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Florida East Coast Railway announces the first of three new painted locomotives for 2013
Some have said it was the ‘most beautiful locomotive paint scheme ever devised’. Inaugurated in 1939, The Champion is frequently recognized as the beginning of dieselization on the Florida East Coast. FEC’s founder, Henry Flagler would have been proud of this beautiful locomotive. Henry Flagler’s strategy for FEC was to move freight by rail utilizing Florida’s deep water ports in conjunction with a vision for growth generated by the opening of the Panama Canal. Today’s FEC continues Mr. Flagler’s vision as it expands its infrastructure to meet the demands created by the new Panama Canal opening in 2015. ‘FEC is currently building an even stronger infrastructure’, said Fran Chinnici, SVP Engineering and Purchasing. ‘We have major construction projects underway to expand rail operations at Port Miami, Port Everglades, West Palm and the Bowden Terminal in Jacksonville to handle the increased demand. The refurbished locomotives are just one example of FEC’s investment in handling future growth.’
The FEC 714, completed in 2011, was the first locomotive to highlight the Heritage paint scheme. The recently delivered FEC 703 is the first of 3 locomotives refurbished in 2013 to come out of the Progress Rail (a division of Caterpillar, Inc.) rebuild facility in Patterson, GA with the matching Heritage paint scheme. ‘Today, the paint scheme signifies the continued growth that FEC aspires to attain as a premier regional rail network serving the east coast’, says Jim Hertwig, President and CEO at Florida East Coast Railway, ‘and I am proud to incorporate our rich heritage into our future plans.’
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