Harbison-Walker Magnesite Plant

Discussion relating to the PRSL

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NJ Vike
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Location: Sparta, NJ

Harbison-Walker Magnesite Plant

Post by NJ Vike »

Greetings. Well, I have the bug again to explore Southern NJ and it's existing and abandoned rails again and was wondering if anyone had pics to share online with the PRSL going to the Magnesite Plant in Cape May. When did the plant close? When did the last train service this plant?

Thanks in advance.

Ken
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

NJ Vike
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Sparta, NJ

Post by NJ Vike »

Hmm,

A little searching yielded this story:

http://www.capemay.com/Editorial/octobe ... each2.html

So, if the plant did close in 1982, did the plant still have rail service?
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

PRSLFAN
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Location: Folsom, PA

Post by PRSLFAN »

The Magnesite Plant would continue to recieve cars up till July 31, 1983.

hutton_switch
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Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Post by hutton_switch »

If the impasse on the parked vandalized cars up at Rio Grande and the Cape May Canal swing bridge problems can ever be resolved, PLUS funding be made available, it would be an improvement on the traffic problem that happens every evening during the summer if the CMSL can restore the tracks to operational status to the magnesite plant, plus extend them another thousand or so feet to Sunset Beach to a terminus. This certainly could result in revenues for the CMSL for all the tourists who would like to take in the sunset at Sunset Beach. I have been there numerous times and have seen long lines of cars parked along the road from almost the last turn into Cape May Point out to the end at Sunset Beach proper.
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

PRSLFAN
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Post by PRSLFAN »

the only problem is is the tracks run right behind peoples' back yards. I do not know if the people with trailer homes would like the idea of trains running behind their houses to get to Sunset Beach :(

hutton_switch
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Post by hutton_switch »

Agreed -- but the railroad was there first.

From a legal standpoint, if the people in the mobile homes were to try to prevent the CMSL from reopening the Cape May Point Branch, there would be some issues to resolve:

1) Was the Cape May Branch ever officially abandoned (e.g., did the PRSL petition the ICC to officially abandon that trackage and was the application granted)?
2) Is the abandonment still enforceable even though the PRSL is now a fallen flag and the CMSL the new owner?
3) Does the CMSL still own the right of way? Can they claim eminent domain?
4) Have the tenants in the mobile homes actually trespassed on CMSL property by placing their mobile homes as they have?
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

JJMDiMunno
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:55 am
Location: Hi Nella, NJ

Post by JJMDiMunno »

hutton_switch wrote:Agreed -- but the railroad was there first.

From a legal standpoint, if the people in the mobile homes were to try to prevent the CMSL from reopening the Cape May Point Branch, there would be some issues to resolve:

1) Was the Cape May Branch ever officially abandoned (e.g., did the PRSL petition the ICC to officially abandon that trackage and was the application granted)?
2) Is the abandonment still enforceable even though the PRSL is now a fallen flag and the CMSL the new owner?
3) Does the CMSL still own the right of way? Can they claim eminent domain?
4) Have the tenants in the mobile homes actually trespassed on CMSL property by placing their mobile homes as they have?
As far as I know, the answers are:

1. PRSL did not terminate operations...Conrail did, in 1983. And the track wasn't owned by Conrail...NJDOT owned it, and still does. I believe it was formally abandoned, however.

2. CMSL dosen't really own it...NJDOT owns it, and they're still around.

3. NJDOT could claim eminent domain, but I don't think this would be a good public relations choice...

4. I don't believe so...they're actually off railroad property as I know, with the exception of some clothes lines, etc which they have strung up on the ROW...

Additionally, the CMSL did petition to the STB in 2001 to receive rights to operate freight service over the entire Cape May Branch, as well as the Cape May Point Branch. It was granted. STB finance docket number 34112.

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

hutton_switch
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Post by hutton_switch »

Informative information Mike....thanks for sharing!
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

NJ Vike
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Sparta, NJ

Post by NJ Vike »

Thanks for the info Mike. Any picitures to share on this line?

Ken
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

PRSLFAN
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:33 pm
Location: Folsom, PA

Post by PRSLFAN »


hutton_switch
Posts: 219
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Post by hutton_switch »

The pictures that Mike DiMunno took (now almost three years old) show the overgrowth that has overtaken the Cape May Branch. There would have to be a considerable amount of volunteer help to clear this out. Also, highway people would need to be brought in to clear out the asphalt-covered crossings and rail maintenance people brought in to replace ties too far gone to support the CMSL's RDC's and locomotives.

How far from Sunset Beach does the current ROW end? I'm fairly certain that it ends at a point either at or close to where the Magnesite plant used to be, but am not absolutely sure.
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

The Vicarage

Post by The Vicarage »

The Seashore Road crossing had the tracks removed over the winter.

JJMDiMunno
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Location: Hi Nella, NJ

Post by JJMDiMunno »

hutton_switch wrote:The pictures that Mike DiMunno took (now almost three years old) show the overgrowth that has overtaken the Cape May Branch. There would have to be a considerable amount of volunteer help to clear this out. Also, highway people would need to be brought in to clear out the asphalt-covered crossings and rail maintenance people brought in to replace ties too far gone to support the CMSL's RDC's and locomotives.

How far from Sunset Beach does the current ROW end? I'm fairly certain that it ends at a point either at or close to where the Magnesite plant used to be, but am not absolutely sure.
That I don't know...I never actually walked that portion of the branch from Bayshore to the end of track. The growth is much too thick to do that. I'd have to walk in from the beach side at some point, and see what's there...maybe an event for this winter...

Perhaps I could entice the girlfriend to make a trip down there, with the thought of a nice quiet walk on the beach..."ooops, forgot to mention...yeah, I have to photograph these railroad tracks, and we haven't reached them yet, so we're gonna have to keep walking" :)

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

JJMDiMunno
Posts: 739
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:55 am
Location: Hi Nella, NJ

Post by JJMDiMunno »

The Vicarage wrote:The Seashore Road crossing had the tracks removed over the winter.
So now, who's responsibility would it be to put those back if service were to resume? Seeing as CMSL does have rights to operate service over that branch, and it is included as part of the lease, would the highway dept. have to pay to put those back? Because I think it's likely that will happen...don't know when, but I think it's in the future...

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

georgehyland
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Location: Audubon, NJ

Post by georgehyland »

I was out at the plant site last Summer. I found some tracks at the beach. However, at the gate where the tracks enter the plant site, there was a large pile of debris covering the tracks and I could not actually locate the tracks on the plant grounds. I think it is odd that they would remove the tracks from the plant site and leave tracks at the beach.

It is a pretty neat place to hang out in the Summer. I am sure a lot of you guys have been down there for the sunset. I took my three kids and pregnant wife. Other than my wife accusing me and my sons of trespassing - she seemed to enjoy herself! It is funny; ever since then, every time my sons do some exploring with me, they ask if we are trespassing!!

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