Camden area trolleys

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Camden area trolleys

Postby rrbluesman » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:33 pm

I have been reading my Reading Seashore Lines book, it makes references to trolleys running in Camden, Gloucester, and Clementon. Did the Reading or the Pennsy have a controling interest to these lines or were they independent of the railroad? It seems like all the trolley lines were gone by the 1940s.
Ed

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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby Steam man » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:33 pm

I believe they were all part of the Public Service Gas & Electric system
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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby chuchubob » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:25 pm

They originated as independent companies and wound up owned by Public Service Coordinated Transport.
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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby CJPat » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:26 pm

Although the reason for why the trolleys disappeared isn't a straight simple answer, it can be best described as being replaced by what was considered a better, less expensive technology. Buses, first electric and then gas powered, were considered better and more flexible. As the internal combustion engine became more powerful and reliable by the 1940's, the flexiblity without the extensive maintenance that tracks required made the buses far cheaper and quicker to operate and dramatically reduced the infrastructure necessary for operation. No rails, no power stations, no overhead wires, no conflicts with crossing other rail lines, could immediately detour around bad road conditions or be re-assigned to new routes without the need for extensive pre-construction. Less problematic during inclement weather like light flooding or snow covered roads. Could run on paved, dirt or cobblestone roads (don't forget, up into the 1950's, a lot of roads were still dirt and gravel). And the engines were (at least back then) so simple and easy to build, maintain, and rebuild (electronic equipment and pollution control wasn't included yet). You could practically rebuild the entire drive train out in the street at curbside.
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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby nayaugpark52 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:39 pm

Billy Thompson was the money behind the trolley line up Broadway into Westville to reach his amusement business Washington Park. He also had involvement with the Camden, Gloucester and Mt. Ephraim railway to present better service to the Wellsbach Plant and was also a driving force to get the WJSS to electrify to provide better commuter service for Gloucester City and Westville so they were all connected in that way. The WJSS went to the Pennsy, the C, G, Mt. E went to the Atlantic City Railroad owned by Reading and the trolley line went to Public Service so I don't think there was ever any connection between the trolley and rail lines in NJ once Thompson was out of the picture. F, L & T.
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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby pumpers » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:51 am

CJPat wrote: You could practically rebuild the entire drive train out in the street at curbside.

You could say that about cars too of course, almost til the 1970's ... Those were the days :-)
JS
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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:03 pm

nayaugpark52 wrote:I don't think there was ever any connection between the trolley and rail lines in NJ.
Correct for Public Service Trolleys in South Jersey, since their tracks were the Southern gauge of 5' 0". Atlantic City, Brigantine, Cape May, and Stone Harbor (and some North Jersey) trolleys did connect with and partly run over the railroads.
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Re: Camden area trolleys

Postby nayaugpark52 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:17 pm

Right you are Jim. I actually meant to say those lines in Camden, Gloucester & Clementon instead of NJ which I erroneously stated.
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