Link runs on a reduced schedule.
Please call ahead to check availability.
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