Miami: Railroad Museum


February 6, 2013 by Nikko Azan

© All Rights ReservedThe Gold Coast Railroad Museum was founded in 1956 and was built on the former Naval Air Station Richmond site due to it having over 3 miles of existing railroad which made it the perfect candidate. The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is one of three Official State Railroad Museums in Florida and its purpose is to preserve railroad history. It houses over 30 historic trains including classic railroad cars like the Western Pacific “Silver Crescent” and engines like the Florida East Coast “113.” The Museum strives to teach railroad history with the use of artifacts, movies, and railroading materials. The Museum’s train rides allow guests to board vintage trains and get a taste of the past.”

Ok…so that was kind of boring I know…it’s from wiki and as usual is factually based and totally drab. I did however just want you guys to know what this place was about before I gave you my in-factually based and totally awesome review of the best Saturday afternoon we’ve had since I brought home my new Triumph 3 weekends ago.

So without further adieu, on to my in-factually based and totally awesome review lol~

© All Rights ReservedWelcome to a kick ass Train Museum located in the most unassuming place of Miami! The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is located within Metro Zoo, or Zoo Miami as it was re-dubbed a few years ago and is far more interesting than all the tired animals they have next door.

I know, I know…the Zoo is wayyyy out there. Fortunately for us, our house  is wayyyy out there too so it was only 5 minutes away~ Finally…living far from civilization has a perk!

It was the first Saturday of the month which meant it was free! See how happy D is? Its’ not because she likes trains, but rather because we like seeing trains for free!

Got that? Write this down. First Saturday of every month at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum is free ninety nine~

© All Rights ReservedFirst up and probably my most favorite train of the day…the California Zephyr. The Zephyr was the stretch hummer limo with chrome spinner wheels of its day! I know it doesn’t look that way from out here but wait til we get inside~

Here Dom pretends to be interested in the history of the Zephyr but I know oh too well that she is as blind as a bat in broad daylight so there is no way on earth she can read that thing in this dimly lit station with her stunner shades on lol. But hey…it works for the story so I didn’t call her out on it.

© All Rights ReservedI couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia as we made the longgg trek down the station to the boarding gate of the Zephyr. It really felt like we went back in time….but with a digital camera, iPhone, stunner shades, etc. etc. of today lol

Finally after what felt like an eternity we’re here. All aboardddd!!

© All Rights ReservedJust like the little girl behind her probably, I can’t take D anywhere without the not if but when restroom stop. I mean…we just got on this rig and you gotta go already??

© All Rights ReservedD said it was pretty creepy in there so I decided to check it out.

Light switch…kinda sketchy but I wouldn’t say creepy.

Push the door a little harder…BAM…creepy no, but tight yes! Yikes! This is as far as the door would go before busting your knee caps open had you forgot to lock the door before attempting to do number 2 lol.

© All Rights ReservedAll the little details in here were just overwhelming! I could have stayed in here forever…well could have tried.

For some odd reason I kept hearing my name being hollered from further down the train followed by “hurry your…expletive…expletive…up!”

Naturally, I quickly grabbed what I could. Check out the air conditioner knob lol. That made me chuckle. Who needs temperature adjustments?? This thing goes from “open” to “close” using your nipples as a thermostat. Pretty neat~

© All Rights ReservedAround the corner and down the hall I find the wild animal that had been screaming out my name for the past few minutes.

scary monster: look! its a bar!

me: oh…it’s just you.

© All Rights ReservedShe was right though…towards the rear of the train was a bar-car, which is a train car with a bar in it.

Pretty cool huh? I just made that up lol.

It looked to be a nice place to sit, smoke and drink….and even had an awesome upper deck sitting room with a glass ceiling to look outside as the train crossed the country. I can only imagine how fascinating that must have been in its day!

© All Rights ReservedOut the door and down the corridor we came up on some sleeping quarters. Being right next to the bar this was obviously the place to be!

One thing I found intriguing was how cramped the corridors were! At five foot nothing and barely one hundred pounds soaking wet D ate up the entire width of it! I guess handy capped folks didn’t ride trains back then…thats too bad.

© All Rights ReservedOut yet another set of doors we stumbled onto the food-car or whatever they called it. This thing looked like a scene straight out of a 50’s diner complete with vinyl seats and all. You could almost hear the knives and forks clanging over dozens of various conversations all going on at the same time.

It was very surreal.

© All Rights ReservedPast the food-car, through yet another door and down yet another corridor we came upon even more rooms. This thing just went on forever and ever it seemed like. At one point I even started to wonder if we had walked through the wrong door and entered the twilight zone.

Relax…the twilight zone doesn’t exist as I am typing this up 3 days later from Earth.

© All Rights ReservedThe filtered light coming through the heavily oxidized windows on the sides of the train was amazing! Like one gigantic soft box!

© All Rights ReservedSo naturally…being a portrait photographer…I did what I do best~ Hope you don’t mind a brief intermission from our tour!

