• Summer! The glory time of the P-RSL.

  • Discussion relating to the PRSL
Discussion relating to the PRSL

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by choochoochuck
Summer is the real season for the P-RSL. You can just imagine a K-4 chugging on it's way to Atlantic City with cars full of happy vacationers or two RDCs humming on their way to Wildwood with even more vacationers. When summer comes around I really start thinking about the P-RSL, so hopefully the boards will become a little more busy.

Chuck :-D

  by louisfols
Yes-its sad that members don't have more to say on this site.
I remember the winters also when they were plowing snow to get thru.
Hope more people join in before we are all gone.

  by SteelWheels21
I dunno, when I think about summer at the shore, I think about the girls and the first cold one after a long day/night's work. RDCs are coming in a little farther down on the list for some reason.

I miss Jersey a lot.

  by Noel Weaver
In 1956 and 1957, I remember the K-4's to Atlantic City. Out of Camden
in the afternoon rush hour and go like a bat. Often non stop and good
size trains too.
The engine house at Camden had all sorts of goodies to look at, nice folks
too, never had a problem there.
Fast forward to the late 1970's and the Budd Cars. Living in New York and
working to Selkirk, off many weekends. Nice day trip was to ride 61 in the
morning to Philadelphia, just about time enough for a decent breakfast in
the diner too. A fast trip to Lindenwold and a splendid ride down to Cape
May on the Budd Cars. All on my pass too except for PATCO, SEPTA and
the subway in New York. Occasionally, I would go to Ocean City instead
but I liked the ride to Cape May the best. Sometimes for variety, I would
bus up to Wildwood for a decent lunch and then bus up to Ocean City and
go back to Lindenwold from there.
The Cape May Branch was mostly cinder ballast at that time and if I was in
the last car (for Ocean City) I could look out the back but between the
cinder dust and the exhaust smoke from the Budd Cars, I could not see
very much. They only had "on and off" on those things and on was wide
open. We went very fast but the ride was very good and the cars were in
good shape.
"SUMMER FUN" and great memories.
Noel Weaver

  by JJMDiMunno
Unfortunatly, I regret to say that I wasn't alive at the time of the PRSL, and missed the prime years of trains running to the shore resorts. If I could go back in time, I'd love to witness a train crossing the Crook Horn Bridge into Ocean City, or a train rolling into the Wildwood terminal at Oak Avenue.

This brings up another topic for discussion...what PRSL action do those of you who either weren't around in the days of the PRSL, weren't a participating railfan in the time of the PRSL, or didn't live here in those days wish you'd been able to see? I already mentioned mine...

Speaking of Oak Avenue...those of you who want to savor a little piece of the past, better get down there soon...I understand that concrete slab (the remainder of part of the Wildwood station platform) is to go soon, as part of Wildwood's wonderful "rehabilitation" project...not much else to see of railroad remnants on that branch, unless you head over towards Wildwood Junction...hard to believe that Reading G-class steam engines and PRR K-4 Pacifics once pulled strings of passenger coaches into that place...

Mike DiMunno
www.SJRail.com: All about South Jersey Railroads!

  by Steam man
I grew up with the Seashore Lines, as my father was a station agent for them for 43 years. His father was a railroader(brakeman) as well, having started on the ACRR then working for the Seashore Lines,and was killed in a accident working the yard drill at Bulson Street. In the late 60's I hired on as "temporary summertime" help as a block operator,but when September came, I was asked if I wanted to go full time, which I did. While I remember the very last days of steam ,most of my memeories are of the diesel era,starting with the Baldwins when I was younger and then the EMD's and the remaining Baldwins when I hired on. Railroading from the inside is a much more serious business than the romantic rail enthusiast side. I happened to be able to experiance both sides, which is kinda neat in it's own way. There is a satisfaction of being entrusted and being capable of handling hunderds of tons of freight trains and being reponsible for the safety of the lives of the riders of your passenger trains. I't's a no bull s**t,safety first, dollars and efiicency counts world, where if you can't handle the load and gaff, you're outta there. Don't get me wrong here,I enjoyed all I did on the Seashore Lines and am proud to have been a 5 th generation railroader and am glad for all the experiances I had. Some of the memories I have is working Brown Tower on the busy second trick,handling just about all the railroads traffic except for what was left on the main line. Speaking of the main line, how about a hot August afternoon and the lines are on the way to thier repective shore points. The train dispatcher tells you that all AC lines need train orders for a speed restriction at Egg Harbor. You write them up as he dictates them, repeat them back spelling out all the engine numbers and names of places (i.e: Engine 2005 at Winslow would be Engine two-naught-naught-five at W-I-N-S-L-O-W-, you actually got quite good at it after a bit) then stringing them up on the bamboo hoop and walking outside to hang them on. The train order light is on, but you hear the line coming and youcan tell by the fast pace of the "clickety-clack" that he;s booking, Sure as the dickens, he comes around the curve making 60 mph. I'm thinking what am I going to do now. I have to hang these orders on at 60 mph!?!?!?!. Well, snap bang ,whoosh and a cloud of dust, the engineer somehow got his arm through the hopp and got the train orders, I'm still alive, shaking a bit, but DON"T want to do that again, but 35 minutes later, same thing!! Went home that night thinking I'd had really accomplished something by keeping the lines moving on the advertised. Or the time I get a phone call at home about noon from the train dispatcher asking if I could go open Tuckahoe for a Beesley's Pt. Extra before he gets there. I says "Sure, where's he at now?" the train disprupter says" He's just arriving at Winslow". I'm thinking "What, are you nuts?". So off I go go in my '64 Chevy II, hauling butt down Tuckahoe Rd. I lived ( and stiil do) in Franklinville, so Tuckahoe has to be about 30 miles to Tuckahoe. So I'm hot footing down 555 and get to Milmay and what do I hear? Yup, the BP Extra blowing for Milmay Rd(arriving in Winslow my butt, I'm thinking.) So pedal to the metal and off to Tuckahoe. I look in my rearview window and all I can see is 3 Geeps with 125 cars of coal making track speed with a dust trail following, so faster yet I go. Swing into town, turn on Reading Ave ,make a right to the tower, jump out,run up the steps, go inside and sign on the train line,setup the railroad and pull the signals and 'Ding", the extra pops up on the train board. Radio crackles"Tuckahoe, do we have the railroad?" and I reply, a bit out of breath at this point but like there's nothing to it, " You got it!!". Yea, I have a few memories of the Seashore Lines before it disappeared,both in summer and winter. I'll post more later if there's interest, maybe next will be expoilts and shannagins at Wildwood Jct. and Cape May Canal.

