With several companies waiting to commence high speed ferry service to Cuba pending approval from that government, it may be that the long forgotten Havana Express will ride again.
In the early 20th century, Flagler's railroad ran to Key West, where a Flagler-owned ferry crossed over in about six hours from a dock at Key West.
The 1935 Hurricane wiped out much of the track south of Miami, and it was not rebuilt, However, some of the roadbed was so well built that the right of way was used to build the overseas highway, (Route 1), and the mainland right-of-way is now used as a “busway” for Metro express buses.
While train traffic is not coming back, public transit still exists with Metro operating to mile marker 49, and Monroe county running a shuttle service to Key West.
If competition keeps the ferry service at a reasonable price, it could prove a lot less costly to reach Havana than by air or cruise ship. If the ferries are equipped to carry vehicles, then driving to Cuba is coming,
The real purpose of the Flagler route was to transport fresh produce from Cuba to the East Coast of the U.S., and not to rely solely on passenger service. With the possible normalization of relationships with the island, the import of tropical produce could have a dramatic effect on the cost of living in the South Florida market.
The Herald should compare the cost and time required to travel to Key West via public transit today when compared with the Flagler route, since most of today's service parallels the original Havana Express route and the original timetables are in the public domain. I believe the total travel time to be the same.