• Reading Railroad Ferry "Ocean City"

  • Discussion relating to the PRSL
Discussion relating to the PRSL

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by hutton_switch
Thanks for the information, Norman! It's good to see you know a lot more about other railroads/transportation as well as the B&O. Also, it's good to know that my mind wasn't playing tricks on me in that I could have gotten this ferry confused with the old ones that were once where Maryland's Governor Preston Lane Chesapeake Bay Bridge is located.
  by R,N, Nelson
The only reason I know about this is because, as you know, I was station at Ft. Eustis, VA and was a frequently passenger.

Thinking about it more, I think the Hampton Roads tunnel opened first, in 1958 or 1959 and the Bridge Tunnel opened later in the early 1960s. Sorry I got them mixed together but it is all a blur after all of this time. There was also a ferry from Old Point Comfort to Willoughby which also ended when the Hampton Roads tunnel opened.

  by hutton_switch
Norm, as I seem to recall, I believe the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel across the bay to the Eastern Shore of Virginia opened in 1964. I think there was a National Geographic article around that time about the project. I don't know what year the bridge/tunnel for I-64 going from Hampton Roads to Norfolk opened, but I believe it was before the one across the Bay.
  by R,N, Nelson
Yes, I think you a right about the dates. The Hampton Roads tunnel opened while I was at Ft. Eustis (1957-1960), I'd say 1958. And the Cape May ferry with the ex-Chesapeake Bay ferries didn't start until July 1, 1964, right after the Bridge Tunnel opened and the vessels were sold.

BTW, the PRR passenger connection from Cape Charles to Norfolk was on the SS Virgina Lee.

  by EDM5970
I'd like to clear up some confusion here about the Cape May ferries. There are two boats currently running as MV Cape Henlopen.

The original Cape Henlopen is a converted WWII LST, and was used both across Chesapeake Bay and later between Cape May and Lewes, DE. I don't know the boat's name at the first operation. Also, I believe the Virgina Ferry Corporation was a PRR subsidiary. That particular boat, and several deep draft steam powered ferry boats came to Cape May when the Bridge-Tunnel opened, and all got new names.

When the Cape May-Lewes ferry got the present fleet of boats, all diesel reduction (Fairbanks-Morse) and much shallower draft, the original Cape Henlopen (ex-LST) was sold to the Cross Sound Ferry operation, where it kept its newer name. It operates between Orient Point and New London.

The five newer Cape May-Lewes boats are still on Delaware Bay, and none are out on lease. I saw Delaware, New Jersey, Cape May, Cape Henlopen and Twin Capes two weeks ago, and rode on Cape Henlopen, in fact. Yes, business is down; one of the 'big' boats (Cape May, Twin Capes, with enlarged superstructure, same hull-) has been for sale for a few years.

Mandatory PRSL content: I made a family outing out of riding CMSL's Santa train and then the ferry two weeks ago. Try it, it makes for a nice day.
  by R,N, Nelson
It's interesting that you saw all five of the vessels. When I last rode the ferry in August, only four were there and one, the MV Cape May, was still away on a lease. Three were holding down the service and the Twin Capes was tied up at Cape May. I guess if you saw five, the leased has been returned. They had hoped to sell it but after two seasons leased, the ferry company on Long Island declined.

As to your post that, "There are two boats currently running as MV Cape Henlopen", there is only one with that name but you are correct in that the original MV Cape Henlopen from the Virgina Ferry Corp was indeed an former LST. It was called MV Virgina Beach when at VFC.

For those who care:
VFC > Renamed at Cape May

SS Priness Anne > SS New Jersey
SS Pocahontas > SS Delaware
SS Del Mar Va > SS Cape May
MV Virgina Beach > MV Cape Henlopen
MV Old Point Comfort >MV MV Atlantic

Both MVs were former LSTs

One former LST, MV Nothhampton did not make it to Cape May from Virginia.

When the five new vessels were purchased, which are the ones in current use, as they replaced the former VFC vessels, four inherited their names. The fifth current name is MV Twin Capes, with the name "MV Atlantic" not being used.

I never realized that the VFC had anything to do with the PRR until you thought maybe it was. So I called a friend who is a retired Captain from both the VRC and the Cape May Ferry and he said, yes, VFC was a subsidiary of the PRR. Thanks for bringing that up, for now we know. for sure.

  by R,N, Nelson
I misread your a post about two MV Cape Henlopen vessels currently running. I thought that you were referring only to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. But now I realize that you are referring to two different operations; Cape May-Lewes and the Cross Sound Ferry, each having their own MV Cape Henlopen.