US Sugar uses century-old steam locomotive to kick off 90th annual sugarcane harvest



American sugar sent his recently restored Locomotive No. 148, also known as “Sugar Express, ”To help celebrate the 90th anniversary of its annual sugar cane harvest.

The organization relaunched the train last year after a multi-year restoration process. Since then, locomotive No.148 has brought the 2020 end of the season harvest sugar and helped deliver toys to children in the Lake Okeechobee area after being temporarily renamed the “Santa Express. “

Last Friday, the steam engine delivered the first group of cars containing sugar cane to the American sugar mill.

“Our farmers are eager to start working on another crop as the people of US Sugar continue to sustainably cultivate millions of pounds of local food crops including sugar cane, citrus, sweet corn, beans. greens and other types of fresh produce for American families. ” noted Brannan thomas, US Sugar Community Relations Manager.

“The past year has been a difficult year due to COVID-19, and we are once again taking all appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and health of our employees, their families and our community. “

Pastors Jeff smith of the First United Methodist Church in Clewiston and Fred gamble from True Vine Church in Harlem joined the event to pray for a safe and complete harvest season on behalf of area farmers.

“We appreciate the contributions our local farmers make to our community and our country’s food supply, and offer our prayers for another safe and successful harvest,” said Pastor Smith. “It is truly an honor to offer God’s blessings to ensure that our local communities can all share another bountiful harvest. “

“We pray for God’s blessings on all who depend on agriculture for their source of employment and food.

US Sugar also made the event available to the public, allowing viewing and photos to be taken with the restored steam locomotive.

The train originally traveled on the Florida East Coast Railroad before US Sugar bought it in 1952 to help ship raw sugar to its factory. After about a decade of use, the company sold the train.

Half a century later, in 2016, the CEO of US Sugar Robert H. Buker, Jr. urged to buy back the train. In partnership with FMW Solutions LLC, the company then restored the locomotive.

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