liftedjeep wrote: ↑Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:34 pmWhat was the deal with the bridge failing? And would it make sense to bring service back to Ocean City one way or another?
October of 1981, service to Ocean City ends due to the ring gear failure of the swing bridge at Crook Horn Creek. It gave the railroad the excuse it needed to abandon an already dwindling service to the island.
To the best of my knowledge, the former RoW is owned by NJ Transit. Aside from having larger issues to currently deal with, there is no desire in returning service to Ocean City. Residents of the island have no interest either, in having "noisy trains" disturbing their quiet town.
It will never happen
OC property owners in the south end where the railroad crosses into the City managed to nimby a bike path going on the old ROW. There are some folks down there that draw a lot of water who did not want to see bicyclists from their porches. Rail service is a non-starter-- the only scenario in which I could envision it happening is if there is major shore protection infrastructure work needed and they needed to bring in fill or structural materials via train. The ponds in Cape May County Park North (adjacent to the existing ROW in Palermo) served a similar purpose many years ago when sand was mined and shipped across the bay via rail to Ocean City to fill in the marsh land to build houses.
NJTransit transferred the ROW in Ocean City (which includes Haven Avenue from Crook Horn Creek to 10th Street) to the City in 2003. There is a reversion clause in the deed forbidding resale of the property or private use, though some folks have repurposed the ROW for flower beds and vegetable gardens. The City recently hired a consultant to examine using the ROW for some kind of flood berm, though the berm would need several feet of fill, reinforcement, and considerable extension to be of any use for preventing flooding or for qualifying for crucial matching funds from FEMA.
NJTransit owns the entire ROW remaining in Upper Township except from the track length from Greenbriar Road in Marmora east to Beesley's Point. Atlantic City Electric owns about 1.3 miles of ROW before the track enters the power plant property. As of 2017 the ROW from Route 9 east into Ocean City was still accessible on foot. You can park at the County Park lot then walk south to the dirt road. The typical warnings about ticks and poison ivy apply. The Parkway bridge is still sufficiently high to accommodate future service.