GOING, GOING, GONE:
(Source of picture: Florida Collection, Main Public Library, Jacksonville)
Steam drifts up from this locomotive at Jacksonville Terminal, now the site of the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The image comes from a postcard that dates from about 1901 to 1904.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE STEAM ENGINES
CLICK HERE TO STOP AT A WATER TOWER
CLICK HERE FOR TRAINS & PLANES
CLICK HERE TO "LAUNCH" OF A DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE
CLICK HERE FOR A DIESEL'S CREW
Steam locomotives used to roll through Jacksonville, a
More often than not, the job of a train's fireman was to keep the fires burning
rather than putting them out.
WHY NOT STEAM? -- When compared with diesel engines, steam locomotives suffer several disadvantages. Their problems include the following:
(1) Steam locomotives require a longer time to start, since a fire has to be lit and the boiler heated.
After World War II ended in 1945, the era of the diesel locomotive dawned.
What does the future hold for the motive power of America's locomotives? Most European railroads have been electrified with power from a third rail that runs parallel to the regular tracks. Electric locomotives offer many advantages over diesels. Therefore, electrification may very well be the direction in which U.S. trains travel in the 21st century.
LOCAL RAILROAD RELICS -- The Jacksonville area offers at least two examples of old steam locomotives, even though they don't roll down any rails. Permanently parked in Jacksonville Beach is a train engine that weighs 28 tons and dates from 1911. It is located at the Pablo Historical Park on Beach Boulevard, near the intersection with A1A. Next to the locomotive is a local station master's house from the 1800s, as well as a train station that used to serve Mayport.
Another steam locomotive, with a tender car, sits in the middle of a parking lot at the Prime Osborn Center, just west of downtown Jacksonville. This large engine was built in Richmond, Virginia, to haul troops during World War I. Although the conflict ended before the vehicle could do its military duty, it ended up as the pride of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Locomotive 1504 pulled premier passenger trains in & out of Florida, exceeding 70 mph on wheels taller than an adult. After its retirement in December 1953, the engine stood in front of the Atlantic Coast Line Building (later CSX) in downtown Jax from 1960 to 1986. The vehicle was finally donated to the City of Jacksonville, which refurbished it and gave it a new home at the Prime Osborn.
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