  by CJPat
Good Stories. I enjoyed reading them. Keep 'em rolling!

  by JJMDiMunno
Steam man wrote:I'll post more later if there's interest, maybe next will be expoilts and shannagins at Wildwood Jct. and Cape May Canal.
You bet there's interest...bring 'em on!

Mike DiMunno

  by choochoochuck
I wish I could see trains pulling into Wildwood

  by glennk419
Steam man wrote:Yea, I have a few memories of the Seashore Lines before it disappeared,both in summer and winter. I'll post more later if there's interest, maybe next will be expoilts and shannagins at Wildwood Jct. and Cape May Canal.
Having chased CA-31x from Milmay to Palermo a few weeks ago and now using Rts 50-557-40-55 as my favorite escape route from OC, I could easily picture what you described. Thanks for sharing and please keep the great stories coming.

  by peconicstation
If any of you are in, or going to be in the NYC area this summer one Rail Trip that I can recommend to relive the flavor of a real rail trip to the "shore" is the LIRR's Cannonball.

This train runs Thursdays and Fridays in the summer (and Fridays, year round), but the real show is to take this train on a summer Friday.
The normal summer Friday consist is 12 bi-level coaches with a Diesel Engine at each end. At least 2 of the coaches are "Hampton Reserve" cars, that you can reserve a seat for (and have drinks at your seat service). The entire train will be packed to the gills

The train leaves Hunterspoint Avenue Station at 4:06 PM, stops in Jamaica (of course) and then runs express to Westhampton, then runs limited to Montauk, carded to arrive at 6:48, but 7:00 is more acurate.
This train also carries the Cannonball Drumhead on the lead loco, and this has to be the only regularly scheduled train in the US to have this.

Highlights of the ride include the trestle over the Shennecock Canal, and the section between East Hampton and Montauk could easily be the last 10 or so miles into Cape May.

I always thought it strange how the former Passenger Train Journal Magazine kept touting Canada's remote passenger trains (over and over and over), and yet the ignored this very unique train.
Prior to the Bi-Level Coaches (1999) this train usually ran with 8 to 10 "vintage" coaches and 4 to 5 "Palor Cars".

If you take this trip, Montauk is NOT one of the Hamptons, it is a very laid back beach town, that is best summed up on a popular T-Shirt "Montauk, a small drinking village with a fishing problem".


  by Steam man
I can see it now!! A hot Friday afternoon in August,passengers loading at Lindenwold on a rake of P-70's and the obligatory combine and a K-4s(1361??) and the condunctor sings "All Aboard", the engineer whistles off and with the cutoff in the hole accelerates from the station. Exhaust picks up pace,and back comes the Johnson Bar to a couple notches from center. Throttle to the ceiling and we pass through Berlin at 80 mph the whistle screaming the two longs,one short and one long. Approaching Atco we're making 90 and the train is followed by a cloud of dust and assorted flying debris. We approach Winslow and the signal idicates a medium clear,we slow down in preperation to go "down in the hole" for the Cape May Branch. We clear the interlocking and again it's off to the races down the Cape May Branch. The first of the searchlight type signals left from the the ACRR shows green, the engineer yells "clear" to the fireman and he responds "clear!!" The railroad is ours and we take it over. it over As we hit Newtonville, the speedometer indicates 80 mph and the breeze through the coaches is mixed with the smell of coal smoke and pine trees. Slowing down for the curves at Richland to 60 mph and then once we clear the curves,open the throttle and track speed to Tuckahoe. We stop at Tuckahoe and take on water at the spout, then another "All Aboard" and off we go! Next stop is Cape May Courthouse and as we cross the marshes at Dennisvile, the smell of the meadows fills the cars. The engineer shuts the throttle and we drift into Courthouse and come to a smooth stop. With the the cutoff in the corner and we leave the station in a fury of noise and smoke and comie up to track speed of 60 mph. We pass by Wildwood Jct,Rio Grande,Burliegh,Whitesboro,Cold Spring Harbor. We slow down to 30 to go over Cape May Canal Movable Bridge, then the conductor yells"Next stop CapeMay!!" Yea, it would be way cool to do the Cannonball Express thing here in South Jersey!!

  by gravelyfan
Someone mentioned taking a bus from Wildwood to Ocean City to connect to the PRSL.

While the PRSL isn't there anymore, bus service between Cape May, Wildwood and Ocean City still exists, now operated by NJ TRANSIT. Some trips also serve Stone Harbor, Avalon and Sea Isle City.

Also, with the growth in retail activity in the Rio Grande area, NJT has increased the level of service between Wildwood and Rio Grande. In summer months, there are about 60 bus trips a day EACH WAY between Rio Grande and the Wildwood Bus Terminal, which is a rather dense level of service. This service is provided by bus routes 552, 313, 315, 316 and 319.