MIAMI — Occupying the former Naval Air Station Richmond (NASR), the Gold Coast Railroad Museum today delights railfans with its collection of locomotives, dozens of rail cars and railroad artifacts.
Founded in 1956, the museum is one of several Official State Railroad Museums in Florida.
One of the most valuable items in the museum’s collection is the Ferdinand Magellan. The former Pullman Co. observation car was built in 1929 and served as Presidential Rail Car No. 1 from 1943 until 1958.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt took this coach to Miami in 1943 to board a seaplane to the Casablanca Conference and also used the coach on his last trip to Warm Springs, Ga., where he died on April 12, 1945. President Harry S Truman was famously photographed on the back of the car holding a copy of The Chicago Tribune with the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline.
Other museum highlights include
- NASA locomotive No. 2: This EMD SW1500 was built circa 1968-70 for the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad and later sold to NASA, which used it to pull trains carrying boosters and other parts for the Space Shuttle program. NASA, which apparently acquired the locomotive in the 1980s, parted with it after the end of the Space Shuttle program.
- Florida East Coast Railway Locomotive No. 153: The 4-6-2 Alco steam locomotive hauled trains Florida East Coast Railway trains from 1922 to 1938. She apparently remained in operating condition until Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992 and is today on static display.
- California Zephyr “Silver Crescent”: Built by Budd in 1948, the Silver Crescent dome car brought up the read of California Zephyr trains. The passenger trains were operated operated by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q), Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) and Western Pacific railroads, which nicknamed it “the most talked about train in America.”
For more information, visit www.gcrm.org.