The Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) is America's most exciting railroad. With a history that goes back to the late 1850's, when the very first of the predecessor railroads was built, the Florida East Coast is, today, one of America's few independent regional railroads.
On December 31, 1885, the fabled Henry M. Flagler purchased, lock, stock, barrel, right of way, track, structures and equipment, the Jacksonville, St. Augustine & Halifax River Railroad and through other purchases and construction would eventually extend the road from the Jacksonville beaches, down the entire east coast, and on to Key West, in the greatest single railroad construction and engineering feat in American, and possibly world, history. Numerous branch lines were acquired or built through the years, and today's F.E.C., having survived boom, bust, bankruptcy, the destruction of the Key West Extension in the 1935 Hurricane, strikes, sabotage, and the rebuilding of itself from the ground up, is America's most admired railroad.
In 1999, a group of F.E.C. aficionados met with the intent of forming a technical and historical society dedicated to the history and operations, both current and past, of the Florida East Coast. From that meeting has arisen the F.E.C. Railway Society, now with well over 400 members, whose interest in the railroad ranges from its great and glorious history to present day equipment, motive power and operations.
The Society issues a regular news and scholarly publication, "The Speedway" and holds an annual convention plus regular meetings and educational seminars to delve into the railroad's history and to discuss current operating updates, particularly in regard to the partnership with Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains USA.
Under current president Jim Kovalsky and an active and interested group of directors, the Society has established strong ties with its namesake railroad and "The Speedway's" readership includes all FEC employees. The Company, now owned by Grupo Mexico, is overseen by a highly skilled group of officers under the direction of Nathan (Nate) Asplund, FEC President and CEO, and with the cooperation of the railroad the Society is expecting to see strong growth in the coming years.