Bracdude181 wrote: ↑Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:27 am
Was doing some research and I found this news article about the potential of a Richland to Cape May revenue passenger train.
https://www.capemaycountyherald.com/new ... 6d676.html
It's an interesting article, but the fact that it would take 90 minutes for a one way trip from Richland to Cape May baffles me. Why not upgrade the tracks for 30-35 MPH?
Anyways, what do y'all think? Can this be done?
Note that the original publication date of the article is from 2007. 13 years ago. The line to Cape May has not "gotten better with age" since that article was written.
The last passenger train to Cape May City was in October of 1981. Freight ended two years later. CMSL had some high hopes of restoring passenger service to Cape May in the late 1990s, with intentions of interchanging at Winslow, but after continuing setbacks, nothing ever substantially materialized.
At one time, it may not have been too far out of reach to see passenger service to Cape May restored. Even if it was only during the busy summer months. But the same reason why passenger service began to dwindle in the 1950s & 60s, holds true in the 2000s. People would much rather drive to shore.
Any type of current service to any of the shore resorts would (sadly) be a novelty. (I don't have the latest facts and figures of NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line, but I dont believe the line to be a huge money maker for the railroad. However this particular forum is not the place to discuss the ACL).
Again, the article was written in a time when track conditions to Cape May were nowhere near as bad as they are now. I was at Wildwood Junction in 2019, prior to the former station being demolished, and walked the tracks for a bit. (That was in a portion where walking the tracks was possible, as they weren't completely overgrown as other sections). Loose rail, rotten ties, missing hardware - and that in just the 200 or so yards that I walked. I'm not an expert, but you'd be lucky to get a train into the city at 5-10mph, let alone 30-35! Not to mention the fact that residents along the RoW will almost certainly not take too kindly to having trains, let alone 30-35mph trains, passing behind their houses!
As stated in another forum, the track vandalism that occurred in 2012, five years AFTER that article was pened, was what I believe to have been the "death nail" for the Cape May Branch. Other than an occasional speeder to the canal out of Cape May, the line has not seen a single wheel in over eight years.
I know the branch has been "restored" in the past. There's been a glimpse of hope here and there. But look at the broad picture, there hasn't been an actual revenue passenger train to Cape May in almost 40 years. Other than a couple of railfans (me being included), and an occasional write-up of a proposal, no one seems to mind that fact. People are content with sitting in traffic every summer weekend! Nuff said.....