Tuckerton Railroad Company

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Pennsylvania Railroad

Tuckerton Railroad

operated in Southern New Jersey from
1871 to 1940

By Tom E Reynolds

1871 to 1940


1871 Tuckerton RR is built from Whitings to Tuckerton with 50lb rail. Two 4-4-0 wood burning engines are ordered. Steam ships bring vacationers to Long Beach Island during summer months.

1872 Toms River and Waretown Railroad is built and physically connected with the TRR at Waretown Jct. and is leased to the New Jersey Southern Railroad (CNJ).

1872 1874 Tuckerton RR runs through trains 55 miles from Tuckerton to Toms River via rights over the TR&W

Beach Haven NJ 1941 (PRR) By Don Wentzel
Beach Haven NJ 1941 (PRR) By Don Wentzel

1874 TRR officials discuss options of building track to Trenton

1879 TR&W builds extension to Barnegat, running parallel with the TRR for about 2 miles.

1881 Pennsylvania Railroad company built a line from Whitings to Toms River and across the bay to Seaside Park and Bay Head Jct. to connect with the NY&LB. This opened up resorts north of LBI to Philadelphia traffic.

1884 Engine No.3, coal burning instead of wood, is ordered from Baldwin to handle the planned construction of the LBRR.

1885-1886 Line is graded and trestle built from MANAHAWKIN to Long Beach Island. Long Beach Railroad is built with 60lb rail on the island connecting Barnegat City to Beach Haven, and leased to the PRR.

1887 Dissatisfied with the long route, a 32 mile shortcut is planned from Medford to Manahawkin to shorten the time to Long Beach Island. The line was never built. TRR purchases a caboose.

1889 Locomotive No.4 is ordered, another 4-4-0 coal burning engine. Engine No.1 has been converted to coal. No.2 needs to be rebuilt and gets sidelined. No.3 is reported overworked. Combine No.5 and Coach No.6 are purchased used from the PRR.

1891 Engine No.2 is not rebuilt, and instead the TRR purchases another 4-4-0, No.5

1892 TRR owns 9 box cars, 11 flat cars. LBI traffic is noted as being less than expected and causing a drain on resources for the TRR.

Engine House and station Tuckerton NJ 1941
Engine House and station Tuckerton NJ 1941

1893 Again, a shortcut is planned. The panic of 1893 terminates any future discussions regarding new routes. Barnegat City Branch is forclosed by PRR. All train service on Barnegat City branch is terminated.

1894 Long Beach Railroad is officially dissolved and broken into two pieces.

The connecting track from Manahawkin to Barnegat City Jct and the southern section to Beach Haven is reorganized as the Philadelphia and Beach Haven Railroad. This line is then leased to the PRR.

The northern portion is reorganized as the Barnegat Railroad Company. The PRR owned all the stock.

The Manahawkin and Long Beach Transportation company is created to run trains from Barnagat City Jct to Barnegat City, since the PRR (and thus TRR) would not run trains to Barnegat City anymore.

1894 TRR Engines No.1 and No.2 are scrapped.

Manahawkin NJ 1941 By Don Wentzel
Manahawkin NJ 1941 By Don Wentzel

1895 Fire in Tuckerton damages Engines No.3 and No.4, leaving only Engine No.5.

1900 Through passenger service is established by the PRR between Camden and Beach Haven. Fare is set at $2 for a round trip ticket.

1908 PRR cancels the Manahawkin & Long Beach Transportation Company’s lease of Barnegat Railroad due to track conditions. The TRR will now operate this line again.

1910 A new engine No.6, 4-4-0 American style, replaces 25 year old Engine No.3.

1912 Freight receipts begin to outpace passenger receipts

1913 There are now three round trips scheduled between Whitings and Beach Haven as passenger traffic slowly increases. PRR cooperated with the TRR and installed block signal system between Whitings and Beach Haven for the summer months. In winter months the equipment was removed and stored for the next season. The track in Whitings is reconfigured and the wye is eliminated. A turntable is installed to be able to turn engines. Speed limits on the line from Whitings to Manahawkin are set at 60 MPH to match the PRR’s line from Camden.

1914 First automobile bridge is completed from mainland to Long Beach Island.

Tuckerton NJ 1941 By Don Wentzel
Tuckerton NJ 1941 By Don Wentzel

1917 World War I causes a major drop in passengers to the shore.

1918 Federal control of all railroads in America due to WWI affects Tuckerton Railroad. Engine No.7 is ordered, this time a 4-6-0. Engine No.4 is sold.

1923 Barnegat Railroad is officially abandoned. Tracks are quickly removed. Passenger volume begins to slowly fall.

1925 Freight tonnage is almost doubled with moving cement, sand and fill, and stone for the new NJ State Highway No.9 which ran parallel to the TRR.

1926 Passenger volumes begin to fall quickly.

1929 Passenger totals for the year were only 20% of 1920 figures. The TRR had higher than average freight tonnage due to building of the automobile causeway to LBI. A second hand engine is purchased, No.14, 4-4-0 type.

1930 Last year of TRR profitability

1931 Bus service is coordinated with the PPR for trains at Manahawkin to Beach Haven. TRR combine No.5 is dismantled, coach No.6 is used a caboose, eventually gets sidelined and never used again. Engine No.14 flips on her side but gets repaired, only to have a grade crossing accident which puts her out of service for good. Scheduled freight train service ends, all movements on the line are now by train order only.

1932 Some TRR passenger trains only record an average of 2 passengers per day.

1933 The TRR is mortgaged and the banks’ name “Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Company” is painted under the railroad’s name on most equipment. Weekday passenger service to Long Beach Island is terminated. Weekend service continues.

1935 A nor’easter washes away the bridge to LBI, effectively ending all service, and stranding a lone, empty gondola car on the island.

1936 Tuckerton Railroad requests abandonment proceedings. Alternatives to TRR operations are considered by the on-line businesses. The most likely carrier would have been the CNJ operating the line from its Toms River branch which terminated in Barnegat. The CNJ declines, stating the time to get to Barnegat is already 8 hours, and a trip further to Tuckerton and back would have required overtime hours, and that would have not been profitable for the little traffic moved.

January 31, 1936, the last train runs on the TRR.

Cedar Run NJ 1941 By Don Wentzel
Cedar Run NJ 1941 By Don Wentzel

March 26, 1936 H. E. Salzberg Co, a salvage firm buys the assets of the TRR with intent to operate or salvage the line.

1937 The new operator is named as Southern New Jersey Railroad Company, Inc., as repairs to Engines No.5 and No.6 stored in Tuckerton begin. A connection at Barnegat with the CNJ is planned. This would allow abandonment of the Barnegat to Whitings part of the line. Rails are removed from Long Beach Island.

1938 SNJ shows a small profit of $616.

1939 NRHS railfan trip on the SNJ on April 16, 1939. CNJ Blue Comet equipment shows up in Barnegat and SNJ Engine No.5 and No.6 take the coaches to Tuckerton.

1940 Due to minimal traffic, and expected traffic that had converted to trucks, an application for abandonment of SNJ is submitted. Last revenue box car for Tuckerton on SNJ shipped August 20. Scrapping of the line begins. Engine No.5 pulls the scrapping train towards the CNJ’s Barnegat interchange. When the scrapping was finished, old Engine No.5, 50 years old at this point, gets cut up on site in Barnegat.

1941 Last shipment from SNJ consisting of three scrap cars left Barnegat January 16.


The Tuckerton Railroad; a chronicle of transport to the New Jersey seashore. by John Brinckman

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