Bracdude181 wrote: ↑Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:58 am @David Thank You. I've been thinking about it more and I'm liking the idea of joining the two divisions together to make one network. Especially if it means a Lakehurst to Tuckahoe transfer and back, stopping to work larger customers as needed. (Like Clayton Sand and Ocean Spray) Could see two locals from Tuckahoe too. One does Tuckahoe to Cape May while the other does Tuckahoe to Ocean City and back. Car storage on the BL England spur or maybe a transloading station at BL England. It would be a great operation to railfan.Bracdude181,
Excellent write-up on the former Southern Division! You have some great ideas/ambitions! Keep those fingers crossed!
To shed a bit of light on the route south of Chatsworth....
In my opinion, that portion of the former CNJ Southern is in the roughest shape of the entire line. Aside from the forrest that has literally grown in and around, and is slowly engulfing the track, there are segments that have been completely removed altogether. I've spent many hours out and about 4x4'n through Wharton State Forrest in my (Lifted) Jeep. Rails have been taken out at many of the dirt road grade crossings. Some of the State fire trails cut through where portions are missing as well. I know of at least two wooden trestles that have long since been washed out.
Again, never say never, but it would be a HUGE undertaking to rehabilitate the stretch between Chatsworth and Winslow Junction, not to mention costing uber $$.
FWIW, the Ocean City Branch east of CP PAL in Palermo is completely gone. The rails, as well as the swing bridge at Crook Horn Creek have long since been removed. Tuckahoe to BL England is all that remains, and the power plant shut down operations last year.
Sadly, the Cape May Branch isn't in much better shape. The line is very much overgrown, and completely out of service below Dennisville due to the 2012 track vandalism. At last (unofficial) report, there was doubt that the swing bridge over the Cape May canal was still in working condition.
I realize I'm coming across as a bit of a "killjoy", but there is a reason why many of these former rail lines dried up years ago and were abandoned or placed out of service. We all can dream of the day when rail service is restored, but that may be as far as it gets, for now....
Check out my photo collection! : http://bkranefeld.rrpicturearchives.net