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Trains Magazine Photo Charter U.S. Sugar 148 Trip Day 1 Part 1 1/30/2022

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the Best Western and after our morning preparations, we went downstairs and had the hotel's breakfast. After we checked the Internet, we drove down to the U.S. Sugar Railroad shops. This day dawned cold with a very brisk wind blowing from the northeast and a temperture of 33 degrees this morning.

We parked our rental car and walked over for a few pre-departure pictures.

U.S. Sugar 148 is on the point of our train this morning.

U.S. Sugar 4-6-2 148 ready for departure time. The train consisted of U.S. Sugar 148, 10 U.S. Sugar cane cars (all empty), Sugar Express table car 7137 "Palmdale", Sugar Express Baggage Car "Miami Locks" and platform observation car "Georgia 300" PPCX 8000113. These trips would be brand new trackage for both of us.

Sugar Express' former Great Northern coach 1002 (later Burlington Northern 4402 and New Jersey Transit 5333 and finally United Railroad Society of New Jersey), now "Lake Okeechobee" in the shop preparing the car for later in the year.

U.S. Sugar engines lined up for their work. We then boarded through the Georgia 300 and took one side of table in the Palmdale Car with a gentleman. The train departed the U.S. Sugar yard and soon I was in the vestibule for that big curve as we departed Clewiston.

U.S. Sugar 148 took the big curve and headed east.

Two views of the U.S. Sugar Mill in Clewiston.

Former Erie Railroad car URHS 236, now CHOX 1139, awaiting restoration.

Former Erie Railroad car UHRS 327, now CHOX 1137, also awaiting restoration.

Two views of of U.S. Sugar Mill in Clewiston with U.S. Sugar motive power in the scenes.

The U.S. Sugar Mill in Clewiston.

Railroad tracks are all over these fields.

Canals also bring water to the sugar cane fields.

These are some of the young sugar cane fields.

Canals bring the needed water to grow sugar cane.

These fields will be harvested in the near future.

More newly-planted sugar cane fields.

The canal along Rogers Road, the location of the first four photo runbys. We all detrained and set up. All of the runby locations had been chosen by Trains Magazine videographer Kevin Gilliam and vegetation had been cleared with the assistance from U.S. Sugar and the Sugar Express. Since we were operating on an active railroad, the chosen runby locations and their duration were fluid.

Back up move number one at Rogers Road.

Photo Runby One at Rogers Road.

Back up move number two at Rogers Road.

Photo Runby number two here.

Back up move number three.

Photo Runby number three.

Back up move number four at Rogers Road.

Photo Runby number four at this location. We all re-boarded and the train reversed to the railroad diamond with the U.S. Sugar Railroad line to the Okeelanta Sugar Mill. I went and sat behind a bush so I would not be in anybody's picture.

Back up move number five.

Photo Runby number five at the railroad diamond north of Rogers Road.

Back up move number six.

Photo Runby number six at the railroad diamond north of Rogers Road. We reboarded the train then continued to go southeast.

More cane fields and canals.

These cane fields had just been harvested.

The Okeelanta Sugar Mill receives all of its sugar cane by trucks.

We crossed the Miami Canal then detrained for the next photo runbys.

Back up move seven.

Photo Runby number seven at the Miami Canal.

Back up move number eight.

Photo Runby number eight at the Miami Canal.

A loaded cane truck bound for the Okeelanta Mill.

Back up move number nine.

Photo Runby number nine at the Miami Canal.

Back up move number ten with the Sugar Express drumhead on the rear of Georgia 300.

Back up move number eleven.

Photo Runby number ten at the crossing before the Okeelanta Mill.

Back up move number twelve.

Photo Runby number eleven at the crossing before the Okeelanta Mill.

Back up move thirteen showng you that US Sugar Express drumhead again. After a morning full of fantastic runbys, the passengers were all ready for lunch. A caterer from Moore Haven had been organized and prepared a delicious meal of pulled pork, coleslaw and baked beans with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

The train crossed a canal before we wyed that train.

Click here for part two of this story