© All Rights Reserved© All Rights Reserved© All Rights ReservedWe hadn’t shot anything together in a really long time so I had a very big itch to scratch! Thankfully she’s used to me posing her here and there so she didn’t put up much of a fight~

© All Rights ReservedAnd just to smooth things over in case she did put up a fight I put on my version of the “sexy model face” and let her bang off a few frames too.

Her sexy model face is way better lol

© All Rights ReservedFurther down the hallway we came up on a room with a bed!

You know what that means~!

© All Rights ReservedBow-chicka-wah-wahhh

or so I thought….

© All Rights ReservedShe quickly laughed me off…

© All Rights ReservedAnd continued to laugh…like I never had a chance -__-

Whatever. See how funny it is when you’re walking home heifer.

© All Rights ReservedNot so funny now is it!

© All Rights ReservedGrabbed a couple more shots of the room and were outta here~

© All Rights ReservedFinally the way out! And that ladies and gentlemen was the California Zephyr! Pretty neat huh? I really don’t even think my photos did this rig justice, you really need to go and experience it for yourself if you can. The compactness of the spaces, the materials and finishes….the smells among other things. Definite bucket list item for you South Florida readers :)

© All Rights ReservedOnce outside the Zephyr we found some sort of a Train Graveyard that was pretty neat. I didn’t get the name of this train but it was definitely the most colorful and packed the most character of them all. We actually thought it looked even better all rusted up the way it sat here in the train station today. What do you think?

© All Rights ReservedThe colors were so beautiful! I had sooo many photos of this one side alone, narrowing them down to a select few was even more challenging than writing up this whole blog post. This place really was a photographer’s delight.

© All Rights ReservedConveniently, obviously since we’ve never been here before, D’s wardrobe selection fit right in with the earth tones of the train. I mean…imagine if she was wearing something pink like she usually does.

Would have had to send her home or something lol.

© All Rights ReservedThere was also another set of trains parked near by that looked like something from Hitler’s regime. So we played nazi for a bit.

© All Rights Reserved© All Rights ReservedShe’s a terrible nazi lol.

© All Rights ReservedWe also ran into some evidence of the old Naval Air Station…whada you know~ Wiki did know something after all! lol

© All Rights ReservedQuick stop by the public transportation graveyard on the way back to the main station revealed an old metro mover complete with the track’s structural supports and a yellow New York fire truck which seemed to be a little way from home lol.

I really liked the metro mover bit as it looked like a modern day version of a dinosaur exhibit with concrete structures in place of a rib cage and a metro move car, the heart of Miami’s public transportation (or lack there of) in place of the Dino’s heart.

Or maybe I just have a big imagination.

© All Rights ReservedMore trains…bla bla bla.

© All Rights ReservedBack in the station someone found some props and decided go for a stroll.

Cant take her anywhere.

© All Rights ReservedThe last train car we got on…yes the last…I know you must be tired by now lol…was a colored train.

© All Rights ReservedYes…a colored train.

Although the past was filled with tons of things that made me wish I was born decades earlier this was not one of them. We didn’t like the idea of a colored only car so we got off.

That and the dude yelling at us to get off the train and make our way to the exit lol.

For anyone that plans on going on a Saturday for the free ninety nine admission, be warned that the museum closes at 4pm. Being that we got there around 2:45 I don’t think we did too bad~

© All Rights ReservedTime to get outta here and go get some Pinkberry~ Yay!

(notice we’re the last ones in here lol)

Hope you enjoyed my in-factually based and totally awesome review of the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. Feel free to drop me a line in the comments below if you have any questions as I’m sure there are train loads of info…get it…train loads…that I didn’t get around to jotting down in this blog post.

Thanks for stopping by, thats all folks~!

4 thoughts on “Miami: Railroad Museum

  1. Hey, I just saw your X100 images on FM. Great stuff. I think this is the only real time I’ve seen some great images from this camera from someone who just enjoys using it and gets good results. So many other people seem to just produce “okay” images with it, if that makes sense!

    Are you using VSCO here?


  2. Nikko Azan says:

    Thanks for checking out my blog and the kind words.

    I really do enjoy using the x100. It is frustrating sometimes, particularly in low light, but the pros outweigh the cons for sure. The image quality and dynamic range straight from the camera are outstanding. No DSLR I’ve ever used can match its dynamic range.

    I have tried a bunch of film emulators, free and not-free, and they all achieve great results if you spend some time with them and make your own custom presets. Photographers live and die by their presets so I encourage you to try them all out as well.


  3. Ian Pitts says:

    Enormously impressive set here. I’m currently shopping for an x100s after being a Canon guy since the 30D came out.

    • Nikko Azan says:

      Thank you for checking out my blog, Ian. I too want the x100s but cant afford it right now :( Maybe when the prices come down a bit. I hope you enjoy yours when you get it!

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A personal blog to document every day life with my new favorite pocket camera, Fuji’s X100. Hope you enjoy my mini stories and follow for future ones!


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