Railway to the Keys
How would you get to an island 128 miles
away? By boat? By plane? Well, in the early 1900s Henry M.
Flagler, a Florida developer, decided a train would be a
practical way for people to get to the island of Key West,
To complete the railway, 42 bridges had to be
constructed. The length of track connected mainland Florida to
the southernmost settlement in the United States and the keys
(islands) in between. On January 22, 1912, Flagler boarded the
first train of the Florida East Coast Railway bound for Key
Twenty thousand people lived on the small island
of Key West in 1912. On January 22, 1912, almost every one of
them showed up to watch Henry Flagler and the train arrive in
In 1935, a hurricane destroyed the railway.
By 1938, it was replaced by the world's longest over-water road,
called the Overseas Highway. If you happen to find yourself in
Florida, driving across today's ocean highway to Key West,
wouldn't it be fun to think of getting there by train?