Seaboard Railroad

The rush during the late ’20s was so great that Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast tracks couldn’t handle all the business. So the Seaboard Air Line railroad reached down from North Florida, building stations along the way. On Jan. 8, 1927, a train called the Orange Blossom Special made its first journey into Hollywood and Miami on the Seaboard Air Line Railway, built west of Flagler’s FEC tracks. Dorothy Walker Bush, the grandmother of President George W. Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was on that historic train.  The railway came at a time when it was most needed for Miami’s growth. It provided the first direct rail connection between Florida’s East and West coasts and welcomed homesteaders during the land boom. The railroad brought the people, and everything they needed to live here. It carried back north everything they made or grew. In 1963, the Florida East coast Railway abandoned passenger services leaving Seaboard the only passenger train in the area. Vacationers and travelers from the northern states, enamored with the tropical climate, made the railway destination very profitable all they way into the sixties. In 1967, the Seaboard Airline and the Atlantic Coast Line merged to form the Seaboard Coastline. The combined system totaled 9,809 miles, the eighth largest in the United States at the time. In the 70’s Amtrak took over the lines.

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