Helpful Railfanning Information

Information to help improve your railfanning experience along the Florida East Coast Railway

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Radio Frequencies

Although the F.E.C. does not need to call signals since it has A.T.C. in-cab signal displays, a radio makes for more effective train chasing, since you will hear trains meet (often by radioing "Hot Rail"), might learn of a stoppage along the line, a slow order that allows you time to get to a train that you might have otherwise given up chasing, or hear about an unexpected extra train.

  • 160.53  (AAR 28)- Road Channel
  • 160.77   (AAR 44)- Train to Dispatcher 
  • 161.01   (AAR 60)- Bowden and Hialeah Car Shops
  • 160.65  (AAR 36)- Maintenance of Way channel on the road to avoid tying up road channels by work foreman and crews, used by the Bowden locomotive shop when doing shop movements and testing locomotives, and may be used in Hialeah shop. Most train crews call the shop on this channel to get permission to occupy shop tracks.
  • 161.31   (AAR 80)- switching jobs around yards to avoid tying up road channels.

Train Chaser's Best Friend

The train chaser's best friend is the pair of “redman” frequencies. Trains utilize a data telemetry system that employs a redman (EOT, FRED) at the rear of the train with a flashing red marker light and a sensor for the train's air brake line. It responds to polls from the radio at the head-end by transmitting telemetry including air line pressure and speed of the train measured by GPS location technology. Almost all railroads in the U.S. use the same pair of UHF frequencies for this data. These devices put out low power, so if you hear a data burst on these channels there must be a train nearby, probably within about 2-3 miles. 

  • 452.9375 - Head-of-Train Transponder, HOT
  • 457.9375 - End-of-Train Transponder, EOT/FRED
Mailing Address

7415 SW 170th Ter
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157-4888

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License Information

The Florida East Coast Railway mark and trade names are the property of the Florida East Coast Railway, L.L.C. and are used under license from the FEC