The Everglades joined Atlantic Coast Line's timetable soon after the end of World War II.  According to Larry Goolsby's book, "Atlantic Coast Line Service: The Postwar Years," the train was actually not new, simply the naming of the Washington to Jacksonville section of the Havana Special.  If one so desired they could also catch connections on the Pennsylvania to New York or as far north as Boston over the New Haven.  For many years the Everglades provided accommodations archetypal with ACL's long distance services.  However, as patronage declined and services were cutback the train would become a coach-only operation.  Interestingly, it survived through the Seaboard Coast Line merger but was not retained into Amtrak.

The Havana Special is a rather legendary train; it was inaugurated by the Florida East Coast in early 1912 following the completion of the company's new Key West Extension through the Sunshine State's chain of tropical islands.  While visionary Henry Flagler constructed the expensive line for purposes relating to freight and a deep water port in Key West it also became noteworthy for its passenger service and the unparalleled pristine ocean scenery the route afforded.  The Havana Special not only served the Keys but also provided through service to New York in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Line; Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac; and Pennsylvania railroads.  The powerful Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed the Extension but the Special continued operating as far as Miami.

Other Atlantic Coast Line Trains

Champion:  (New York/Boston - Miami)

Florida Special: (New York - Miami/St. Petersburg)

Gulf Coast Special: (New York - Tampa/Ft. Myers/St. Petersburg)

Havana Special: Connected New York with Key West until the devastating 1935 Hurricane which destroyed the Florida East Coast's Key West Extension.

Miamian: (Washington - Miami)

Palmetto: (New York - Savannah/Augusta/Wilmington)

Vacationer: (New York - Miami)

More Reading...

A History Of The Atlantic Coast Line

After World War II ACL elected to rename its leg of the trip and changed its numbers to 375, southbound, and 376, northbound.  Under the Coast Line's direction, including its departure and arrival from Washington Union Station the Everglades required about 23 hours to cover the distance to Miami and vice versa, which was about two hours slower than flagship Champion, launched early in the streamliner era during early 1939.  A decade later in 1949 the ACL had acquired enough new equipment or overhauled older cars that all six of its trains running year-round boasted at least coach-Pullman accommodations; these included the Everglades, both sections of the ChampionMiamianPalmetto, and Havana Special.

Because of its secondary status and more leisurely schedule the Everglades was laden with significant head-end mail and express, which it continued fielding throughout its time in service.  While the train, as a named consist, operated with steam power for only a few years Mr. Goolsby's book notes that it provided the fewest accommodations of all ACL's notable eastern services.  For instance, by 1950 the Everglades provided predominantly reclining-seat coaches along with one 8-section/2-compartment/1-double bedroom sleeper (Washington-Jacksonville), and a diner between Washington-Florence (South Carolina).  At that time, power normally was older diesel models such as E6s although in later years it typically ran with whatever was available from E8s to FP7s.

(The below Everglades timetable is dated effective April 30 - June 22, 1967.)

