• Needs help designing a museum exhibit re Pennsylvania Railroad into Seaside Heights

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

  by seaside heights historian
Greetings. I am searching for somebody who is an expert concerning the Pennsylvania Railroad in NJ, particularly the route that traversed Seaside Heights early 1900s through late 1940s. I am leading the design of exhibits for our under construction Carousel Pavilion & Museum on the Seaside Heights Boardwalk. I would like to include an exhibit paying homage to the Pennsylvania Railroad's importance to the development of Seaside Heights, bringing investors and visitors to our town in the early years. I have old photos, schedules, and brochures, and I would like to include model trains, video and whatever an expert might think should be included. The exhibit will include a typical display but also an interactive digital display giving us extraordinary potential. My name is Chris and I can be reached at Seaside Heights Boro Hall. [email protected] and 732-793-9100.
  by GSC
The Pennsy opened the line from Whitings to Seaside and thence north to a connection at Bay Head Junction in 1881. The PRR had trackage rights to Long Branch, accessed from Trenton and Philadelphia, across the line that went from Jamesburg though Freehold and Sea Girt. This route was quite busy and the line from Whitings to Toms River, Seaside, and Bay Head was intended to take some of the traffic off the Freehold & Jamesburg line, and as a shorter time-saving alternative. In an era before cars, this was the only way to get anywhere. Seaside Heights was the first oceanside stop on the line, which attracted visitors and businesses alike, and the town grew from there. Looking at the Shore towns south from Long Branch, most were incorporated around 1893-1890, a direct result of the rail lines coming through. A typical Pennsy passenger train on this route of the era of roughly World War One to the end of WW2 consisted of a G5 4-6-0 locomotive and three or four steel passenger cars. Other locos filled in as needed, but the G5s were the normal power until December 1946, when the Barnegat Bay Trestle burned and ended rail service between Bay Head and Seaside forever. Freight engines could be almost any class of light to medium assigned power. I've seen a great photo of a G5 heading south/west around the Seaside curve leading to the trestle.
  by GSC
The big attraction was Long Branch, the Pennsy wanting a piece of the traffic action to the popular resort of Long Branch. The New York people all vacationed in Long Branch, and the Philadelphia people wanted some of it too.