Official Last Train Dates & Information Ocean City Branch

Discussion relating to the PRSL

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

Official Last Train Dates & Information Ocean City Branch

Postby hondo0524 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:26 pm

Hello All, I have been a long time lurker on this board and amateur collector of PRSL information with a focus on Ocean City and Cape May branches.

I have a couple questions on the Ocean City Branch that I am hoping to get definitive answers to:

(1) What was the last day of passenger train operation on the OC branch (ie the day the Crook Horn ring gear broke)? Different reputable threads and publications have dates ranging from August 1981 to October 1981.

(2) What was the last day of freight operation on the OC branch onto the island (ie over the bridge)?

(3) Did any work trains or cleanup trains ever go past the Beesleys Point power plant switch after the bridge broke?

(4) What was the original substitute bus service? Did it make all the OC stops and the Palermo stop or was it a nonstop from 9th Street to Tuckahoe?? (or Lindenwold??)

(5) Does anyone have any pictures or links to pictures of the Crook Horn bridge being demolished?

(6) Are the OC branch abandonment proceedings and documents available on line? If so, does anyone have a link to that info?

(7) Is anyone aware of any video or film of RDCs on the OC branch or the island, and if so might you have contact information or links to share?

Many thanks for any answers, clarification, or guidance.

I had the pleasure of riding the branch when I was 6 years old in 1974 and was heartbroken when I returned to OC in 1982 for the first time in five years to find the branch abandoned
hondo0524
 

Re: Official Last Train Dates & Information Ocean City Branch

Postby JJMDiMunno » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:13 pm

To answer your questions:

1. October 15, 1981 was the last day of service to Ocean City. The ring gear broke after the morning northbound train passed the bridge. The normal soutbound train that night was replaced by a bus. The line wasn't officially abandoned until October of 1982, a year later. Up until that point, NJDOT had publically stated that they planned to repair the bridge. It was clear when they posted the abandoned notices at stations in 82 that they never had any such intentions. They'd wanted to be rid of that service for a long time - the broken bridge just gave them a reason to dump it.

2. I don't know - I know that nothing operated after October 15, 1981. There were no freight cars stranded on the island after the abandonment. The last freight should have been lumber if I recall correctly, to a lumberyard aroudn 10th street that I believe still stands today.

3. Trains went past that switch well into the 90's. Conrail used the passing siding there at Palermo for storage of oil tanks up as far as route 9. It was known as the Palermo Industrial Track until it's abandonment somewhere around 1995 or so. As far as I know, all track was pulled up using trucks and heavy equipment. Some of that track was used on the Cape May Branch during the rehabilitation in the mid 90's, and much of the rail between Conrail's switch at PAL and Route 9 was pulled very recently and used for construction of the Woodbine Industrial Track on the CMSL. This was done entirely with motor vehicles, no trains were used in transporting those products. That said, I don't believe any sort of a funeral train passed over the OC branch. Most of the rail was intact well into the mid 90's when it was pulled for various NJDOT and NJT related projects, most of them in South Jersey.

4. As far as I know, the initial substitute bus service made all station stops between 10th street and Tuckahoe. I believe there, it met up with the substitute bus service from the Cape May Branch, just as the trains did previously. I'm not sure when they modified the routes.

5. Unfortunately I don't, but I'd love to see them if anyone can produce them.

6. No.

7. Something else I'd like to see...but I have not seen anything of this sort.

I don't know when you were there last, but you'd be even more shocked today. Most of the rail is gone, except for a segment between 48th street or so and aroudn 36th street. All rail geographically north of that point is gone. The track still in place is there for the long haul luckily - it's become part of the marsh, and I don't think the developers care for the land as of yet.

Mike DiMunno
~Mike DiMunno
CSAO Beesley Point Secondary - MP 8.69 (Magnolia, NJ)
Moderator: Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines :: Penn Central
User avatar
JJMDiMunno
 
Posts: 739
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:55 am
Location: Hi Nella, NJ

Re: Official Last Train Dates & Information Ocean City Branch

Postby hondo0524 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:40 pm

Mike,

Many thanks for the reply.

One more follow up if I might - was the last Cape May train on 10/15/81 also or did they run longer?

The source for my confusion is the Phila Chapter High Line magazines from 1993/ 1994 that stated the OC service ended 8/13/81 and Cape May 10/5/81.

Again many thanks for the info and hopefully someone will be able to connect us to some Crook Horn bridge pictures or OC Branch video.

Matt
hondo0524
 

Re: Official Last Train Dates & Information Ocean City Branch

Postby JJMDiMunno » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:03 pm

hondo0524 wrote:Mike,

Many thanks for the reply.

One more follow up if I might - was the last Cape May train on 10/15/81 also or did they run longer?

The source for my confusion is the Phila Chapter High Line magazines from 1993/ 1994 that stated the OC service ended 8/13/81 and Cape May 10/5/81.

Again many thanks for the info and hopefully someone will be able to connect us to some Crook Horn bridge pictures or OC Branch video.

Matt


No problem at all - the last Cape May passenger train was actually before that date - 10/5/1981 is accurate for that one. Poor track conditions. An FRA inspection found large segments of the railroad not good for speeds over 15MPH.

Freight lasted a bit longer until 1983.

Mike DiMunno
~Mike DiMunno
CSAO Beesley Point Secondary - MP 8.69 (Magnolia, NJ)
Moderator: Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines :: Penn Central
User avatar
JJMDiMunno
 
Posts: 739
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:55 am
Location: Hi Nella, NJ


Return to Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests