Flagler's Train: The Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad
December 14, 2011
Flagler’s Train: The Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad premieres Thursday, January 12 at 8:00 p.m., exclusively on WPBT2.
Flagler’s Trainis a one hour documentary, produced by WPBT2, which chronicles the imagination and achievements of Henry Morrison Flagler, who spearheaded the development of the overseas railway connecting Key West to the existing Florida East Coast Railway.
Traveling on the Over-Sea Railroad was more like riding on a ship than a train, a departure from the mainland on a journey that went to sea across the turquoise waters between the Atlantic Ocean and the gulf of Mexico. The destination was Key West, a jewel at the end of a far-flung chain of emerald islands known as the Florida Keys. Here was the fulfillment of an extraordinary vision joined by the hopes of many, perfected in the sacrifices and labor of thousands at a time when Americans believed anything was possible in a country destined for greatness.
The program features archival photographs, personal correspondence, original drawings of the Over-Sea Railroad project and newspaper articles of the day, tracing daily reports of the human struggles and technological achievements needed to complete the Florida East Coast Railway.
“WPBT produced the documentary to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Henry Morrison Flagler’s arrival aboard the first passenger train to Key West on January 22, 1912. The much celebrated event marked the official opening of the Florida East Coast Railway’s Key West Extension connecting Key West to the mainland,” said Mark Baker, producer of Flagler’s Train: The Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad.
Much like Titanic, nature had the final say over the project and the remains of this great experiment still stand as a reminder of this feat of engineering and ingenuity a century later.