Former Amtrak FL-9 no. 484 which was originally New Haven 2029 arrived at the Florida East Coast shop last fall and
when I saw it appeared in rather sad shape. The windows were either broken, missing or completely fogged over, all had
to be replaced, the cab was a mess with no control stand, no seats and much stuff missing or so badly gone that it might as
well be missing. They did manage to get the diesel engine running that day and it sounded quite well. The Amtrak paint
looked terrible and was in terrible shape and it looked like it might be headed for its doom.
Fast forward to March, 2008 when I just received a couple of good pictures of this historic locomotive in neat new paint and
all of the windows have been replaced. The carbody looks great. The paint on the lower one third of the carbody is a
pleasing dark green followed by a much lighter green or gray. The top one third is again either the dark green or the stainless
steel grill that the engines had when they were new. This is, in my opinion, the best paint job and the best appearance that
any of these locomotives have ever had since the day they left EMD.
What are the plans for this locomotive? It is privately owned but I believe it will remain on the Florida East Coast. Don't
look for it on trains 101, 107, 224 or 226 or any other FEC freight train but it could be used on an office car special or as a
goodwill ambassador. The work is not finished, it sill does not have a whistle/horn, I do not know just what kind of horn it
will get but I suspect it will be something like the FEC uses on their freight engines. I believe they intend to make it fully
useable on the Florida East Coast and for that to happen it will need FEC style seats, FEC cab signals and train control, cab
air conditioning and some other appliances.
Sometime down the road I hope to see this historic locomotive when it passes through Fort Lauderdale on a passenger train.
The Florida East Coast is a gem in my back yard actually about 3 or 4 miles east of here. They run their freight trains on a
schedule and they do better on time wise than Amtrak does although that is not saying much. Presently they are operating
around ten scheduled trains each way north of Fort Lauderdale. There was actually 12 until last fall when due to the
economic downturn, two round trip rock trains came off, they still run three round trip rock trains as of now. Two of the 10
trains originate or terminate right here in the modest yard at Fort Lauderdale.
I will do what I can to keep you informed about this engine as things develop.