OTOL Florida RailFest 2008
July 19-24, 2008
Photos by Eric Minton, Jishnu Mukerji, and Piotr Dzwonek.
Click small photos to see larger
Chapter 6.3: TriRail Train #P618, Miami Airport to Mangonia Park
The DMU consist went out of service at the Airport station, so it was a conventional equipment set that represented TriRail Train #P618. As is customary, the engine was on the Miami end of the train, so we would be in push mode for our long trip covering the line end to end.
Ready for boarding well in advance of its departure, we soon boarded Train #P618 and took seats on the upper level. At precisely 9:00 AM, the doors closed and we were on our way north.
Short of railfan groups like ours, it is doubtful whether many people travel the entire route from Miami Airport to Mangonia Park. Throughout our trip people came and went at the different station stops. About halfway through our one hour 45 minute trip we were challenged by a fare control officer to show our tickets.
It was a delightful trip. With double track, there were no stops between stations for train meets. While that might not hold true depending on when the two Amtrak trains in each direction are coming through, we knew it was way too early to have any encounters with the southbound SILVER STAR or SILVER METEOR. The northbound STAR would be coming through TriRail territory later on while we were having lunch.
During our trip, particularly passing through Broward County, the sky got dark quickly and we had a heavy rainstorm. Had we been outside waiting for a train at this time, we inevitably would have been soaked. As is typical of Florida storms it was heavy but over with quickly, and soon the sun emerged once more.
Like clockwork, we arrived at the Mangonia Park station at 10:45 AM. During our 15 minute layover, some stretched their legs a bit, or purchased snacks or drinks from vending machines. Finally, rather than standing out in the sun, we all boarded the same train once more for our southbound trip.
Chapter 6.4: TriRail Train #P623, Mangonia Park to Cypress Creek
Now as TriRail Train #P623, we were now being pulled southbound by our engine. This trip would be a relatively shorter one, as we only would be travelling through Palm Beach County and half of Broward County. Once again we sat upstairs to enjoy the best view.
This trip also operated exactly on time, leaving Mangonia Park at 11:00 AM and arriving in Cypress Creek 11:49. Cypress Creek was the location of our lunch break. I had chosen Steak & Ale Restaurant, as it would provide us with our obligatory steak meal while filling two hours nicely. The walk from the station took a little longer than I had expected, but much of the distance was under the cover of a parking garage which kept us out of the sun.Continued in next section