Wildwood Questions

Discussion relating to the PRSL

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gravelyfan
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Wildwood Questions

Post by gravelyfan » Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:44 pm

I'd like to introduce a new topic for discussion. For the last couple of years I've vacationed in Wildwood Crest and have started to get a sense of some of the rail history. Here are some items I've either read or been told, perhaps some here can confirm some of this:

The PRR line (which ran via North Wildwood) ran down (or alongside) New Jersey Ave (at least from the downtown station to Sunset Lake). What about in North Wildwood? Was it also along NJ Ave? And was this a rail next to road situation? I'm guessing it was, and when the tracks were removed NJ Ave was widened to four lanes?

The PRR Line through North Wildwood was it abandoned soon after the PRSL merger? I gather the portion south of downtown Wildwood remained in service until the Budd Cars arrived?

The loop at diamond Beach/Two Mile Landing area is very evident on aerial photos (have you tried Google Earth yet?). What sort of facilities were here, and where were they in relation to the loop?

Thanks!

Rich

JJMDiMunno
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Re: Wildwood Questions

Post by JJMDiMunno » Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:03 am

gravelyfan wrote:I'd like to introduce a new topic for discussion. For the last couple of years I've vacationed in Wildwood Crest and have started to get a sense of some of the rail history. Here are some items I've either read or been told, perhaps some here can confirm some of this:

The PRR line (which ran via North Wildwood) ran down (or alongside) New Jersey Ave (at least from the downtown station to Sunset Lake). What about in North Wildwood? Was it also along NJ Ave? And was this a rail next to road situation? I'm guessing it was, and when the tracks were removed NJ Ave was widened to four lanes?

The PRR Line through North Wildwood was it abandoned soon after the PRSL merger? I gather the portion south of downtown Wildwood remained in service until the Budd Cars arrived?

The loop at diamond Beach/Two Mile Landing area is very evident on aerial photos (have you tried Google Earth yet?). What sort of facilities were here, and where were they in relation to the loop?

Thanks!

Rich
Hi Bruce,
The PRR's Wildwood Branch ran alongside what is now NJ Avenue...and yes, it was widened after the tracks were abandoned. The segment from Oak Avenue to Angelsea was abandoned in 1933, and the rest from Oak Avenue to the Crest was abandoned on September 30, 1958 after the final freight train ran the route. Primary reason for abandonment was to eliminate many grade crossings...part of the same plan that resulted in abandonment of the Ocean City Branch between 10th Street and the Gardens about the same time...

The portion at the crest was used for turning of locomotives, and at one time included some sort of steam locomotive maintainance facility, including coaling facilities and watering capabilities. After steam power stopped visiting Wildwood, there was no longer any use for this segment and it was abandoned. The track was removed very soon after abandonment (DAYS after abandonment) to allow for widening of the highway to accomodate increased motor vehicle traffic...

Interestingly enough, passenger service continued to operate to Wildwood Crest until April 27, 1958. Freight held out a little while longer (a few months) because some customers tried to fight the abandonment, but lost...they were forced to move their product to Oak Avenue, where a local freight would make the pickup...most of these customers simply did not use the railroad as a source of freight transportation after this incident.

Mike DiMunno
www.SJRail.com: All about South Jersey Railroads!
~Mike DiMunno
CSAO Beesley Point Secondary - MP 8.69 (Magnolia, NJ)
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JimBoylan
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Post by JimBoylan » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:39 am

I suspect that the loop South of Wildwood Crest at Cold Spring Harbor was used for turning entire trains. My April 1946 Employees' Timetable shows sevice as far as the Crest, but has the special instructions for the loop at Cold Spring Harbor.

The curve at the Wildwood Reading station was built for the P-RSL consolidation in 1934.

My father remembered vacationing in North Wildwood in the 1920s. One Sunday morning, he heard a lot of hooting and yelling from boaters in the bay because the PRR drawbridge tender was refusing to open it for them, even though it wasn't train time. The tender said something to them, and many of the party and "head" boats turned around to return towards Cold Spring Harbor docks. Shortly after, whistling was heard from a train RACING across the meadows. It was the "Fishermen's Special", runing more than half an hour late, with the boat passengers! (Normally, trains approached the bridge at a slow speed, in case it was open.) My father wondered if it had come from Broad St. Station and been delayed by a boat at Delair Drawbridge. Today's boaters have told me that sometimes the Southern inlet at Cold Spring Harbor is filled with sand, so the boats from down there have to leave via the North end of the island.

JJMDiMunno
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Post by JJMDiMunno » Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:47 am

JimBoylan wrote:I suspect that the loop South of Wildwood Crest at Cold Spring Harbor was used for turning entire trains. My April 1946 Employees' Timetable shows sevice as far as the Crest, but has the special instructions for the loop at Cold Spring Harbor.
Correct on the turning of entire trains...my mistake, not just locomotives...

