UPDATED! 3 Remnants of the Overseas Railway in the Florida Keys
For several decades, the Overseas Railway took visitors from the mainland of Florida to Key West. Today, the railroad is long gone, but there are many places along the road where you can see remnants of it, such as the old bridges. Here are three places where you can see some of these remnants that aren't quite so obvious as the bridges.
Big Pine Key and the Caribbean Club – The Overseas Railway marked mileage along the way using triangular, concrete posts. Today, two of those posts survive along the Overseas Highway. One, at the Caribbean Club in Key Largo, is not in its original location, but is in good shape and very photo-ready. The other, on Big
Pine Key, is in its original location – but it is difficult to find. This blog post gives information on finding it, and what to expect when you do find it. UPDATE: Recently, the Big Pine Key mileage marker was completely refurbished moved to a new location at the Pine Channel Nature Park, meaning there are no longer any markers in their original locations (at least in the Florida Keys). This website provides more information if you want to see the mileage marker.
Old Seven Mile Bridge Rails – Although it is not the only bridge left from the time of the Overseas Railway, Old Seven Mile Bridge provides visitors with a good chance to see something unusual from the era of the railroad: its metal rails. The rails were used to make the barriers on the side of Old Seven Mile Bridge when it was converted for motor vehicle use.
Pigeon Key – Crossing Seven Mile Bridge, you can see a small island on the gulf side of the bridge. This is Pigeon Key. During the construction of the Overseas Railway, the island was home to hundreds of construction workers working on the project. The buildings on the island are not from that era, but slightly afterward. Constructed from 1912-1920, these buildings were constructed to house families who had family members working on the railroad in its later years.