Read Down Time/Leave (Train #177/New Haven)
Read Up
Time/Arrive (Train #176/New Haven)
10:10 PM (Dp)
Boston, MA (South Station) (ET)
8:25 AM (Ar)
10:30 PM
Route 128, MA
8:03 AM
11:10 PM
Providence, RI
7:17 AM
1:27 AM
New Haven, CT
4:44 AM
7:45 AM (Ar)
Washington, DC (Union Station)
10:20 PM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #131/Pennsylvania)
Time/Arrive (Train #158/Pennsylvania)
6:30 AM (Dp)
New York, NY (Pennsylvania Station)
11:30 PM (Ar)
6:45 AM
Newark, NJ
11:15 PM
7:32 AM
Trenton, NJ
10:21 PM
8:00 AM
North Philadelphia, PA
9:53 PM
8:10 AM
Philadelphia, PA (30th Street Station)
9:43 PM
8:38 AM
Wilmington, DE
9:12 PM
9:39 AM
Baltimore, MD
8:11 PM
10:20 AM (Ar)
Washington, DC (Union Station)
7:30 PM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #375/RF&P)
Time/Arrive (Train #376/RF&P)
11:15 AM (Dp)
Washington, DC (Union Station)
7:15 PM (Ar)
1:35 PM (Ar)
Richmond, VA
5:00 PM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #375/Atlantic Coast Line)
Time/Arrive (Train #376/Atlantic Coast Line)
1:55 PM (Dp)
Richmond, VA
4:15 PM (Ar)
2:33 PM
Petersburg, VA
3:35 PM
4:20 PM
Rocky Mount, NC
12:35 PM
4:40 PM
Wilson, NC
12:01 PM
5:06 PM
Selma, NC
11:15 AM
6:05 PM
Fayetteville, NC
9:55 AM
7:04 PM
Dillon, NC
8:35 AM
8:05 PM (Ar)
Florence, SC
7:50 AM (Dp)
8:55 PM (Dp)
Florence, SC
6:45 AM (Ar)
9:18 PM
Lake City, SC
6:11 AM
9:38 PM
Kingstree, SC
5:52 AM
9:48 PM
Lane, SC
5:30 AM
9:59 PM
St. Stephen, SC
5:11 AM
10:25 PM
Moncks Corner, SC
4:53 AM
11:05 PM
Charleston, SC
4:25 AM
12:02 AM
Yemassee, SC
3:10 AM
1:05 AM
Savannah, GA
2:10 AM
2:35 AM
Jesup, GA
12:50 AM
3:00 AM
Nahunta, GA
12:07 AM
4:30 AM (Ar)
Jacksonville, FL
11:00 PM (Dp)

Considered the limited nature of amenities it's somewhat amazing the Everglades survived so long on the timetable and most likely remained so due to its lucrative head-end mail/express, which often comprised half its consist.  As the 1950s progressed the train continued to lose services, along with the Havana Special and Palmetto; beginning in 1959 dining service was dropped in favor of a cafe-lounge and a year later in September of 1960 the Everglades lost its final sleeper to become coach-only; from this time forward nothing considerably happened with the train.  During the ACL's last decade of independent operation it did something similar to that of the Southern; adding short blocks of expedited piggyback and auto-rack cars on the Everglades as well as other trains that were lightly patronized.

At the time both services were not nearly as popular as they are today and as a result ACL did not have enough business of either to justify dedicated, unit trains which made adding the cars to end of passenger consists a perfect match (by those years, of course, most railroads were losing interest in the appearance of their trains).  This practice would continue into the Seaboard Coast Line years, formed in the summer of 1967.  Under SCL direction the Everglades changed its numbers to 85, southbound, and 86, northbound.  Incredibly, the timetable still listed connections with the RF&P and Penn Central northward the entire way to Boston's South Station.  At that time the amenities included a baggage-mail, two reclining seat coaches, and snack service between Richmond and Florence.  Upon the startup of Amtrak on May 1, 1971 the Everglades was not retained.

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Header Photo: Drew Jacksich

Researching Rights-Of-Way

A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way.  Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country.  Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that.  If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer.  It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country.  Just type in a town or city and click on the timeline of maps at the bottom of the page!

Studying Diesels

You will be hard pressed at finding a better online resource regarding diesel locomotives than Craig Rutherford's TheDieselShop.us.  The website contains everything from historic (fallen flags) to contemporary (Class I's, regionals, short lines, and even some museums/tourist lines) rosters, locomotive production information, technical data, all notable models cataloged by the five major builders (American Locomotive, Electro-Motive, General Electric, Fairbanks-Morse, and Baldwin), and much more.  A highly recommended database!

Electro-Motive Database

In 1998 a gentleman by the name of Andre Kristopans put together a web page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division.  Alas, in 2013 the site closed by thankfully Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his UtahRails.net site (another fine resource).  If you are researching anything EMD related please visit this page first.  The information includes original numbers, serials, and order numbers.