Mike DiMunno
~Mike DiMunno
CSAO Beesley Point Secondary - MP 8.69 (Magnolia, NJ)
Moderator: Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines :: Penn Central

JimBoylan
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Post by JimBoylan » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:06 am

My father also remembered that the PRR trains were stored in the middle of summer days on one of the double tracks along New Jersey Ave. in the South end of town (near Wildwood Crest). They had to be carefully positioned or broken apart to keep the cross streets open.

JJMDiMunno
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Post by JJMDiMunno » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:14 pm

Hey guys,
I"ve just been informed by a member of my discussion group SJRA that the curved platform that used to be next to the connection between the PRR and RDG at Oak Avenue has been bulldozed. This location is shown in the photograph below shot my Mr. Duke on our trip down that way about a year and a half ago:

http://www.prsl-rr.com/gallery/view_pho ... WilwoodSTA

Sad to see it go. All part of Wildwood's redevelopment program...I've no idea what they're gonna build there...

Mike DiMunno
~Mike DiMunno
CSAO Beesley Point Secondary - MP 8.69 (Magnolia, NJ)
Moderator: Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines :: Penn Central

JimBoylan
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Post by JimBoylan » Sat May 06, 2006 12:26 am

From the United States Railway Association's Final System Plan, Vol II, p. 497:
Line 1802, Wildwood Jct. MP 72.5 to Wildwood, N.J. MP 76.5; Date Last Used, 6/6/74; Lack of demand for service and poor bridge conditions. Trafic on the line was embargoed June 6, 1974.

gravelyfan
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Location: Morris County, NJ

Post by gravelyfan » Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:30 pm

JJMDiMunno wrote:Hey guys,
I"ve just been informed by a member of my discussion group SJRA that the curved platform that used to be next to the connection between the PRR and RDG at Oak Avenue has been bulldozed. This location is shown in the photograph below shot my Mr. Duke on our trip down that way about a year and a half ago:

http://www.prsl-rr.com/gallery/view_pho ... WilwoodSTA

Sad to see it go. All part of Wildwood's redevelopment program...I've no idea what they're gonna build there...

Mike DiMunno
Just back from my annual visit, I can answer Mike's question about what is being built at the former station site (if you've been to Wildwood in the last few years you probably would have guessed this anyway):

Townhouses - a whole block of them.

I drove in behind the Rite Aid, and there is one length of rail that was apparently dug up in the construction, it's sitting on the "Rite Aid" side of the new fence there. Also a small chunk of concrete was laying there, I wonder if that was part of the "curved platform".

By the way, Mike, the link to the photo you mention doesn't work anymore.

JJMDiMunno
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Post by JJMDiMunno » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:45 am

gravelyfan wrote: Just back from my annual visit, I can answer Mike's question about what is being built at the former station site (if you've been to Wildwood in the last few years you probably would have guessed this anyway):

Townhouses - a whole block of them.

I drove in behind the Rite Aid, and there is one length of rail that was apparently dug up in the construction, it's sitting on the "Rite Aid" side of the new fence there. Also a small chunk of concrete was laying there, I wonder if that was part of the "curved platform".

By the way, Mike, the link to the photo you mention doesn't work anymore.
Thanks for the update! Sad to see what's going on there...I've been there since I posted that last update also and saw the townhouses...didn't see the rail though. Interesting...

As for the photo site, those running that site are having some issues right now with software...should be back online eventually, though no one knows exactly when...

Mike DiMunno
~Mike DiMunno
CSAO Beesley Point Secondary - MP 8.69 (Magnolia, NJ)
Moderator: Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines :: Penn Central

rrbluesman
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Post by rrbluesman » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:43 am

I can't remember where I read or saw this at, but I understand that there is some equipment sitting down around Wildwood/Rio Grande that is not in the best of condition. I have not been there in a long time, whats down there now? Is the aforementioned equipment the passenger cars that had been vandalised some time ago that have not been repaired yet?

glennk419
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Post by glennk419 » Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:03 pm

The remaining equipment at Rio Grande includes the 5 unrefurbished RDC's and the Blue Comet observation car, Tempel, which has been vandalized. There are also some very decrepid passenger cars and maybe a baggage car stored on the lead to the Wildwood Junction wye. I'm not sure how much of this equipment can even be moved, at least without some brake work. Pretty much everythng else has been moved up north to safer confines.

Some pictures of the equipment can be found here:

http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?bo ... 2;start=80
Glenn

rwk
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Re: Wildwood Questions

Post by rwk » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:22 am

So the railroad and station area has been redeveloped to the point where you can't even tell a railroad used to be there? New homes were built on the ROW in West Wildwood, too. Was the train station used as the bus terminal for a while, now where do NJT buses stop in Wildwood? I guess restoring train service to Wildwood would be impossible now. It would be cheaper to run a shuttle bus to Rio Grande where a train would go to Lindenwold and connect with PATCO and NJT. That's how the old service was in the final years until fall 1981 when NJDOT cut the service. From 1983-1996 the tracks were dormant until CMSL started the tourist train. Now, the rails are again silent south of Tuckahoe due to the rail theft.

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