• British newbie query

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by davidcn
Hi! May I pick your collective brains, please?

I've been a British railway enthusiast for over forty years but it was a trip to Illinois to see my brother earlier this month that has triggered my interest in US railroads. Now I can't get enough! (Also have to admit that I'm a Microsoft Train Simulator saddo!) Anyway, my wife and I are coming to Cape May for two weeks in May for birding but I reckon I'll be allowed at least one day for nosing about a few railroad sites (we fly into Philadelphia and we'll be renting a car so mobility is not a problem.)

Southern NJ looks a write-off for railroads and I was wondering if anyone can recommend a few choice locations in the Philly area. My main interest is freight because you see locos that way, not motorised carriages!

Finally, can anyone point me to site to download a railroad map of the area? I've been trawling the internet but such a map has eluded me - probably don't know where to look!

If anyone can give me some hints to diversify my trip to the US I'd be extremely grateful.

Cheers, Dave

  by njtmnrrbuff
Freight in the Philly area is not a problem at all. However, don't go to N. Philly. The neighborhood there is dangerous. around 30th st, you have what is called the "High Line." The freight traffic there is good. You have a lot of freights bound for places like Harrisburg that use that route. Just above Philly, NS's Harrisburg Line runs along the river there on one side, and Septa's Norristown Line on the other. Across the river from 30th st station, right along the edge on center city, you have a CSX line, called the Philadelphia sub. This line runs to Baltimore. You get a fair amount of traffic on that. When you go to Cape may, why not take a ride on the Cape May Seashore Line train. Depending on when you go, it might not be running.

  by PARailWiz
Here's a map of Pennsylvania railroads:
ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BP ... parail.pdf
  by chuchubob
davidcn wrote:
Southern NJ looks a write-off for railroads and I was wondering if anyone can recommend a few choice locations in the Philly area. My main interest is freight because you see locos that way, not motorised carriages!

Cheers, Dave
South Jersey is not totally bereft of freight train activity. Camden, across the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia, is the home of Conrail Shared assets' Pavonia Yard.

Views are available from two bridges (State Street and 27th Street)

http://community.webshots.com/photo/870 ... 0739mlvGbF

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_12_12_28

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 5_01_01_07

and from the NJTransit River LINE, a diesel light rail passenger train.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 5_01_02_05


The south end of Pavonia is also visible from a vacant lot near the River Road grade crossing.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 05_1_22_02

http://community.webshots.com/photo/501 ... 8358JhTccB

Pavonia Yard sends trains to various destinations in South Jersey. CA-51 follows the former Reading line to Winslow Junction

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bobs ... 5_01_28_08

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_12_17_07

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 5_01_17_55

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Rail ... 4_08_04_15

and usually has interesting power. Coal trains continue beyond Winslow on the same line to Beesley point.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_12_18_02

The former PRR line parallel to the Delaware River and Interstate 295 has more traffic, and can be photographed in a number of locations.

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_11_24_12

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_11_24_18

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_11_24_23

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_11_24_29

Several short lines also operate in South Jersey, including SMS in Bridgeport

http://community.webshots.com/photo/253 ... 0290vjTcCc

Winchester & Western in Bridgeton

http://community.webshots.com/photo/665 ... 5361rnQsFu

http://community.webshots.com/photo/665 ... 7232WvMVfH

Southern Railroad of New Jersey in Winslow Junction

http://community.webshots.com/photo/111 ... 8752dEFBMz

http://community.webshots.com/photo/306 ... nxfnIMINDj

http://community.webshots.com/photo/306 ... 7921HMBYxN

and Salem

http://community.webshots.com/photo/306 ... qDslaXlyri

And, of course, Cape May Seashore Lines

http://www.transitspot.com/gallery/Bob- ... 4_12_18_10

http://community.webshots.com/photo/154 ... 4905nikvdd

http://community.webshots.com/photo/154 ... 2898SfCbGn

http://community.webshots.com/photo/154 ... 4162TzLLiS

http://community.webshots.com/photo/154 ... 2900TrcGMB

http://community.webshots.com/photo/154 ... 2572UdOiIt

Please enjoy your visit!
  by davidcn
Many thanks for the helpful tips. They've given enough to be able to plan a day or two and really make the time count.

Thanks for the pictures, chuchubob!

  by drewh
NJ Transit has passenger rail service from Atlantic City to PHL (30th St station) if you're interested.

  by 2nd trick op
NS' principal freight line into the New York Metro area runs from Harrisburg through Reading and the Allentown/Bethlehem area (roughly paralelling I-78 and US 22). Most of this is a pleasant rural area, so you won't have to be concerned with dangerous neighborhoods.

My personal favorite is the crossing with Penna Route 100 at Macungie. Your wife might also enjoy the Hawk Mountain widlife sanctuary, which is a short drive away.

West of Reading, there are also a number of attractions in the Hershey area, and traffic is heavier since the New York and Philadelphia lines converge at Reading.

  by njtmnrrbuff
For the NS along the 78 corridor, you will definately need a car like any rural area, unless if you are railfanning a certain area that is served by buses.