Busy Months Ahead for U.S. Sugar 148

Sugar Express announced recently that 4-6-2 148 would be leading multiple excursions in November, December and January. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Sugar. 

Busy Months Ahead for U.S. Sugar 148

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

CLEWISTON, Fla. — The Sugar Express, aka: U.S. Sugar’s recently restored 4-6-2 148, has a busy few months ahead with excursions planned for November, December and January. 

The Sugar Express recently began selling tickets for the trips, some just short holiday-themed runs and others day-long adventures aimed at enthusiasts. 

On November 11, the locomotive will lead the Miami Locks Ice Cream Train between Clewiston and Miami Locks. The hour-long excursion will be run three times that day, with departures at 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for children and $25 for adults. 

On November 13, the “Moore Haven Meteor” will make three trips between Clewiston and Moore Haven. The two-hour-long excursions will depart at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $48 for adults and $35 for children.

On December 2, 4, 16, 17 and 18, the Clewiston Santa Train will make four daily runs departing Clewiston at 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On December 9, 10 and 11, the train will run out of Lake Placid, departing at 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Santa is expected to make a visit on each run and tickets are $50. 

Finally, on January 20-22, the railroad will host a special, three-day excursion over some rarely visited U.S. Sugar milage. The multi-day, multi-trip excursion will feature photo opportunities and onboard appetizer and non-alcoholic drink service each day. Locomotive 148 will lead the first day of runs between Clewiston and Okeelanta and diesel locomotives will lead the rest of the weekend. 

The oil-fired locomotive was built at Alco’s Richmond Works in April 1920 and worked in passenger service for Florida East Coast before being sold to U.S. Sugar in 1952. At U.S. Sugar, the locomotive moved sugar cane from the fields to a mill at Clewiston, Fla. After it was retired by US Sugar, 148 briefly returned to passenger service in the 1970s at New Jersey’s Black River & Western and Morristown & Erie. The locomotive saw a number of owners after that and spent time in Colorado, Michigan and Connecticut. In each instance, hopes to restore the locomotive to operation always faltered. In late 2016, U.S. Sugar repurchased the locomotive and brought it back to Clewiston for restoration. It returned to service in 2020. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Sugar Express website

This article was posted on: November 1, 2022