This was not territory that I ever worked or qualified over but I had more interest in the PRSL then in the old PRR over a long period of time. This dates back to 1956 with a couple of train rides from New Haven to Philadelphia and then the Bridge Line to Camden. OH what a sight to see black smoke coming from the yard and engine terminal at Camden and my visits there were always rewarding in every fashion. I did not do much with photography during that period but what memories. One Friday visit resulted in information that a K-4 would be making a run to Atlantic City out of Camden that afternoon. A check of timetables resulted in the information that I could ride that train to AC and still return that evening for a return to New York and finally New Haven where I could return to my parents home in Waterbury. I think the train only stopped at Absecon before the Atlantic City terminus. The return was diesel powered and direct to 30th Street, Philadelphia. I don't think I ever rode the line again in steam but I did it a good number of times with both diesel powered trains as well as Budd Cars. My first trip to Cape May was on the PRSL with Budd Cars again out of 30th Street, I think, to Cape May with a side trip to Wildwood which provided me with an interesting day of railroading. At Cape May I took a Public Service Bus up to Ocean City in order to ride that branch as well, another great day.
I guess the most remembered trips were in the Conrail days in the summers of 1979, 1980 and 1981. An early morning rise at home in New York and Amtrak to Philadelphia mostly on train 61 the Montrealer and breakfast in the diner. A close connection to the 10:00 AM departure from Lindenwold was the next step. Subway service in Philadelphia on weekends and especially on Sundays was not always frequent and once or twice I ended up taking a cab to the PATCO station at 16th and Locust in order to insure that I would make it to Lindenwold in time for the 10:00 AM departure. Then the adventure really began, I usually rode to Cape May and some of the time I returned from Cape May as well and sometimes I would take a bus up to Ocean City and return from there, either way it was a great day. The Budd Cars were in good shape and the ride was fast and smooth although you could see a dark cloud behind the Budd Cars between Winslow and especially Tuckahoe with the jointed rail and especially cinder ballast. We literally went like a "BAT OUT OF HELL". I would spend the day walking the beach, a good lunch and a good shore dinner and then a good train ride back. One big benefit of the Budd Cars on the PRSL was their ability to be separated and joined enroute and even 25 plus years after their arrival the railroad was still making good use of these wonderful cars.
One benefit of my working the River Line some of the time was the opportunity to obtain a Conrail Pass which was good on all Conrail operated commuter trains everywhere except in New York State and Connecticut. I also had a pass for that service too because I often worked that territory. Between the Conrail Pass and my Amtrak Pass, transportation costs for the Cape May one day weekend trip was subway in New York, subway or taxi plus PATCO in Philadelphia. When 1982 came I felt really bad because I now had a job which worked many weekends and the PRSL trains to Cape May had been taken off.
For the past few days I have been re-reading my collection of employee and public timetables, two hard cover books and four soft covered books. Enough reading to keep me ocupied for a bit.
I also rode to Atlantic City a few times but this was not as good as I had to take an "ugh" bus back usually direct to New York rather than Philadelphia in this case. Loads and loads of memories, I hope I didn't bore you all with this stuff.