Building the Over-Sea Railroad was, and remains, the most ambitious engineering feat ever undertaken by a private citizen. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles confronted Henry Flagler during the construction of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. At one time during construction, four thousand men were employed on the 156 mile stretch of railroad. For nearly half the distance the railroad had to be raised over water or marshland on steel and concrete bridges. During the seven year construction, five hurricanes threatened to halt the project, three of them resulted in significant damage and loss of life. Despite the hardships, the final link of the Over-Sea Railroad was completed in 1912 and the first official train to reach Key West included Henry Flagler's private Railcar No. 91.
Les Standiford is the best-selling author of 20 books, including novels and critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, including: "Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean."