West Jersey and Seashore Railroad

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West Jersey and Seashore Railroad (WJ&S)

A Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary that was leased to the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines in 1932.


1836 — 1980



WJ&S E2a № 6048 Haddonfield NJ 1906
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WJ&S E2a № 6048 Haddonfield NJ 1906


Contents

History

Effective May 4, 1896, the Pennsylvania Railroad consolidated all of it railroads and several smaller properties in Southern New Jersey into The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad (WJ&S).

The Pennsylvania Railroad called the WJ&S its Atlantic Division
1920 map

The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad(WJ&S) as a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. From report for the year ending December 31, 1905:

  • Cooper's Point, Camden to Atlantic City - 58.73 miles.(Camden and Atlantic Railroad)
  • Camden, South of Haddon Ave. station to Cape May - 80.84 miles.(West Jersey Railroad)
  • Woodbury to Penns Grove - 19 99 miles.(DR)
  • Woodbury to Salem - 28.39 miles. (Salem Railroad, Woodstown and Swedesboro Railroad , Swedesboro Railroad)
  • Riddleton Junction to Elmer - 10.38 miles.(Salem Railroad)
  • Alloway Junction to Quinton - 4.22 miles. (Alloway and Quinton Railroad)
  • 917 feet north of Salem station to 1,580 feet south of Broadway, Salem - 1.27 miles.
  • Glassboro to Bridgeton - 19.68 miles.
  • Main St., North of old passenger station to Pearl and Lemon St., Bridgeton - 1.67 miles.
  • Newfield to junction with Atlantic City Division (C&A), near Atlantic City - 32.60 miles. (West Jersey and Atlantic Railroad)
  • Pleasantville to Somers Point - 7.14 miles. (P&OC)
  • Manumuskin to Maurice River, opposite Port Norris - 9.76 miles. (Maurice River Railroad)
  • Sea Isle Junction to Second St. pier, Ocean City - 16.47 miles.
  • Sea Isle City to Stone Harbor - 9.14 miles.
  • Anglesea Junction to Holly Beach - 7.24 miles.
  • Haddonfield to Medford - 11.95 miles. (PM&M)
  • Junction at Atlantic City Drawbridge to junction with Atlantic Ave. branch, South of Providence Ave. - 1.23 miles.
  • Absecon Inlet to 158 feet North of Albany Ave., Atlantic City - 3.04 miles.
  • Junction 158 feet North of Albany Ave., Atlantic City to Longport - 5.49 miles.
  • Total owned and operated: 329.23 miles.

WJ&S Pass 1925 From the collection of Tony Beatrice
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WJ&S Pass 1925 From the collection of Tony Beatrice
WJ&S System Map
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WJ&S System Map






















Link→West Jersey and Seashore - Corporate Genealogy


Timeline 1836 — 1932

See→ WJ&S Timeline 1836 — 1932


Station Pages for the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad ( W J & S ) - April 28, 1929

See→ Station Pages for the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad (WJ&S)


Electrification of the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad

The Pennsylvania Railroad, owner of West Jersey and Seashore Railroad (WJ&S), electrified with 650 volt DC from Camden to Atlantic City, via Newfield, and to Millville, 75.0 route-miles:150.4 track-miles.


A over-running third-rail systems was used for most of the line, except overhead trolley wire was installed between Mickle St. in Camden and Gloucester City, as well as a ten-mile segment between Newfield and Millville. The Camden-Gloucester City portion was installed due to a decision to use the old Camden Seventh St. line as part of the route. Numerous grade crossings on both this segment and in Gloucester City precluded the use of third rail due to public safety considerations. The Millville branch, however, was equipped with overhead wire as a method of comparing the durability of trolley wire versus third rail under high-speed open-country operating conditions.
The electrical powerhouse was located in Westville. The WJ&S ordered 62 coaches and 6 combination baggage mail units, split between Jackson and Sharp Company, Wilmington, Del., and J. G. Brill and Company at Philadelphia. J. G. Brill had 46 cars from the order. They sublet work on 22 coaches to its Wason subsidiary at Springfield, Mass.
The electrification was opened in 1906 with cars that resembled wooden interurbans of other electric traction properties. Other cars were built in 1909 bringing the fleet total to 80 MP-1's class wooden MU coaches. The 19 MP-2's purchased in 1909 had steel instead of wooden ends, and featured PRR porthole style windows on each end. There were 2 MO-1 class passenger-baggage combines including 1 (MO-2?) with steel ends, 4 MBM-1 baggage-mail cars and 2 MB-1 baggage-express cars.
In 1912, Pennsylvania Railroad assigned 18 all-steel MP-54d coaches and 2 MPB-54d all-steel combines to WJ&S.
All cars were built with a deadman feature in the controller.
The Southern Pacific's electrification in Oakland (1912) was essentially a carbon copy of the WJ&S electrification. Read more link-→[1]


PRR Class Road Numbers Type
MO-1 5135, 5136 Wooden Combine
P-RSL MPB-54d # 5138 MPB-54d 5137, 5138 Steel Combine
P-RSL MBM-1 # 5458 MBM-1 5457, 5458 - 5459 Wooden Baggage/Mail
MB-1 6422-6426 Wooden Baggage/Express
P-RSL MP-1 MP-1 6701-6719

6721-6762

Wooden Coach
P-RSL MP-2 # 6765 MP-2 6720

6763-6777
6779

Steel Ended Wooden Coaches
P-RSL MP-54d # 6794 MP-54d 6780-6794 Steel Coach

WJ&S, and the Reading Company subsidiary Atlantic City Railroad, were merged into P-RSL in 1932. Electric MU service between Newfield and Atlantic City ended September 26, 1931, so P-RSL only inherited the electrified Camden - Millville commuter rail service from WJ&S.

On October 20, 1948, New Jersey's public utility regulators ordered Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines to remove all remaining 26 wooden MU coaches from service as a safety hazard should they be involved in fire or collision. P-RSL management already was considering replacing the MUs due to an aging power distribution system and obsolete rolling stock. So nearly 2/3 of the MU fleet was removed from service.

With only the 18 all-steel MP-54d coaches left for passenger service, P-RSL cut back the electrified commuter service to Glassboro in fall 1948, and management then ordered an end to all remaining electrification as of September 8, 1949. On that date a morning commuter run from Glassboro to Camden ended 43 years of electrification.

Non-electrified commuter rail service to Glassboro and Millville continued until March 5, 1971.


 WJ&S $30.00 Dividend
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WJ&S $30.00 Dividend

The Westville Cutoff

The Westville Cutoff was a planned 4.71 mile double track freight bypass of Camden from Westville to West Haddonfield, to be used for hazardous material and perishable traffic. Also, a new freight yard was to be located on the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge line near the Delair Bridge in Pennsauken. Conceived as part of a Pennsylvania Railroad improvement program in 1905, and approved by the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad on January 26, 1906. Work began in the spring of 1906. The line would be grade crossing free with a fill to North of Nicholson Road and a deep cut to Haddonfield. By 1908 the right of way was complete with bridges to Crystal Lake Ave., with a short single track in place as far as Market St. in Gloucester City. The Panic of 1907 brought work to a temporary halt, with over $500,000 spent by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Work came to a complete halt in December 1908 with work along the line 70% completed, and was never resumed. The Pennsylvania Railroad used the right of way for a power line to tie to their West Jersey & Seashore Railroad third rail electric line to a cheaper Philadelphia Electric Company power source. This lasted from 1922 to 1949, and was used until the electric line shut down. The bridges and short track in Gloucester City (used to store cars for Campbell’s Soup), were removed in a 1942 World War II scrap drive. The right of way was sold to Public Service Electric and Gas as an emergency connection to Philadelphia Electric, and the fill removed from Gloucester City to North of Nicholson Road in 1955. Public Service Electric and Gas removed all lines and poles between White Horse Pike in Audubon and West Haddonfield in 1980. Most of the Cutoff is unused and can still be traced today.


Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines

On November 2, 1932, the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Company joined their Southern New Jersey railroad lines into one company, The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines which the Pennsylvania Railroad had a 2/3 ownership, And the Reading Company had a 1/3 ownership

On July 15, 1933, The Atlantic City Railroad leased the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad and changed its name to Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines .


Predecessor railroads

Camden and Atlantic Railroad

Westmont NJ circa 1910from H.Gerald.MacDonald collection
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Westmont NJ circa 1910
from H.Gerald.MacDonald collection

This railroad was granted its charter by the state of New Jersey on March 19, 1852. The line was built from Camden to Atlantic City via Berlin. In late June, 1854 it was completed except for the Drawbridge over the Thorofare outside of Atlantic City. Regular passenger service started on July 4.

The Pennsylvania Railroad gained control through its subsidiary West Jersey Railroad of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad (C&A) on January 1, 1883. Total miles owned and operated: 82.77 miles.


Chelsea Branch Railroad

The road extends from Camden and Atlantic railroad at the drawbridge at Atlantic City to Junction with South Atlantic City Branch near Providence Ave. South of Chelsea a distance of 1.24 miles. It is equipped and operated by the Camden and Atlantic Railroad Company. (1894 report)


Lucaston Railroad Company

Built in 1887, The road extends 1.62 miles from Lindenwold, Lucaston station on Atlantic City Division (C&A Main Line) of the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad to Gibbsboro, Camden County.

This road is operated solely in the interests of John Lucas & Co.


Wreck at Lucaston July 3, 1911

Note - Lucaston Station was in Lindenwold on the C&A Main Line at mp 13.5.


Philadelphia Marlton and Medford Railroad

Incorporated in January, 1880, the railroad was completed from Haddonfield to Medford by July, 1881. In January, 1885 it was operated by the Camden and Atlantic. Later a part of the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad when it was operated as the Medford Branch till its abandonment on November 2, 1931.

Philadelphia Marlton and Medford Railroad in blue
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Philadelphia Marlton and Medford Railroad in blue

Also see →Hobo's Guide to the Pennsy The Philadelphia, Marlton, and Medford Railroad Company Edited by Bill McBride


West Jersey Railroad

West Jersey Railroad #18
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West Jersey Railroad #18

This railroad was granted its charter by the state of New Jersey on February 5, 1853, to build a line from Camden to Cape May. The line was then built with the backing of the Camden and Amboy from Camden to Glassboro. The first 8.2 miles of the line used the abandoned right-of-way built by The The Camden and Woodbury Railroad & Transportation Company . The railroad was completed in 1863. In that year, the West Jersey Railroad directors decided to build a line to Bridgeton, and later built the line from Glassboro to Millville, and eventually, Cape May.


The Camden and Woodbury Railroad & Transportation Company

Ran from Camden to Woodbury, was opened to the public on January 29, 1838. The first schedule showed trains leaving Woodbury at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 4:00 PM, and from Camden at 8:30 AM, 2:30 PM, and 5:00 PM. To accommodate a number of stage proprietors, an additional trip was made later in the day, leaving Woodbury at 10:00 AM and arriving at Camden at 11:30 AM with stops at Gloucester Point and at Kaighn's Point Roads. The rate of fare from Camden to Woodbury was twenty-five cents and from Camden to Westville it was fifteen cents. After numerous "ups and downs", the road was finally abandoned around 1850.


Anglesea Railroad

Anglesea Railroad chartered November, 1882. Opened in 1883 and purchased by West Jersey Railroad in 1888.

1873 Via North Pennsylvania Rail Road
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1873 Via North Pennsylvania Rail Road

Pleasantville and Ocean City Railroad

Pleasantville and Ocean City Railroad purchased and consolidated with the West Jersey Railroad January 1, 1883.


Sea Isle City Railroad

Sea Isle City Railroad constructed by West Jersey Railroad Company and opened in June 1882.


Ocean City Railroad

Ocean City Railroad opened November 24, 1884 and merged into West Jersey Railroad August 27, 1885.


Millville and Glassboro Railroad

This railroad from Glassboro to Millville was built by a group of Millville businessmen independently of the West Jersey Railroad. Incorporated in March, 1859, The Millville & Glassboro Railroad was completed in October, 1860. Was later leased to the West Jersey Railroad in 1869. The Millville & Glassboro Railroad started to build a line from Millville to Cape May but soon ran out of money.


Cape May and Millville Railroad

Three years later a group of Cape May County investors was granted its charter by the state of New Jersey on March 9, 1863 for the Cape May & Millville Railroad. It was completed in 1867, and leased to the West Jersey Railroad in 1869


Salem Railroad

This railroad was incorporated on March 14, 1856. It was built from Pittstown (Elmer) to Salem, and was completed in 1863. It was leased to the West Jersey Railroad on January 1, 1868.


Swedesboro Railroad

Was built from Woodbury to Swedesboro, 10.8 miles by the West Jersey Railroad. Started in 1867, was completed in October, 1869.


Woodstown and Swedesboro Railroad

On January 21, 1882, the West Jersey Railroad, after being asked by agricultural interests of Woodstown, to build a railroad from the end of the Swedesboro Railroad to place called Riddleton Junction on the Salem Railroad. Completed in February, 1883, this gave the West Jersey Railroad two different routes into Salem.


Maurice River Railroad

This railroad was built by the West Jersey Railroad to get a share of the lucrative Delaware Bay oyster business. Incorporated on June 17, 1887, to build a railroad 9.76 miles long from Maunmuakin on the West Jersey Railroad main line to the town of Maurice River. It was completed on November 1, 1887.
Link → [[2]]


West Jersey and Atlantic Railroad

In 1879, The Pennsylvania Railroad directed the West Jersey Railroad to build a Railroad from Newfield to Atlantic City by way of Mays Landing. This railroad was incorporated on November 6, 1879, and was completed on June 16, 1880. The road extends from Newfield to junction with Camden and Atlantic Railroad, near Atlantic City, and from Pleasantville to Somers Point, a distance of 39.74 miles. It is leased to the West Jersey Railroad Company at an annual rental of excess of receipts over expenses. It is equipped and operated by the West Jersey Railroad Company. (report from the year ending December 31, 1894.)
WI - Newfield Tower (photo)

The line was abandoned from Newfield to Mays Landing on December 31, 1958, and from Mays Landing to McKee City on August 18, 1966.

In 2003 a portion of the line from Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township to the Atlantic County Vocational Technical School in Hamilton Township was converted into a rail-trail as part of the Atlantic County Bikeway.


Delaware River Railroad

Incorporated on February 20, 1873 as the Delaware Shore Railroad, to build a railroad from Woodbury to Penns Grove. The line was opened in July, 1876. The Delaware Shore Railroad declared bankruptcy on January, 1879. And reincorporated as the Delaware River Railroad.

On April 30, 1900, West Jersey & Seashore Railroad acquires property and franchises of Delaware River Railroad under agreement of April 27, 1900.


Alloway and Quinton Railroad

The road extends from Alloway Junction to Quinton a distance of 4.22 miles. It was leased to the West Jersey Railroad Company at an annual rental of $1. It is equipped and operated by the West Jersey Railroad Company. (1894 report)


Book Sources/References

  • 1) Trans-Anglo Books By Rail to the Boardwalk (1986) Richard M. Gladulich ISBN 0-87046-076-5
  • 2) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS West Jersey Rails (1983) NRHS
  • 3) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS West Jersey Rails II (1985) NRHS
  • 4) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS West Jersey Rails III (2002) NRHS
  • 5) Crusader Press Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines (1980) ISBN 0-937-156-02-7
  • 6) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS The Reading Seashore Lines (2007) LIbrary of Congress Control Number 2005936161
  • 7) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS Atlantic City Railroad (1980) Library of Congress Control Number 77-79997
  • 8) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS The Philadelphia Marlton and Medford Railroad Co. 1881 - 1931 (1973)
  • 9) West Jersey Chapter-NRHS The Trains to America's Playground (1988) Morning Sun Books Inc.
  • 10) Pennsylvania- Reading Seashores Lines In Color (1996) ISBN 1-87887-57-2
  • 11) Robert Stanton The Railroads of Camden New Jersey (2006)
  • 12) Robert Stanton Trolley Days in Camden New Jersey (2004)

External links


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