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ALCO 4-6-2 - Florida East Coast No. 153

Engine Number 153 was built in May, 1922, by the American Locomotive Company, Schenectady, New York. It is a Pacific type, passenger engine with a 4-6-2, standard gauge, wheel arrangement. Four pilot truck wheels, six drivers, and two trailing truck wheels. It was in service on the Florida East Coast Railway from 1922 until 1938. It pulled President Coolidge's train to Miami in 1928. The 153 was frequently used on the run between Miami and Key West, Florida, before the 1935 hurricane swept this portion of the railroad out to sea. It was one of the last engines to reach Miami before the hurricane ripped out the bridges behind her.

In 1938, the number 153 was sold to the United States Sugar Corporation of Clewiston, Florida, where is was used in industrial switcher service during the sugar harvesting season. In February, 1957, the engine was donated to the University of Miami. Dr. Jay F. W. Pearson, president of the university accepted it in a ceremony out on the main runway of the old Naval Air Station, Richmond, which at that time, was the University of Miami South Campus. The newly formed "Miami Railroad Historical Society," which would later become the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, was given the 153 around the end of 1959. It operated every Sunday in Miami from March, 1957, until November, 1966, when the railroad was forced to move to Fort Lauderdale.

In 1966, the 153 received a $10,000.00 major overhaul. The boiler was re-tubed, cleaned and inspected. New superheater units were installed. The injectors were overhauled, staybolt caps were removed and specially designed "Gold Coast" staybolt sleeves were machined, a new "dry-pipe" and new firebrick lining were installed. The 153 got its original passenger type pilot back as well as new running boards and a new headlight bracket. When all work was completed, the engine was inspected and subsequently certified by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

The Number 153 was credited with pulling the "rescue train" out of Marathon in the Florida Keys, after the 1935. As a result, it received a designation as a National Historic Site in the 1980's.

Due to the never ending fight against time and deterioration as well as damage from hurricane ANDREW in 1992, the 153 is currently out of service, but received a cosmetic overhaul during the period of 2000 until early 2002.

Locomotive Technical Specifications

Built: 1922, American Locomotive Company, Schenectady, New York.Working Steam Pressure: 180 PSI (1,241,056 N/m2).
Steam Test Pressure: 214 PSI (1,475,478 N/m2).
Hydrostatic Test Pressure: 240 PSI (1,654,742 N/m2).
Cylinder bore: 22" (559 mm)
Cylinder stroke: 26" (660 mm).
Piston valves, diameter: 11" (279 mm).
Engine wheelbase: 32' - 7" (10.1 m).
Top speed (approximately) 80 mph (128 kph).
Overall length, engine and tender: 74' - 0.875" (23.47 m).
Height (top of stack): 14' - 3.625" (4.29 m).
Width (at cab): 10' -1" (3.06 m).
Cab size: 121" wide (3.05 m) x 90" long (2.3 m).
Firebox: 71.5" (1.83 m) - 56.5" (1.5 m).
Boiler diameter at front course: 61" (1.52 m).
Number of tubes, 2" (50.8 mm): 146.
Number of flues, 5.375" (136,525 mm) Diameter: 21.
Driving Wheels: 68" (1,713 m) Diameter.
Pilot Truck Wheels 33" (0,84 m) Diameter.
Trailing Truck Wheels 42" (1,07 m) Diameter.
Total weight, engine and tender in working order: 371,500 lbs (168,863 kg).
Weight on driving wheels: 129,000 lbs (58,636 kg).
Weight on pilot truck: 37,000 lbs (16,818 kg).
Weight on trailing truck: 37,500 lbs (17,046 kg).
Tractive effort: 28,500 lbs (12,955 kg).
Factor of adhesion 4.45
Tank capacity, oil: 3,500 US Gals (13,248 l).
Tank capacity, water 7,338 US Gals (24,790 l).
Two injectors: Nathan Simplex Type "R".
Valve gear: Walschearts.
Power reverse gear: ALCO.
Oil burner: Steam atomizing, FEC design.Lubricator: Nathan "Bullseye" 5 feeds.

Click on the following link to order books about the history of the Florida East Coast Railway and locomotive 153's rescue effort after the 1935 Florida Keys hurricane:

Order The Railroad That Died at Sea: The Florida East Coast's Key West Extension Today!

A portion of the sale price every book purchased from AMAZON.COM through this link is donated to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.